The Caribbean Union of Teachers is 79 years old. The organization came into being on August 21, 1935, at its inaugural meeting in Trinidad and Tobago as the West Indies Teachers’ Association. This came at a time in the Caribbean history when the working class was intensifying its efforts to dismantle the colonial apparatus in its struggle for improvement of living conditions of workers. The CUT has always reflected and symbolized the spirit of Caribbean unity, which mirrors the historical and cultural experiences of the region.
The Caribbean Union of Teachers has named Susan Hopgood as the keynote speaker for its 36th Biennial Conference in Georgetown, Guyana from 4-9 August, 2013.
Susan Hopgood is both President of Education International (EI) and the Federal Secretary of the Australian Education Union (AEU). The AEU has a membership of 181,000 teachers and education workers in pre-schools, schools and vocational education institutions across the public sector in Australia.
Susan first started her career teaching mathematics in secondary schools in Victoria, Australia in 1974. She joined the VSTA (now named the AEU) as a young teacher, and became an active member and union representative at school, regional and state levels. In 1985, she began working with the union full-time in the position of Women’s Officer, a job she held until 1993.
Since then, Susan has held a number of positions in the education union: Victorian Branch General Secretary from 1993–1995; AEU Federal Women’s Officer from 1995–1996; and Deputy Federal Secretary from 1996–2006, during which time her responsibilities included international relations. She was elected Federal Secretary of the AEU in 2006, the first woman to achieve that position.