United Voice has celebrated a win with the McGowan Government following through on an election commitment to put essential Education Support workers back into WA public schools.
In 2013 the Barnett Liberal Government cut over 1000 Education Assistants (EAs) and 110 Aboriginal and Islander Education Officer (AIEOs) jobs from our public schools.
Cuts to education have meant fewer education assistants, teachers and support staff, a loss of funding for specialist programs, increased class sizes, a reduction in resources and less individual attention for our children.
Over a three year period, starting in 2018, the WA Labor Government will introduce 300 new EAs and AIEOs into public schools in areas with socially disadvantaged children.
An extra 50 AIEOs will be employed in regional WA to give local Aboriginal children additional assistance.
This is a huge win for the WA education system and has been a hard fought battle by United Voice members to get these jobs back and to reintroduce equal opportunity into classrooms.
EAs and AIEOs are there to support not only the students, but also the teachers and parents and offer individual attention to students in need.
United Voice member of 22 years and EA of 25 years, Leila, believes that the quality of education for kids is of the utmost importance.
“You can’t get a quality education without EAs and the extra support they give in the classroom.”
Christine, a passionate union member of six years and special needs EA of 10 years said the rewarding aspect of the job is outstanding and anyone in the industry would say the same.
“I am teaching children independence, helping them achieve their goals and helping to give them a sense of self-worth.
“You create a connection with the kids and a lot of EAs are in the same position; it’s an awesome feeling,” she said.
It is the passion of Christine, Leila and all education support members that give kids in WA schools a better chance for quality education.
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