Going for Gold

Recruitment can be hard work, and it is often less of a priority for many Reps; but recruitment is essential for the strength of our Union.

If each of us assumes recruitment is someone else’s job, decreased membership density is inevitable. Many of us have experienced passive resistance when attempting to recruit new members, some of us have been on the receiving end of vitriolic anti-union sentiment; but all of us have enjoyed the benefits of belonging to the QTU; so it is with a great sense of pride that we report on the current Gold Coast recruitment campaign, which has been a “marathon sprint” for Gold.

Have you had non-members avoid you in the staff-room, brush you off with platitudes and excuses? It can be pretty disheartening, so when Maika Bailey came on board as Recruitment Officer for term four we decided to focus entirely on the positive.

We initially identified schools with the highest membership density, rather than the traditional deficit model of targeting those with the lowest. Interestingly, the top 10 were all primary schools. We initiated a challenge: the first school to achieve 100 per cent permanent employee membership would be rewarded with a prize, and the prestige of being the first ever Gold Coast school to do so.

With that announcement, the gloves were off! Within minutes of announcing the competition, Reps were requesting details of the join for $30 special offer, and inviting us to visit their school. Suddenly everyone was focused on recruitment.

Competitive instincts aside, what the reps and members were discussing with their potential members was the extensive list of reasons to belong. They were sharing anecdotes about those times when QTU advice or support was simply invaluable, talking Union, and getting excited about their membership density. BAM!

We’ve witnessed the remarkable difference these conversations make. Those conversations are translating into increased membership density, which ultimately is the reason we are able to successfully negotiate such fabulous outcomes for members.

With Workload and Wellbeing Awareness Month taking place in November, now is the perfect time to reflect on the conditions we all enjoy and the individual and collective wins we’ve had, which are in no small part because of our membership density. At the end of the day, it is simple mathematics – the more members we have, the more powerful we are.

Maika Bailey                                                                                                                            Gold Coast Recruitment Officer

Jodie Walsh                                                                                                                            Gold Coast Organiser

Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 122 No 8, 3 November 2017, p6