Principals news

Strong ‘yes’ vote sends clear message

As the year draws to a close, the IEU acknowledges the many challenges principals and their school communities have faced during 2020.

Term 4’s IEU principals sub-branch meeting was held on 7 November with a focus on the enterprise agreement (EA) negotiations for principals in the 10 NSW/ACT dioceses and in the Sydney Archdiocese.

Voting for the new EA for principals in the 10 dioceses other than Sydney occurred in the week of 9-13 November. The result was a strong ‘yes’ vote of 98.2 percent. Negotiations are continuing for a new EA for Sydney Archdiocese principals.

Principals sub branch expressed its gratitude to Alan Le Brocque, long term Wagga Wagga Diocese rep to the sub-branch, who has stepped down from the role after many years of dedicated advocacy on behalf of his fellow principals in the Wagga Wagga Diocese. The incoming principals’ rep for the Wagga Wagga Diocese will be Seb Spina from St Francis De Sales Regional College in Leeton.

Peter Galvin from the Canberra-Goulburn Archdiocese also informed the sub branch of his pending retirement. Sincere appreciation is expressed to Peter for being an ACT principals’ rep for many years and for ensuring that the IEU was always well informed of issues affecting ACT systemic principal members. We wish Peter all the very best for the future.

Armidale Diocese principals’ rep Geoff McManus, who has been principal at McCarthy Catholic College in Tamworth for the past six years, will be taking up a role at Armidale CSO in 2021. The IEU thanks Geoff for his role on the sub-branch and extends best wishes for the CSO role.

IEU Zoom meetings were held with Wagga Wagga principals on 5 November and with Wilcannia-Forbes principal members 17 November. An online meeting for Canberra-Goulburn Diocese principals is being planned. Other opportunities to meet with principals in Term 4 are most welcome.

As well as discussion of EA issues, the recent meetings with Wagga Wagga and Wilcannia-Forbes Diocese principal members highlighted the challenges facing schools in rural and remote areas, including enrolments, staffing, funding and resourcing. Mental health issues for students and families, including lack of access to services, were identified as a concern for many principals who noted the impacts on their own workloads and that of staff.

For 2021, the proposed sub branch dates are the AGM on 13 February and meetings on 1 May, 7 August and 6 November. The format of these sub branch meetings (in person, via Zoom or a combination) will be determined in due course.

The IEU thanks principal members for their engagement and support in navigating the complexities of 2020 and looks forward to continuing to work with you to protect and enhance your industrial, professional and wellbeing interests.

Pam Smith
Assistant Secretary and Principals Organiser