Brave new world of Sydney Catholic Schools

For more that 12 months Sydney Catholic Schools (SCS) has been undertaking an extensive review and planned restructuring of services provided to schools within the Archdiocese of Sydney which compromises some 150 primary and secondary schools.

Restructured model not without controversy

A new organisational structure for SCS has recently been determined and announced by its authorities. A fundamental element of this restructured model is the removal of the three regional office model (Eastern; Inner West and Southern Regions) with their own appointed educational, leadership and administrative staff to a model compromising a revamped central office supporting 13 education networks or precincts. This proposal which is now in implementation phase is not without controversy or pain for employees of SCS. Initially this transformation was to occur for 2021 but the timetable for the new organisational structure has been fast tracked to commence from July this year.

All 400 plus current staff employed within the SCS offices including staff holding educational positions attached to the regions have been involved in meetings with senior personnel to discuss employment options and opportunities available within the revised structure going forward.

A number of current staff will move into newly created similar roles, be redeployed into school based positions of leadership and teaching, opt to take redundancy where no appropriate new position exists or seek other employment possibilities.

Union actively assisting members

There is considerable upheaval and anxiety for members caused by this massive restructuring given the levels of uncertainty created for the future of many staff members. The union has been actively assisting members to manage their interactions with senior SCS personnel, providing advice and advocacy on their behalf while trying to fully comprehend the nature and scope of change envisaged across the organisation of SCS which has created a significant number of new roles and positions, reimagined many other roles and abolished a large number of existing positions.

It is unknown the extent of redundancies that will occur and it is anticipated that more than 90 persons will be redeployed to school based positions for next year. IEU members are rightly worried about prospects for their future employment and continue to seek advice and support of the union.

Staffing and functions remain a mystery

Further, the establishment, staffing and functions of the newly created 13 networks of schools remains a mystery with little detail available as to the scope and nature of their operations and responsibilities.

This appears to have been delayed until some time next year. IEU members should continue to liaise with their IEU organiser for advice, assistance and support during this process of restructuring of SCS.

Liam Griffiths
Assistant Secretary