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The Swim Instructors Association (SIA) is the peak body in the swimming industry completely dedicated to

representing the interests of swimming teachers and aquatic employees.

The SIA was established by a group of senior swim teachers in conjunction with the Australian Workers’

Union (AWU). Issues of illegal underpayment and allegations of unfair treatment prompted a number of swimming

teachers to voice their concerns and seek the assistance of the AWU. The SIA is run by swimming teachers to ensure that instructors, both now and into the future, are treated fairly, provided with good quality training and safety standards, and given a voice.

Today, the SIA is committed to providing a voice for all swimming instructors and aquatic employees in the industry. Already we have seen the introduction of an EBA at Paul Sadler Swimland, providing good working conditions to over 500 swimming teachers. On top of this, the SIA secured $1.4 million of backpay in relation to illegal underpayments. We have successfully stopped attempts to muddy the waters in the Fitness Industry Award and provided absolute clarity that swim teachers cannot be classified as a Level 1 employee.  Most recently we represented members to recover over $1.9 million in stolen wages from their employer, Just Swimming, the Learn to Swim branch of the Nunawading Swimming Club.  Our efforts extend to supporting the volunteers in our community with already over $1200 raised for Victoria's Surf Life Savers and over $1100 donated to the Very Special Kids charity.

The SIA has the backing of a large trade union, the AWU, to ensure that members are legally protected and provided the necessary support for issues at work but also for the negotiation of any Enterprise Agreement. The AWU has over 130 years experience standing up for workers from a wide range of industries and represents over 100,000 members across Australia.


What has the SIA done so far?

Since its creation in 2016 the SIA has seen many great successes for swimming teachers. Of these, some of the stand out achievements include:

  • Negotiating the Paul Sadler Swimland 2017 Enterprise Agreement which saw the reinstatement of weekend penalty rates (1.25x on Saturdays and 1.5x on Sundays), introduction of permanent part time employment for swimming teachers and an hourly rate 15% higher than the Fitness Award.

  • Reinstatement of penalty rates at YMCA pools.

  • Preventing a 50% increase in the hours requirement to reach Level 4 in the Fitness Industry Award wage classifications.

  • Clarification of Levels 1 and 2 of the Fitness Industry Award so that trainee teachers are clearly Level 1 and Teachers are clearly Level 2.

  • Represented Nunawading Swimming Club employees in a HR Review that resulted in the employer backpaying over 300 employees $1.9 million + unpaid Superannuation.

How does membership work?

Swimming teachers can become members of the SIA by applying online and once they do they are entitled to the support and resources of the SIA. This includes training on how to manage issues at work, organising you and your fellow swimming teachers to maintain a collective voice in a positive, constructive environment with employers and ensure high standards of health and safety are adhered to. The SIA is intent on providing support for swimming teachers from the start and that is why all members receive a starter pack that contains bathers, hat water bottle and bather bag, as soon as they become a member. Membership is $4.60 per week and is tax deductible. All membership dues go towards improving working conditions for swimming teachers such as the ones outlined above), raising the health and safety standards and training members.


Who can be a member?

The SIA is an industry body that is purely dedicated to supporting teachers and so, all swimming teachers are entitled to become members of the SIA.  Many of our SIA members have multiple roles in the aquatic setting, including life guarding, duty manager, department coordinators, administration and customer service officer roles.


What do members get for joining?

All members are provided with a teachers starter pack including, bathers, cap, and water bottle to get you started on your swimming journey. What's more you have access to the best support network exclusively for swimming teachers. If you have an issue you have access to industry and legal support. You have access to professional development workshops that count towards certain swimming teacher accreditations. most of all you become a part of the community of swimming teachers responsible for the above successes, and support the constant push for fairness towards swimming teachers.