Principals support the Hear Our Voice campaign

The IEU thanks principal members for participating in the Principals’ Sub Branch meeting on 7 May. The union also appreciates meeting with principal members at a breakfast meeting in Newcastle on 13 May. The Newcastle meeting included presentations to principals Larry Keating and Duilio Rufo recognising their 40 years of membership.

IEU members and officers greatly appreciate the understanding and support of principals in Catholic systemic schools for the IEU’s protected action stop work for teachers and support staff on 27 May.

As principals will be aware, IEU teachers and support staff members in most Catholic systemic schools in NSW/ACT participated in a Protected Action Ballot for the right to take protected industrial action in support of the EA claim.

This vote for the right to take protected action was resoundingly endorsed in all dioceses, leading to the action on 27 May and the right to wear/display union insignia and to communicate with the school community about the Hear Our Voice campaign.

Principals in systemic schools, being covered by separate enterprise agreements, were not asked to participate in the ballot or in proposed industrial action, but the key issues in the union’s claim are relevant to all members, including principals. They are also relevant for the independent school sector into the future.

Many principals have contacted the IEU to express support for their teacher and support staff colleagues:

“This is a campaign for everyone in education," said one. "It is about valuing teachers and support staff and enhancing respect for the education profession. We need to attract and retain staff by improving pay and working conditions and focusing on teaching, learning and student wellbeing rather than on admin and paperwork.”

Another said: “Please can we have some justice for support staff? They need pay equity with the government sector. My school secretary is leaving to work where she will be better paid.”

Another: “We need to address staff shortages if we are to have quality education into the future. As principal I spend hours every week trying to get casuals and juggling staffing. The leadership team at my school and the specialist staff are all covering classes.”

And another: “Prices are going up and not the pay of teachers and support staff. It’s not sustainable to have stagnant pay and an ever-increasing workload. Let teachers teach and give them the professional planning and preparation time they need.”

Our union greatly appreciates principals’ support for this campaign, which is about the future of schools, the education profession and quality education.

The Term 3 Principals’ Sub Branch meeting is scheduled for 7 August but the IEU always welcomes opportunities for diocesan or sector principals’ meetings, either in person or via Zoom.

Pam Smith
Assistant Secretary/Principals’ Organiser