Set the ground rules early

Here we are half way through Term 1. I hope everyone has settled into what should be a busy and productive year. Thank goodness the hot weather is almost behind us and we can enjoy some lovely autumn days.

It is evident that some principals and school leadership teams do not fully understand what constitutes a meeting and the hours allowed each term for these meetings.

It is probably a good time to meet as a chapter to discuss any issues that you as members are not sure about – like face to face teaching hours, attendance at school camps, Saturday and night mass and what to do if you are told to attend these functions.

The loss of free periods to attend mass or assemblies and attendance at meetings that happen to fall on your rostered day off (if teaching part time or in a job share arrangement) is a problem. Twilight meetings and professional development out of hours are also grey areas.

All of the above issues need to be clarified at the beginning of the school year otherwise you will find yourself being expected to attend more and more in your own time, losing valuable preparation time when your free periods are constantly being eroded.

I take this opportunity to thank all reps in schools for taking on these positions and being the face of the Union. IEU officers appreciate the work you do. Keep it up.

If you accepted a position as president, deputy president, secretary or branch committee member at the recent sub branch meetings, thank you. I am sure you will enjoy the year. I look forward to working with and for you throughout the year and wish you all a good term.

Chris Wilkinson