We’re listening to the concerns of principals

As 2022 draws to a close, thank you again to principal members for their ongoing engagement with the IEU and their support for principal colleagues.

We hope that Term 4 has progressed well for you and your school community and that you can look forward to the coming summer vacation break. Our thoughts are with communities in the flood affected areas of western NSW and we are also aware that COVID is still a challenge in some places.

IEU Principals’ Sub Branch met at the union’s Parramatta office and via Zoom on 5 November. Other recent IEU events and meetings with principals have included:

  • Zoom meeting with independent sector principals on 27 October
  • Breakfast meeting in Canberra on 28 October with Canberra-Goulburn Archdiocese principals
  • Zoom meeting with Wagga Wagga principals on 3 November
  • Meeting with Broken Bay Diocese principals at Waitara on 10 November
  • Zoom meeting with Wilcannia-Forbes principals on 17 November
  • Zoom meeting with Bathurst Diocese principals on 21 November and
  • Zoom meeting with Sydney Archdiocese principals on 24 November.

Thank you to the principals who have facilitated these meetings which have been valuable opportunities for the IEU to hear principals’ issues and concerns, including the impact of staff shortages on schools. Please contact the IEU if you would like to arrange a meeting for your diocese or sector.

As principals will be aware, the IEU made a submission to the NSW Legislative Council Inquiry into Teachers Shortages and we thank those principals who participated in meetings arranged by the IEU with NSW MPs across political parties to convey the concerns of members, including principals. The IEU’s focus has been on the need to improve pay, conditions and respect in order to attract and retain staff to the education profession and to ensure the future sustainability of schools.

Many principals, country and city, have identified the impact of staff shortages on their own work as many are now teaching full time, plus continuing to do all their usual leadership, administrative and pastoral roles. This is resulting in some significant wellbeing issues such as fatigue and other effects on health and family. Principals have also acknowledged the ongoing impact of staff shortages on the workload of all staff, including specialist staff being taken away from their core roles to cover classes.

The Hear Our Voice campaign is vital for Catholic systemic sector principals, as unfortunately their employers are choosing not to negotiate the principals’ enterprise agreement (EA) until there is progress on the overall systemic EA. This is relevant for all principals as improved pay and conditions will assist in informing future negotiations in other sectors, as well as addressing teacher shortage concerns.

As always, principals are welcome to contact the IEU if we can be of assistance in any way at any time.

Pam Smith Principals’ Organiser

Pam Smith
Principals’ Organiser