Principals face the challenges

We recognise the challenges principals face as they seek to deal with the expectations of their employers while supporting staff, students and families.

At this very difficult time of COVID-19, principals and staff are at the forefront of dealing with unprecedented changes in our ways of working and living, including the transition to remote teaching and learning, while also supporting students and parents who may be facing considerable disruptions in their lives.

At the IEU, the health and safety of our members, their employment security and their working conditions, are the union’s key priorities. We especially recognise the challenges principals face as they seek to deal with the expectations of their employers while also supporting their staff, students and families.

Regular updates on COVID-19 issues and their implications are on the IEU website and Facebook page. All principal members were emailed recently with some resource materials in relation to online teaching and learning and also about possible alternative tasks for support staff at this time:

Working remotely – IEU FAQs for teachers, comprises 23 questions and answers about issues associated with the transition to new modes of teaching and learning.

Suggested duties for non-teaching support staff, offers suggestions to ensure continuity of employment during the online/remote working period.

On behalf of the union I’d like to thank Parramatta Diocese Principal Angela Hay for her contribution to a recent IEU online forum. Her school, St Patrick’s Marist College at Dundas, was the first NSW Catholic school to be directly affected by COVID-19 and temporarily closed. The online forum, which welcomed about 250 participants, was registered with NESA for maintenance of accreditation.

In the midst of COVID-19 issues, the IEU will also seek to progress enterprise agreements and work practices agreements negotiations for principals, teachers and general employees; we’ll support workplace health and safety; continue online professional development programs; and assist members collectively and individually.

The IEU’s Term 2 Principals Sub Branch meeting is scheduled for Saturday 2 May at 10am, but within the current context this meeting will be held via Zoom. Details will be provided in due course.

On behalf of the IEU, I’d like to thank principal members for their strength, resilience, creativity and compassion at this challenging time. The union is always pleased to be of support; principals are welcome to contact us if there is anything they would like to clarify or discuss.

Pam Smith
Assistant Secretary, Principals’ Organiser