Divided loyalties for principals

Appreciation is expressed to Catholic systemic sector principals for their understanding and support during the current negotiations for a new Enterprise Agreement for teachers and general employees.

The Union is aware that principals can feel divided loyalties during industrial campaigns but in this instance, the arbitration issue is of vital importance to all NSW/ACT Catholic systemic employees, including principals.

Unfortunately, misinformation has been circulated in some dioceses that the IEU did not raise concerns about the wording in relation to arbitration in the principals’ EAs.

This is quite disingenuous as the principals’ agreements were negotiated before the arbitration issue arose in 2017 in a Canberra-Goulburn matter. At the time of finalising the principals’ EAs, the IEU assumed that Catholic employers were acting in good faith and would honour long standing arrangements in regard to dispute resolution and other matters.

Educational and professional issues

The IEU valued the opportunity to meet with Sydney Archdiocese inner west principal members at Burwood on 14 September. NESA and accreditation issues were on the agenda and IEU Assistant Secretary Mark Northam presented an update on the changes to maintenance of accreditation from 2018.

Principals’ Sub Branch members were also invited to contribute to the Union’s input to the Review to Achieve Excellence in Australian Schools. In essence, the Review is considering what success in schooling should look like for Australian students and schools, where improvements could be made, and how these improvements can be sustained into the future.

Principals wellbeing research

Research for the Australian Principals’ Health and Wellbeing Survey 2017 is now underway. This annual survey provides vital information on the wellbeing of principals and in the past has revealed disturbing statistics on principals’ workload and stress levels.

Survey data is vital to inform the IEU’s efforts to improve principals’ industrial, professional and wellbeing interests in the workplace. Teachers Health will be present at the Term 4 Principals Sub Branch meeting at Parramatta on 4 November. Further details are available at: https://www.principalhealth.org/au/index.php

Principals’ meetings

A teleconference was held for principals in independent schools on 14 September. The IEU looks forward to meeting with principal members at forthcoming gatherings including in the Wollongong Diocese (Campbelltown) on 22 November and in Armidale on 24 November.

Pam Smith
IEU Principals Organiser