The next digital steps for union education

One of the many lessons from the pandemic is that people and organisations need to make the best use of available technology. E tū is taking another step forward in the digital space by moving some of our union education online.

Our new online education modules, using new tools such as the Aotearoa-based service, MakeRipples, are all about making education more accessible and engaging. Although still in the pilot phase, the courses are shaping up to be a hit with those who have tried them.

E tū North Island Vice President and NZ Post delegate, Mischelle Moriarty, was part of a group of E tū National Executive members that recently tried our Fair Pay Agreement online course.

“The content of the Fair Pay Agreement module was really good – I enjoyed watching the videos and the quiz at the end gave me the confidence that I really have picked this stuff up,” Mischelle says.

“The course covered what Fair Pay Agreements are, why we need them, and who will benefit. It’s stuff that members across all industries will be interested in, especially our members in cleaning and security who are campaigning hard to have some of the first Fair Pay Agreements.”

Mischelle says the advantages of making use of technology in education are obvious.

“It’s a great way to learn. COVID has presented this real opportunity – doing more Zooms and online stuff has meant some people can participate when they usually couldn’t have, particularly if they live rurally.

“It’s all about complementing what we already do. Nothing will ever beat face-to-face conversations, and not everyone will dig the new technology, but it would be silly not to have it.

“We just need to make sure these tools are accessible for as many members as possible and acknowledge that it will be difficult for some. But I’m not techno-savvy, so if I can get it, anyone can!”

Our new online learning experience will cover other important parts of union education, including understanding your collective agreement and how to build power in our workplaces, with more being rolled out towards the end of 2021. This will accompany education that has already been happening over Zoom during the heightened COVID-19 Alert Levels.

Since COVID-19 hit last year, E tū has run hundreds of online Zoom meetings and we’ve all grown our skills and expertise. Our experience shows that, even online, we can come together to make important gains for E tū members in Aotearoa.

Need a refresher on using Zoom? Click here – we have you covered.