The NSW Teachers Federation has a proud history as the voice of the teaching profession. Our history is full of advancements achieved by members acting collectively in the face of governments and employers that have sought to hold back the working conditions and salaries of teachers.
Generations of members before us have engaged in campaigns that are eerily similar to those that we face today:
- the fight for school funding
- protection of teacher qualifications
- securing permanent employment and a statewide staffing system
- class sizes
- adequate teaching and learning environments
- release from face-to-face teaching (RFF), leave entitlements such as maternity, parental, sick and special leave
- performance and development
- support for early career teachers
- access to workers compensation
- dignity in retirement through superannuation.
This list is by no means exhaustive. As we approach the centenary of the NSW Teachers Federation in 2018, it is worthwhile reflecting on and celebrating the successes our collective action has achieved and not take for granted the achievements of those who went before us.
Our strength is in our unity and preparedness to fight for improvements in the public education system. We should also remember that nothing has been achieved as a result of the benevolence of the employer or the government of the day. Federation members over the past 100 years have campaigned together and fought hard to achieve our working conditions and salary improvements.
If we are to continue to advance and fight for improvements to our conditions we must ensure that we continue to build our union. We all have a responsibility to encourage and recruit potential members to join the Federation. Aside from having access to high-quality professional development opportunities, advice and support, knowing that you have the collective strength of almost 60,000 members across NSW is of significant comfort.
As the number of teachers in NSW increases it is important that the union grows so it has the financial means to run campaigns and provide services at the levels members have come to expect.
Our power in the workplace and the respect we have in the community, from the Department and government comes from our collective size. For the past 100 years we have shown that when we work together, we can achieve incredible things.
We need to continue to work together to recruit new members to our union and to build on the traditions the Federation to get the best for teachers and ultimately public education.
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