Sub-branches, like people, fluctuate in activity and strength. When they are filled with active, engaged members, they are a force to be reckoned with. But all sub-branches can ebb as people move on.
Fortunately, revitalising a sub-branch is easy! Here’s a handy checklist to ensure your sub-branch is firing on all pistons.
Filled all your sub-branch positions?
Did you know your sub-branch can choose the roles it needs to operate effectively?
Possible roles can include:
- Vice president
- Sub-branch rep
- Women’s rep
Your sub-branch should select the roles that work for your particular circumstances.
Got a recruitment plan?
Do some analysis of AEU membership density at your workplace.
Next, compare this list to your workplace staff list to find out who the potential new members are. Then identify who is best placed to approach potential members.
Updated your AEU noticeboard?
It’s important to have a visual union presence in the staff room, and the best way is by providing an AEU noticeboard. This is a great place to post visually enticing material such as recruitment, training and conference posters.
You can find a lot of this material on the AEU website, but you should also feel free to contact your organiser.
Applied for sub-branch funding?
Did you know sub-branches can apply to the AEU for annual funding? This funding can be used in a variety of ways such as recruitment activities, refreshments for AEU meetings, stationery or an AEU banner.
Applications should be in before the end of Term 2 each year. Click here for more information and application form.
Got effective consultation processes in place?
Consultation is a great way to get better outcomes and raise the profile of the AEU in the workplace. The key to consultation is ensuring effective processes are in place.
For example, as a sub-branch, you can negotiate how parent–teacher interviews are structured, and take the initiative in ensuring your workplace has a documented long-term plan.
Scheduled regular sub-branch meetings?
A meeting schedule is vital. It ensures AEU members have a reliable forum to ask questions, raise issues, and discuss AEU communications and requests.
When scheduling your meetings, consider accessibility for part-time staff and your ES colleagues.
Provided members with an overview of their working conditions?
It is always beneficial to revisit the enterprise agreement to ensure all AEU members in your workplace are clear on basic working conditions, such as leave, parent–teacher interviews, attendance and time-in-lieu.
Attended regional meetings?
Regional meetings are a great way to hear the latest news, and to get updates on developments that have to be limited via email (such as enterprise bargaining!).
It’s also a good way to get to know AEU members beyond the workplace. Forming relationships across various workplaces is a great way to learn new ways of doing things.
Asked members to get involved in campaigning?
The AEU is a campaigning union. Our members have a long track record of successful campaigning for better outcomes for themselves, their students, their colleagues and the communities they live in.
Your sub-branch should nominate a member to keep a regular eye on AEU campaigns, and share any relevant news. Sub-branch reps also get weekly requests for action via the reps bulletin.
Campaigning doesn’t just mean reading and understanding, it means getting active. Sub-branches are the most important vehicle for generating member activity and creating a culture of engagement.
Accessed our training, conferences and webinars?
The AEU offers a huge range of training and conferences to build member skills and knowledge. Click here to view what's coming up.
Established regular meetings with the principal?
If you work in a school, holding regular meetings with your principal is a great way to discuss changes or developments that impact on working conditions.
Having a good working relationship with your school’s principal is important – and don’t forget, your principal could well be an AEU member too!
Thought creatively about other activities?
Your sub-branch knows your school and your members best. There are plenty of other ways to engage your colleagues and increase AEU membership numbers and activity.
Remember, AEU officials are always available to visit your school to advise, assist or just chat about your ideas. We look forward to hearing from you!