Drought issues affecting schools, families and communities are a major concern for many principals in regional and rural areas, with some schools losing families who relocate to seek employment elsewhere.
The union acknowledges the resilience and creativity of members in their workplaces in dealing with the effects of the drought and the many practical expressions of support which are already occurring, such as fundraising efforts to benefit drought affected schools.
An example of such support is St Joseph’s at Alstonville on the North Coast which held a Do it for Condo Day which raised funds for Stay in Town gift cards. Families at St Joseph’s at Condobolin were given a gift card to purchase items within the town, thus supporting local businesses which are also suffering because of the drought. St Joseph’s at Auburn in the Sydney Archdiocese also contributed the Condobolin local gift cards scheme.
As an industrial organisation committed to the protection of members’ employment, the IEU welcomes the provision by some Catholic dioceses and independent schools of fee relief for families to help alleviate costs and maintain enrolments and also the Federal Government’s recent announcement of school fee assistance for drought affected families. The IEU trusts that members’ employment will be protected and the union will work with members and employers to achieve the best possible outcomes.