Supporting the independent education community

Schools stop without support staff

Schools in Australia and New Zealand will celebrate World Support Staff Day on 14 June.

The Independent Education Union (IEU), represents support staff in non government schools, and promotes World Support Staff Day in Australia.

The day is an initiative of the IEUA and the New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) TE RIU ROA, reflecting a resolution passed at the seventh Education International (EI) World Congress in 2015 to create a global celebration held every June known as World Support Staff Day.

The day is an opportunity to recognise and say thank you to our school support staff.

IEU Secretary John Quessy said without the tireless efforts of secretaries and administrators, teachers’ aides, lab assistants, the maintenance team, bursars and countless other vital positions, schools would grind to a halt and learning would cease.

“These unsung heroes work tirelessly every day caring for sick children, making sure classrooms are prepared, clearing up rubbish and storm damage, ensuring the bills are paid, answering the phone, assisting teachers in the classroom with students with disabilities, setting up experiments, sorting out those who forgot their lunch, and all the other small but crucial things that matter,” Quessy said.

“Unfortunately, these positions are often affected by low pay and substandard conditions, and the Union continues its fight for better pay and conditions for support staff jobs, and acknowledgment that they have careers that matter.”

Principals and teachers are encouraged to organise a special morning tea, lunch or dinner on 14 June to acknowledge the work of their support staff.

IEU Vice President, Support Staff, Carolyn Collins said: “Wouldn’t it be great if everyone in the school, the teachers, the principal, the parents and the students, could acknowledge how much they rely on school support staff on this special day”.

“Be creative and show your gratitude for all that is done, seen and unseen, in your school,” Collins said.