ASSOCIATION SPOTLIGHT

LIVERPOOL TEACHERS ASSOCIATION

Number of members: 2100

President: Vivian Messimeris

Secretary: Sian Joseph

Our meetings Our association meets every Tuesday before NSWTF Council at Moorebank Sports Club, Hammondville. Our meetings have a devoted group of activists ranging from experienced teachers, executive teachers, principals and newly qualified teachers. This provides a range of experience and balanced perspectives about relevant issues that crop up. Our experienced activists provide background information on previous campaigns to give newer members a greater understanding of how they influence current campaigns and policy direction.

Our community Liverpool is located in south-western Sydney and is a vibrant and highly diverse community. Our Association is located on Gandangara and Tharawal land and consists of 42 suburbs. Although one of the original Macquarie towns, Liverpool is now a rapidly growing centre with a high concentration of recent migrants.

Liverpool residents speak more than 140 different languages, and after English, languages such as Arabic, Hindi, Vietnamese, Italian, Spanish, Serbian, Greek, Assyrian, Cantonese and Macedonian are widely spoken. More than 60 per cent of the population speaks a language other than English at home. There is also a sizable population of Iraqi Mandean refugees and the area is currently settling refugees from war-torn Syria.

The Liverpool area is also one of the fastest growing regions in Sydney, and is experiencing significant urban development. Its population is expected to almost double to more than 320,000 over the next 20 years. Liverpool is a young suburb, 38 per cent of the population is under the age of 25, and more than 75 per cent of all families in the area include children.

Our area is diverse in every way; there are pockets of affluence and aspiration contrasted by social disadvantage. Beyond the urban sprawl, Liverpool also contains farm land. Schools cater to the varied learning needs of our community, and ensure every student in our area has access to a quality education.

Liverpool Association covers a wide area and several state and federal electorates. Our State MPs are Labor Member for Liverpool Paul Lynch, Liberal Member for Holsworthy Melanie Gibbons, and federally, Labor Member for Werriwa Anne Stanley, Labor Member for Fowler Chris Hayes and Liberal Member for Hughes Craig Kelly. All members except for Craig Kelly have been supportive of Federation’s schools funding campaign.

Our issues and challenges There are a number of issues affecting schools in the Liverpool Association area. The diverse learning needs of students has required schools to allocate significant supports to meet their needs. Across the area, schools have attracted additional funding for almost every area of loading. In addition, the Association is actively engaged in ensuring that students with a disability are appropriately funded.

Increasingly, issues concerning infrastructure are also emerging. Some schools are dealing with ageing buildings that require ongoing attention – such as monitoring and repairs. This, in turn, affects workload and workplace health and safety. Other schools are experiencing a growth in enrolments that has generally led to an increase in demountables. Albeit Liverpool is a growth area, the rate of investment has not kept pace with the needs of schools. Although several schools in the area are being upgraded, only one new school in the Liverpool electorate is planned to be built.

Our teachers Teachers in our Association very much reflect the cultural make up of our community. They represent Aboriginal communities and a broad range of nationalities. Many live in south-western Sydney.

Our focus The importance of needs-based funding and reducing teacher workload has been a focus and is regularly discussed. Temporary teacher issues and concerns has also been a recent topic of focus. A recent discussion has also begun to look at school infrastructure issues in the context of a growing population.

The best thing we have done in the past five years We organised teachers to attend stopwork meetings and rallies to defend and extend our working rights. We supported the Gonski campaign with community stalls, parent information meetings, morning teas, letterboxing, door knocking, rallies and community events. Members have actively campaigned and influenced Federation policy for students with disabilities. The Association has been represented at various Trade Union Training and beginning teacher conferences, as well as CPL events.

Special events coming up Liverpool TA is planning to hold accredited seminars in the first half of 2018 for newly qualified teachers. We have also begun planning a seminar to support temporary and casual teachers.

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