What is a union?

A union is a collective group of people that undertake the same type of work. A union represents its members when it comes to bargaining for pay and conditions, promoting work health and safety, advocating on professional matters, and much more.

How is it helpful for me?

Union membership is like insurance for you if anything goes wrong at work - an accident, a disciplinary charge, bullying, underpayment or any other issue that might come up. As a member of the union, you will never be alone in meetings with management or forced to deal with complex issues on your own. Our staff are experts in industrial law, negotiation and advocacy. When we can't deal with an issue ourselves, we have support from a national office, other AEU branches and a skilled team of lawyers.

How much does it cost? What do I get for my money?

Union fees are set at less than 1% of your annual gross annual salary and start at less than $13 a week for a teacher. Your contributions are fully tax deductible and we will provide you with a statement at the end of the financial year to use with your tax return. Your union fees make our work as a union possible, meaning we can employ a skilled and responsive team to deal with issues that you face as an individual teacher or educator. You can contact our office any time for expert, confidential advice. We also organise campaigns to improve the working conditions of teachers, principals and support staff, and to ensure proper resourcing of schools. We make sure politicians and the wider community understand the issues facing educators.

Who makes the decisions?

You do! Our union is democratically run, by and for members. Our senior officers are elected teachers and educators who know the challenges of the classroom. As a member, you have the right to vote in union elections, be involved in your workplace as a representative and attend AEU conferences and training.

What has the union won for teachers lately?

  • Pay increases – the AEU NT is proud to have won pay rises that make our classroom teachers the best paid in the country, with our most recent 2.5% pay increase in October 2020. CT9 salaries have reached more than $110,000. 
  • Job security – due to union pressure, more than 400 teachers have been made permanent since 2017. We negotiated a permanency project with the Department which will give you the opportunity to be converted to permanent after 12 months’ employment.
  •  Personal leave – In our current enterprise agreement we successfully negotiated an improvement for contract teachers in personal leave entitlements, meaning you now start with 5 days of sick leave instead of 2. 

Did you know?

Unionised workplaces are happier workplaces. The union has in the past fought for the benefits that you already enjoy such as weekends, public holidays, long service leave, work health and safety, recreation leave and parental leave.

Why join the AEU NT?

  1. As a union member you can contact our experienced staff at any time to request confidential advice, support or advocacy.
  2. Membership fees are a tiny fraction of your income (less than 1%) and fully tax deductible - if a serious issue arises, union membership is far cheaper than shelling out for your own lawyer.
  3. As a union member you are a part of a collective movement that makes everyone who is part of it stronger. There is strength in numbers!

Why join the AEU NT?

Next steps

Join the Australian Education Union

The Australian Education Union represents and advocates for all teaching staff in public education, as well as many support workers.

© Authorised by Rachael Metcalfe, Branch Secretary, Australian Education Union Northern Territory Branch, Darwin (2023)

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