Reps – IEU(SA) Sub-branch Representative
Union Reps - the face of the IEU in your school
The IEU Sub-branch Representative (Rep) is the IEU’s direct contact with members (and non -members alike) in the workplace.
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.
What experience do I need?
Working in education and being a financial member of the IEU is the only experience you need to start out as a Rep.
Ideally, IEU Reps will enjoy being active participants within their school, wanting to make sure that all IEU members receive their entitlements according to the relevant Enterprise Agreement (EA). You may already be active in your school on a Consultative Committee or as a Workplace Health and Safety Rep.
The most important attribute of an IEU Rep is the desire to help other members if needed and to recruit new IEU members – in order to have the strongest voice possible in your school.
The IEU will provide you with all the training and support materials you need, and your school organiser will assist you with any matters or advice needed.
Does being a Rep affect my employment with my school?
It is unlawful for your employer to discriminate against you because of actions you lawfully take in your role as the IEU Representative. When meeting with management as an IEU Rep, you are representing the views of IEU members at your workplace, not your personal views, and your employer should recognise this. Many enterprise agreements, such as the Catholic and Lutheran EAs, contain clauses that legitimise and support the role of both the IEU and the IEU Rep.
The Catholic EA specifies that a Rep is permitted to meet with the principal on Union business and that IEU notices are permitted to be posted in locations where they can be accessed by staff. If your agreement does not contain clauses such as these, consider making it a part of your claim when negotiating a new agreement.
How much time will the Rep role take me?
Ordinarily, about 15 minutes a week.
There will be occasions where more time is needed, such as:
- you may be called upon to support an IEU member at a school meeting if appropriate
- you may be asked questions by members at your school regarding their Enterprise Agreement – the IEU Reps Handbook lists common FAQs for you
- when new staff members are employed at your school it is your role to discuss the benefits of IEU membership
- you may choose to participate in EA bargaining or other training activities
Will my school allow me to take time to be a Rep?
Your role as a Rep will generally be undertaken in your breaks or before/after school.
An easy way to do this is to go to various lunch meeting locations and chat to members/non-members. Being actively known as the Rep is important.
You could hold a ‘Sub-branch Meeting’ at a coffee shop after school. This is a great way to have discussions privately and to socialise with other members.
If a member has been called to a meeting at short notice, and your organiser has asked you to support them, that meeting must be at a time that suits all parties to attend.
Your school organiser will endeavour to attend all meetings so that you are not interrupted at work.
What is the next step to becoming a Rep?
Speak to the IEU Organiser for your school, they can answer any questions you may have. The IEU provides Reps with an array of support and materials such as:
- Rep induction by IEU Organiser
- Comprehensive Reps Handbook
- IEU Pens
- IEU Notebook
- Membership information and applications forms
- Dedicated Rep section on the website
- Facebook Rep Closed Group access
- Professional Learning certificate for IEU courses undertaken
- Invitation to participate in bargaining
- Invitation to Rep days with the IEU office
Members at your school will appreciate having support and guidance at hand. And your IEU school organiser is just an email or phone call away to assist: 8410 0122 or firstname.lastname@example.org