THREE decades involved with any organisation is a long time, but five teachers at James Sheahan Catholic High School say 30 years associated with the Independent Education Union (IEU) has been well worth their while.
Principal Mark Pauschmann, John Brown, John Mealings, Michael Powell and Margaret Bastick each recently racked up 30 years with the IEU, a federally registered industry union representing employees working in non-government schools across Australia.
Collectively they boast 150 years of experience.
And each is adamant if it weren’t for the IEU, teaching just wouldn’t be as rewarding as it is today.
“It’s not just an association that looks at the wages and conditions for teachers, it actually looks after the welfare of teachers and the professional development,” Mr Pauschmann, a member since 1981, said.
“I always felt affirmed by the IEU being very much part of my professional development.
“It’s one of those associations I feel very proud to be part of.”
Spending the first 25 years of his teaching career in Blayney, Michael Powell said unwavering support was the biggest benefit to his career as a teacher while the biggest change Mrs Bastick believes has been equal wages.
“Women used to be paid 75 per cent of what the men did, which I think is absolutely incredible,” she said, with maternity leave another big change since joining in 1979.
“It’s not just that, but constantly working for better conditions, better wages, class sizes ... trying to improve life for students and teachers.”
Originally from New Zealand before moving to Orange and James Sheahan in 1976, Mr Mealings said the IEU was instrumental in ensuring teachers in the private system enjoyed the same benefits of those in the public sector.
“It’s a good professional organisation as well,” he added.