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International solidarity officers

International Solidarity Officers (ISOs) are a key part of the Union’s international solidarity work.

International Solidarity Officers (ISOs) are a key part of the Union’s international solidarity work. They are the Union’s ambassadors at the local level, championing key campaigns and extending the breadth of our work by including it in their existing advocacy work. They are committed individuals who capitalise on their passion for change and make it a reality.

Being an International Solidarity Officer is a rewarding opportunity to capitalise on your skills, experience, knowledge and passion to make change in your local, national and global community.

What is international solidarity and why does it matter?

International solidarity, as defined by the Union, is the practice of promoting the human rights and dignity of individuals through a belief in a common humanity. The Union’s international solidarity work is defined by four pillars:

  • to defend teachers’, union and human rights through solidarity and campaigning;
  • to support universal high quality public education for all;
  • to support members and member activity and engagement within the context of a globalised economy and a diverse society; and
  • to develop and strengthen our Union by learning from the experience of colleagues worldwide.

International solidarity matters because it is what connects us to unions, teachers, colleagues and friends the world over. We share a common humanity, and a common profession, and it is important to protect and support each other as we work to deliver quality education for all. It is morally and instrumentally the right thing to do. Our colleagues’ issues are, or will soon be, our issues. 

Their fight is, or soon will be, our fight. In a globalised world with an ever-increasing interconnectedness and an international education market, no system works in silos. International solidarity will allow us to have one powerful united force to advocate for the protection of human rights for all people. Never before has the adage ‘an injury to one is an injury to all’ been truer.

How to become an ISO

Sign up for a training course or the ISO Conference to learn and connect with other members.

Getting Started

The issues faced by teachers and students across the globe every day are extensive and complex. As such, it can seem daunting to think about how to get started as an ISO. Here are a few tips for getting started:

  • Think about what motivates you and what you are passionate about.
  • Talk to your branch/district about members’ interests.
  • Find out who else is working on the issues you care about – use the mapping exercise in the pack of this toolkit to help you.
  • Talk to an existing ISO and learn from their experiences.
  • Talk to your OF representative to find out what’s going on in your region.
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