Principals face return-to-school challenges

The IEU acknowledges the leadership of principal members during the COVID-19 challenges of the past two years as they and their school community begin the 2022 school year.

Challenges for Term 1 include navigating issues in relation to COVID testing, vaccinations of staff and students, and work health and safety measures such as air quality, masks, cleaning and sanitation provisions and student cohorting arrangements.

In the Catholic systemic sector, the IEU thanks principal members for their input at the many diocesan Zoom gatherings which were held during Term 4.

On the basis of their input, as well as discussions at the Term 4 Principals’ Sub Branch meeting, a log of claims for enterprise agreements (EAs) was submitted to diocesan employers in December.

Claims for Principals' EA

  • salary increases consistent with the claim by the Teachers Federation for principals and teachers in NSW government schools
  • reviewing classification and remuneration issues for principals, including in regard to salary band structures and also recognising emerging new models of school organisation and leadership
  • addressing teacher shortages that impact on the stress and workload of principals and other staff
  • parental leave conditions for principals and other staff should match those in NSW government schools, including up to 12 weeks of additional leave for partners to become the primary carer
  • a range of measures to support principals’ wellbeing in recognition that principals increasingly deal with complex and challenging parent/carer and student situations, as well as ongoing workload intensification which has been further exacerbated by covid.

Consultation with Catholic systemic principal members will continue as the EA negotiations proceed.

In the independent sector, many principals will benefit from the 2021 teacher multi-enterprise agreements which can provide a framework for their salaries, percentage salary increases, and core leave conditions. The IEU met with its Principals’ Sub Branch members via Zoom on 27 January to discuss COVID and return to work issues. The Term 1 IEU Principals’ Sub Branch meeting will be held via Zoom on 19 February.

As always, our union values the support and engagement of its principal members and looks forward to working with you in 2022 to protect and advance your remuneration, conditions and wellbeing.