AEU

Victorian teachers, education support staff, academics, nurses, midwives and allied health professionals will take action over the first week of May to support refugees who have been detained by the Australian government.

The “Bring them Here” action will involve four groups of unionists wearing T-shirts to work and elsewhere. The four unions will also hold a rally in the CBD.

The action was initiated by Teachers for Refugees (TFR), a rank-and-file group within the Victorian branch of the Australian Education Union (AEU).

The Victorian state council of the Australian Education Union (AEU) held a special meeting on April 17 to consider an offer from the Coalition state government to commit to a new Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA).

The AEU and the state government have been in dispute over the EBA for more than two years.

AEU members had previously voted to continue the industrial campaign until their demands for improved working conditions and pay were met. This decision was taken at a mass stopwork meeting of over 12,000 teachers and education support staff on February 14.

On May 6, the federal executive of the Australian Education Union (AEU) caved in to the Labor government over the campaign against league tables and the National Assessment Program — Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) ban.

As the May 11-13 dates for the NAPLAN tests approached, the dispute over the AEU ban on them heated up. Teachers said the tests could be used to produce school league tables.

Australian Council of Trade Unions president Sharon Burrow facilitated discussions between the AEU executive and education minister Julia Gillard.

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