Key issues go under the spotlight

The current industrial agenda, NESA, and principals’ wellbeing issues were all on the agenda when the IEU Principals Sub Branch met for its AGM on 10 February at the Union’s Parramatta office.

A warm welcome was extended to Geoff McManus from McCarthy Catholic College at Tamworth in the Armidale Diocese and to Julie Terry from St Brigid’s Catholic College at Lake Munmorah in the Broken Bay Diocese.

Sidonie Coffey from the Maitland-Newcastle Diocese was re-elected as Sub Branch president and Kathy Neely (Canberra–Goulburn Archdiocese) as deputy president. Des Fox (Sydney – Inner West Region) and Jude Ryan (Wilcannia-Forbes) were returned as co-secretaries.

The Principals Sub Branch committee members for 2018 are Therese Seymour (Lismore), Julie Terry (Broken Bay), Chris Egan (Sydney – Eastern Region), Peter Galvin (Canberra Goulburn) and Alan Le Brocque (Wagga Wagga).

Sub branch meeting dates for this year have been set for 5 May, 4 August, 3 November and for 9 February next year.

NGS Super made a presentation at the meeting, with a focus on ensuring that principals and their staff have access to quality information and advice about superannuation and its importance for financial wellbeing and quality of life. Topics covered included salary sacrifice, investment options and the performance of NGS over both the short and longer terms.

Since the sub branch meeting, the latest report on the longitudinal Australian Principals Health and Wellbeing Survey, to which many IEU principal members contribute, has been released showing significant increases in workload demands, administrative and compliance pressures, and threats of violence or indeed actual experiences of violent behaviour.

Many of these pressures and feelings of lack of adequate time and support also affect teachers and other staff in schools. Following the release of the Health and Wellbeing Report, which has received significant media coverage, the IEU has been contacted by principal members sharing their own workplace concerns for their themselves and their colleagues.

At the meeting, Catholic systemic sector principals welcomed the recommencement of enterprise agreement negotiations between the IEU and CCER and expressed the view that associated diocesan Work Practices Agreements, covering practical issues such as class sizes, meetings, RFF in primary schools, and management of data collection and emails, would also be soon be resolved.

The IEU looks forward to working with its principal members in 2018 to protect and advance their industrial, professional and wellbeing interests.

Pam Smith
Principals Organiser