The Term 2 Principals Branch meeting was held on 7 May at the IEU’s Parramatta office, with congratulations to newly elected IEU Council delegates Louise O’Sullivan, Sidonie Coffey and John Farrell. Appreciation was also expressed to Lou Single for her dedicated service on Council over many years.
Focus areas for the meeting included an update on the Catholic systemic enterprise agreement (EA) negotiations with the Catholic Commission for Employment Relations (CCER), workload and wellbeing issues impacting on principals and the implications for schools of the review of the NSW Public Health Act.
Since the Branch meeting, the IEU met with CCER on 24 May in regard to the EA and expressed a range of concerns about the proposed salary structure. While there are some positive aspects to the structure, such as significant increases for principals of primary schools with enrolments of 251-400 and 601-800, the increases at other levels are disappointing and at this stage there are no details about access to the higher step in each enrolment band or about a number of other aspects of the proposed package.
The IEU looks forward to further discussions with principals and their dioceses via CCER in regard to progressing an EA to which the Union can recommend a ‘yes’ vote.
In regard to principals’ wellbeing issues, the Branch meeting received an update on initiatives in the Wagga Wagga Diocese, including a recent two day forum which focused on current health and wellness strategies. A full report appears in the current issue of the IEU’s Headlines enews.
The Union looks forward to working with its members and employers to ensure that personal and professional wellbeing remains a high priority area.
Another area of discussion at the 7 May Branch meeting was the review of the NSW Public Health Act, especially in regard to immunisation. It was noted that many secondary schools already have in place procedures to request immunisation records and it is hoped that current technology will facilitate the sharing of information between primary and secondary schools.
It was the strong view of the Principals Branch that high immunisation levels are vital for the health and safety of both students and staff, with particular concerns being expressed about the increasing prevalence of whooping cough in schools.
The Term 3 meeting of IEU Principals Branch will be held on 6 August at the IEU’s Parramatta office.