Yesterday amongst the bustle of the first day back for pupils at Margate Primary, much loved Delegate and School Business Manager Kate Lucas had her last day at the school.
Kate’s taking long service leave before retiring after Easter. “I’ve been very excited, I even did a little dance in front of the mirror. It’s a very different feeling to think you’re no longer going to have to work.”
Kate’s been a Delegate since 2015, and a CPSU Tasmania member since 2007 but a union member all her life. “I’ve been a union member since I started as an apprentice in printing.”
Part of her proud achievements as a CPSU activist was her time going into bat for School Administration Workers as a member of the School Administration Advisory Forum (SAAF).
“It’s been great to stand up for school admin through SAAF. We’ve helped to increase staffing and to get the recognition that we don’t have enough administration workers in schools.”
Kate said that although admin were a small working group in a school they had to realise the power they had in union.
“We rely on solidarity between schools. Sticking together across schools we’ve achieved big things.
“School admin allow teachers to just teach. We’re the front of the school. We deal with every parent and every student.”
To union members, Kate says it’s important to remember that when needed and the time was right, striking works. “The campaign against capping wages – it took a lot of people to jump up and down to win that. It’s been proven that strikes achieve results. Even though you might lose out an hour or so in pay, what you win in the long term is worth far more.”
Kate’s worked at Margate Primary since 2004 and said she will really miss the school.
“I definitely like the work I do. School is just 10 minutes from home. I am going to miss it a bit.
“I like working in a primary school – primary schools are a bit like a small community.”
Kate will celebrate at the end of the week on Friday with her colleagues. Then it’s off to New Zealand in March.
Kate’s retirement plans include orienteering, time on the yacht and a bit of work on the house. “I’m going to try and do some things at home that I’ve never had time to do because I’m never home.”
We know Kate’s colleagues in education and in union will join us as we say thank you and all the best for your hard work. We wish you a happy long service leave and retirement soon after.