The IEU welcomes principals to the new school year and we hope that 2017 is positive and productive for you and your school community.
We especially congratulate newly appointed principals and strongly encourage all principals to participate in the Principals Branch of the Union and/or at diocesan/regional chapter levels.
Last year, IEU principals meetings were held in most Catholic dioceses and with independent sector principals and further such meetings will be scheduled in 2017.
A high level of principal membership and engagement greatly assists the IEU in protecting and advancing principals’ interests.
Congratulations to Sidonie Coffey, Louise O’Sullivan, Des Fox and Jude Ryan for their leadership of the Principals Branch executive during 2016. This year, the Term 1 Principals Branch AGM will be held on 11 February and other branch meetings are scheduled for 6 May, 5 August and 4 November.
Enterprise agreement negotiations
This year IEU’s priorities for principals will include finalising enterprise agreements (EAS) for principals in the Sydney Archdiocese and in the other 10 NSW/ACT dioceses. After more than 12 months of negotiations, the IEU is hopeful of progressing agreements for Catholic sector principals, which will provide at least 2.5% per annum salary increases and more in some instances, plus improvements in a range of conditions.
A full report on Catholic sector principals’ EA negotiations appeared in the December issue of Newsmonth.
The Union looks forward to further discussions with Catholic sector principals to achieve agreements for which the Union can recommend a ‘yes’ vote.
Support for principals in independent schools
The IEU is very much aware of the challenges that face independent sector principals, including issues such as governance and the role of school boards. We welcome opportunities to assist independent school principals in protecting and enhancing their remuneration, employment conditions and the quality of their work life.
Employment security for principals
In all non government education sectors, the Union will strive to improve employment security for principals through negotiations with employers and by enhancing induction, mentoring and contract renewal processes.
These issues have been a focus in the ongoing Catholic systemic principals’ negotiations, with a view to ensuring clear, fair and positive processes.
It has been of great concern to the IEU that some principal members had their employment threatened late in Term 4 of 2016 in relation to matters which should have previously been identified and addressed in a supportive way.
Principals’ health and wellbeing
Continuing efforts will be made by the IEU, in conjunction with principal members and their employers, to ensure safe, healthy and inclusive work environments, consistent with WHS provisions and the values of dignity, respect and professionalism.
The vital role of the ongoing Teachers Health Fund/Australian Catholic University research is acknowledged and appreciation is expressed to principals for their participation in the annual wellbeing surveys.
The professional agenda
During 2017, the IEU will continue to provide a comprehensive program of activities for its members, including principals, with details of conferences, professional development and Union training available in Newsmonth and on the IEU website.
Principals are also encouraged to engage with the Teacher Learning Network. The IEU will continue to distribute the enews Headlines to principal members and invites principals’ input to this online publication.
On behalf of the IEU, we thank you for your ongoing support and look forward to working with you in 2017.