Keeping members connected during COVID-19
Keeping connected to our 17,000 members across Queensland and the Northern Territory was paramount to our union during the COVID-19 pandemic, with our officers adapting to online platforms to meet the health and safety challenges in workplaces and our community.
We needed to ensure that every member continued to have access to our specialist industrial and organiser teams while navigating fast-changing working conditions and workplace health and safety advice.
Some of these adaptations such as online meetings will continue, as we cautiously return to the “new normal” and our union continues to find new and effective ways of connecting with and supporting our members.
Committees, Branch and Chapter meetings go online
Member voices are at the core of our union, so when face-to-face meetings were no longer possible due to physical distancing measures, key meetings went online via videoconferencing.
While teleconference options were previously available, updated conferencing platforms have proven more effective and efficient for members and union officers.
IEUA-QNT Organiser Caryl Rosser said the convenience of not having to travel to meetings means more people can join and all participants are on equal footing.
“We’ve had great success running our Branch meetings and Committee meetings online with more people attending the meetings,” Caryl said.
“This means greater feedback coming into our union, more support and information for members which ultimately means a much stronger collective voice.
“While meeting face-to-face is still incredibly important, being able to overcome time, distance and cost barriers to building an active membership will also essential in the future,” she said.
This year, School Officer Day also went digital, with a special afternoon tea held via video conference on Wednesday, 10 June to recognise the essential work of school support staff in our school communities.
Social and digital media essential
The role of our union’s social and digital media communications was critical during the height of the COVID-19 crisis.
New information, regulations and advice was released daily and the most effective way of getting these updates out to members was through our Facebook and Twitter pages as well as our special edition digital newsletter, the IEU Weekly.
IEUA-QNT Communications Manager Laura Wise said our union had experienced a spike in members reaching out to our Communications Team via Facebook, with the team diligently working through messages before and after business hours to ensure the relevant union organiser got back to the member involved.
“Our regular digital newsletters – Professional Issues, the Good and the Bad, Staying in Touch – were paused and the IEU Weekly was established to get the latest round-up of sector updates, industrial advice, professional and mental health resources to members each week,” Laura said.
“The IEU Weekly had consistently high open rates which reflects the fact that when members need quick, tailored information they can trust – they know they can rely on our union,” she said.
For the latest news and updates regarding our union, campaigns and the non-government education sector, our social media pages remain a reliable go-to resource for members.
A private Facebook group has been established to enable beginning career teachers to connect with their colleagues across Queensland and the Northern Territory.
Our union also established a special COVID-19 resource hub on our website, which continues to have all the latest union, education and government updates for members. You can find the COVID-19 Resource Hub here.
Connected to the collective for over 100 years
With over 100 years of experience, knowledge and action behind us, our union is committed to keeping #IEUnionstrong, no matter the situation.
Any members who would like to join our committees or branch meetings but have previously been unable due to time and/or travel barriers, are encouraged to join in via videoconference. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.