Being an educator is a rewarding, interesting career, and one of the fantastic aspects about it is that there are so many opportunities that can lead you in many different directions.
If you are a current financial member of the AEU, your union offers a number of ways for you to get involved in promoting your professional and industrial interests.
Active Union Membership
- Make sure you know which of your colleagues are the Sub-Branch Executive representatives (if you are not one yourself), and consult them for advice on how to handle any workplace concerns.
- Find out how often your sub-branch meets, and make sure you attend and participate in the meetings.
- Consult the Union Noticeboard in your staffroom and make sure you’re up-to-date on AEU views, training, events.
- Ask to see the papers from monthly Council meetings, and the minutes of fortnightly Executive meetings (refer to our events calendar for meeting dates).
- Look out for the quarterly issues of the ACT Educator, which should be sent to your home address each term, and read them carefully
- Be aware that your sub-branch can submit formal sub-branch motions for Branch Executive to consider.
- Protect the rights and entitlements of your colleagues – they’re your rights and entitlements too!
OPPORTUNITIES AT SCHOOL
There are many opportunities that exist for members to get involved with the union at the school level. Each year, your school’s members will elect three Sub-Branch Executive positions, including Councillors. These elected representatives of the AEU in your workplace work as a team to distribute union information, lead campaign activities and represent members’ interests at your school. The Councillors also participate in AEU meetings which involve representatives from all sub-branches.
When Joint Selection Committees are formed at the school level to fill vacant staffing positions, panels must have a representative from the AEU sub-branch who has completed JSC panel training (contact the Directorate for training dates). Being a representative on such a panel is a valuable experience in understanding the processes used to determine the selection of applicants.
The AEU has a regular program of professional development to enable members to gain a clear understanding of the roles and responsibilities of being on Sub-Branch Executive or Council. In addition to this sort of training, the AEU offers other free courses on a range of topics. Keep an eye on our weekly member emails and events calendar to take advantage of these opportunites.
There are many formal departmental committees and working parties that the AEU has representation on, covering a range of issues including qualifications, assessment, student management, WHS and equity as well as working parties set up from time to time to work on a specific policy. The AEU regularly calls for nominations from members who wish to represent the AEU on these committees. These opportunities will usually be shared in our weekly member emails, and on our website. The AEU values the contribution of all members, regardless of their role or their length of experience in it - we encourage you to nominate yourself for one of the above roles!
National AEU Events
The Federal AEU regularly conducts forums such as the annual National New Educators Conference, the AEU Women’s Conference and the AEU Federal Conference. Each of these conferences brings together educators and union officials from around Australia to debate issues of national importance and plan future directions for our Union. The ACT Branch regularly seeks teacher representatives to attend such forums and provides funds for them to participate and report back.