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Home > News > 2018 > August > The power of union for aspiring and beginning educators

The power of union for aspiring and beginning educators

Chapter_web_qual.pngOur union – the Independent Education Union – will celebrate 100 years since our foundation. We have a long history of creating positive change and improving the working lives of our 17,000 members.

Workers join unions for many reasons, but the primary one is to become part of a larger collective.

When employees join together with a strong, united voice, they are able to effect real change in their workplaces, their profession and even the broader community.

Membership of our union helps to provide the tools to build a strong and rewarding career in the teaching profession, including: 

  • expert advice and representation on workplace issues;
  • professional indemnity insurance cover, which many teachers consider essential given the risks they face at work on a daily basis;
  • professional development and networking opportunities via our dedicated Beginning Educators Network (BEnet) program;
  • a powerful negotiating voice during collective bargaining — the key process in which working conditions are enhanced;
  • regular communications providing the latest news and advice about the profession; and
  • access to other member benefit organisations including Teachers’ Union Health (TUH) and Union Shopper.
What does union look like at the school level?

At your workplace, the collective of IEUA-QNT members creates a ‘Chapter’.

Within a Chapter, the representative or group of representatives who have volunteered to be leaders are the ‘Chapter Executive Members’.

These colleagues are your point of reference for advice about issues at your workplace.

When you start at a new workplace, familiarise yourself with your Chapter and try to participate in any actions or events underway in the Chapter.

Your Chapter will also be supported by an Organiser, based in one of our union offices, to assist in addressing workplace issues.

Remember, as a member you can contact our union at any time for advice on 1800 177 938 (QLD) or 1800 351 996 (NT).

Our team can provide expert advice on wage rates, employment conditions, as well as assistance with teacher registration concerns, industrial and workplace matters, and recognition of prior experience and qualifications.

Enhanced working conditions

Through the power of their collective voice, our members have negotiated significant improvements to wages and working conditions across the non-government education sector.

Graduate teachers in workplaces with a union member-negotiated agreement earn in excess of 35 per cent more per year compared to employees in workplaces without a union member-negotiated collective agreement.

In 2018, a graduate teacher in a Queensland Catholic school earns $70,080 compared to $50,665 for a teacher on the Modern Award.

Agreements negotiated by our members also include many other benefits for new teachers, including mentoring, induction and career progression pathways.

Minimise professional risks

A career in education comes with a variety of challenges. Legal risks, such as breaching duty of care, are an unavoidable part of working in the industry.

Beginning educators also need to navigate teacher registration and the demands of an ever-changing curriculum and education environment.

Union membership means being supported through all of these challenges.

Our members are automatically covered by our comprehensive Public Liability and Professional Indemnity insurance and have access to expert legal advice.

Legal protection offers members the peace of mind in knowing they have access to help if they need it.

Membership FAQs

As a student/associate member of our union, do I automatically become a full member when I graduate from university?

No. When you graduate, our call centre will contact you to upgrade your membership. Alternatively you can join online here

How are fees calculated?

Fees are based on your salary, so an early career teacher will be paying a lesser rate than an experienced teacher. Your fees only increase as your wage increases. Union fees are capped at a maximum rate and are fully tax deductible.

What are union fees used for?

All fees contribute to member support and benefits and reflect the level of professional services we provide, such as our industrial services, research and resources, training, professional insurance and other services.

Authorised by Terry Burke, Independent Education Union of Australia – Queensland & Northern Territory Branch, Brisbane.