In October, the NSW/ACT IEU will hold its Annual General Meeting, included in that is a report on the state of play in the private post secondary education sector. Membership in the sector has remained stable over the last twelve months, with around 360 members currently working in ELICOS, Business, Community, and VET Colleges in NSW.
The Union commonly acts for individuals in this sector, with poor practice by employers very common. Underpayments are a fact of life for many members, with colleges often telling prospective teachers that they “don’t pay above Step 4”, regardless of the Step that the teacher might be entitled. The award rate, however, applies as a matter of law, and the IEU is regularly pursuing underpayments on behalf of members. For some members, these underpayments can run to many thousands of dollars, and the total amount recovered on behalf of members is nearly $100,000 over the last twelve months.
The other area that keeps the union busy in this sector is that of unfair dismissal action. Many post secondary college managers often don’t follow a fair process when dismissing staff, and indeed, they often have no valid reason to sack their workers. The Union has been able to gain some compensation for those members on numerous occasions.
In the coming year, the IEU will embark upon a significant recruitment drive in the industry, but in the meantime, do encourage your colleagues to join their union.