History

1872

Victoria establishes Australia’s first public school system – “free, secular and comprehensive” – following the push for free education led by unions and workers.

1874

Foundation stone laid for Trades Hall in Carlton, a new headquarters for Victorian unions.

1884

Victorian Lady Teachers Association formed. Its first platform includes equal pay for women teachers.

1886

State School Teachers Union of Victoria formed and quickly gains 50% membership in schools. Splits soon develop and it will be 109 years before educators are again united in one union.

1926

Victorian Teachers Union (VTU) founded, establishes policy of equal pay for men and women, and pushes for independent tribunal to set pay and conditions.

1927

Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) formed.

1937

Australian Teachers’ Federation, a forerunner of the federal AEU, formed to campaign on educational and professional issues. It also seeks equal pay and improved funding, and builds an international presence.

1941

Annual leave (one week per year) becomes national standard for workers, thanks to union campaigns.

1946

The Victorian Cain Labor Government creates independent tribunal to set teachers wages and conditions following VTU campaign.

1948

Victorian Secondary Masters Association (VSMA) established as a breakaway from the VTU.

1954

Victorian Secondary Teachers Association (VSTA) established by admission of female members.

Preschool teachers form Kindergarten Teachers Association of Victoria (KTAV).

1956

Unions win right to permanency, but no pension, for Victorian married women teachers.

1958

Married women teachers gain their own pension fund.

1965

VSTA stages first statewide strike by Victorian teachers, over pay claim.

1967

Technical Teachers’ Association of Victoria (TTAV) formed in breakaway from VTU.

1968

Victorian women teachers win equal pay (phased in over three years) after mass campaign by unions.

1971

Teachers secure “control of entry” after a six-year campaign by unions against employment of unqualified teachers in schools. All teachers must now be four-year qualified graduates.

1975

Married women teachers win right to join the teachers superannuation fund.

1976

Victorian education unions win 12 weeks paid maternity leave and five days paternity leave for members.

1979

TTAV members strike statewide for 15 days over forced transfer of teachers from Footscray Technical School.

VTU, TTAV, and VSTA hold their first joint strike over Limited Tenure Employment, the forerunner of contract employment.

1980

The Victorian government releases Equal Opportunities and Elimination of Sexism in Education policy in response to union campaigning.

1981

TTAV changes name to Technical Teachers Union of Victoria (TTUV).

1982

Unions secure direct negotiations with government over wages and conditions. First industrial Agreement sets limits on class sizes and teaching loads for the first time.

1983

Victoria eliminates sex-tagged positions in response to union campaign.

1984

VTU, TTUV and VSTA form the Teachers Federation of Victoria (TFV).

Victorian teacher unions win seven years unpaid family leave and the right to permanent part-time work.

1985

VSTA and TTUV introduce women’s officers.

1987

The Australian Teachers Union (ATU) becomes the first nationally registered union for government school teachers.

VTU introduces a women’s officer.

1988

VTU, VSTA, TTUV and TFV move into 112 Trenerry Crescent, Abbotsford.

1990

VTU and TTUV merge to form the Federated Teachers’ Union of Victoria (FTUV).

1991

The ATU creates a TAFE Division.

1992

The newly elected Victorian Liberal Kennett government launches unprecedented attack on Victorian state schools. Over the next eight years, more than 300 schools will close and 8,000 teachers will be sacked, in face of bitter opposition from unions.

1993

The ATU becomes the Australian Education Union (AEU).

Launch of Education International, the global union federation representing more than 30 million educators around the world.

1995

AEU Victorian Branch formed out of the amalgamation of the FTUV, VSTA and KTAV.

1997

All Victorian school employees finally united as education support staff win the right to join the AEU, fulfilling a long-held union goal.

1999

AEU Victoria runs biggest state election campaign in the union’s history, highlighting cuts to education and attacks on teachers. The Kennett Liberal government is voted out.

2004

AEU Victoria wins a further two weeks maternity leave (now 14 weeks) and the right to part-time work until the child reaches school age.

2005

AEU preschool members secure pay parity with school teachers and win paid maternity leave for the first time.

2012

AEU Victoria membership tops 50,000 for the first time.

15,000 AEU members turn out for AEU’s biggest rally ever, and the first rally to unite education support staff, teachers and principals in action. The march to Parliament House brings Melbourne to a standstill.

Historic equal pay case brought by federal ASU and AEU Victoria gives community, social and adult disability workers pay increases of up to 45%.

2015

AEU Victoria wins historic laptop case under ‘tools of trade’ precedent, as well as backpay to members.

2016

AEU Victoria moves to new home at 126 Trenerry Crescent, Abbotsford.

In this section

WORKPLACE ISSUE?
WE CAN HELP

GET STARTED

Let's do this
TOGETHER

Join today