In 1984, a group of courageous people demanding a fair go for workers in non-government education met on the footpath of Greenhill Road and conceived the Association of Teachers in Independent Schools (ATIS). This was after the non-government section of the SA Institute of Teachers was evicted from the SAIT meeting over the issue of government funding for non-government schools.
This was the first bold step in organising across independent schools where there had been no particular previous history of workplace activism outside of institutionalised staff associations.
ATIS encouraged membership from employees other than teachers from the beginning and developed the School Assistant Award in 1985, but in 1989, ATIS formally extended its coverage to non-teaching workers and changed its name accordingly to ANGEE (Association of Non-Government Education Employees).
Those brave few who met on the footpath in 1984 generated an organisation which has grown to 4,000 members in non-government early learning centres, primary and secondary schools and private adult learning institutions, with 216 Branch representatives. Through the federal union, IEUA, our union has become part of an organisation of 75,000 workers in non-government education across Australia. This provides an avenue for members to influence decisions in the education debate which is being increasingly driven from Canberra.
To mark the 30th anniversary in 2014, NGS Super provided a grant to produce a DVD record of the IEUSA moving from Footpath to Independence.