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IEU(SA) – Reps of the year 2021…

The IEU Rep’s role is vital to the IEU’s work protecting members’ rights and entitlements and, as such, the role comes with certain rights and responsibilities.

We congratulate Sue and Felicity and thank them for their dedication to the REP role and assisting members in their schools.

We asked Sue and Felicity to write a ‘bio’ so that our members understand their experience and journey – read below:

Rep Bio – Sue Bailey, Tyndale Christian School

I have worked at Tyndale Christian School, Salisbury East, for 22 years and have been the IEUSA rep for the past 13 years.

I genuinely value helping members in many ways. I encourage staff to join the IEUSA, welcome new members and let them know the many benefits of being in the IEUSA.

I assist members with their queries.  Often it can be as simple as referring them to the relevant policy or clause in the EA.  This year, many of the questions have been around Covid and the implications to their employment, particularly around Mandatory Vaccination.  I have valued the regular communication from the IEUSA office, which has given lots of useful information.

I accompany members to meetings with Management, am part of the EA negotiations and termly Consultative Committee Meetings.

I enjoy going along to the various Equity Committee events throughout the year and also consider it a privilege to be a member of the IEUSA Executive.

Rep Bio – Felicity Robertson – Prince Alfred College

I started at Prince Alfred College in February 1992 and I’m not sure when I became the union rep, but it seems like forever.

Over the years I have advocated for both support staff and teachers where asked.

I have supported various staff members in meetings where they were undergoing mediation.

I have advised staff about their rights and suggested action to take to achieve a positive outcome for any issues. My advice is to always keep notes regarding any issues, put any queries in writing (email trails are wonderful) and give a time line for a response. Make sure you have your strategy in place.

Follow up, and keep following up. Don’t take ‘no’ for an answer. Ask ‘why’ and counter their argument with your own.

Be polite, but firm, and know when to retreat!

Apart from one round when I declined for family reasons, I have represented the support staff on the enterprise bargaining committee since they began in the early/mid 1990s.

As such, I have a good knowledge of our Enterprise Agreement. I may not remember the exact information, but I will usually know if something is covered.

It also means that I am usually asked to speak about the EB process and results at whole school staff meetings, which I have always found difficult.

However, I am approaching the end of my work life and I have become much braver at speaking up and speaking out.

My advice to younger colleagues: stand up for your rights. Make sure your voice is heard. Join the union. We really are stronger together.

If you would like to know more about being an IEU Rep for your school, visit our Reps page here