Pam Smith, retiring Principals’ Organiser, reflects on her 28 years with the IEU and on our union’s role in supporting principal members.
Last year when presenting a Catholic systemic principal member with her certificate in recognition of 40 years of IEU membership, she told me how passionate she was about the role but how the demands and expectations continued to escalate.
In her words, “I love my school community and being a leader of teaching, learning and wellbeing but the unrealistic workload pressures have an impact on my own health and wellbeing. I also worry that future school leaders will not find principalship attractive.”
“We already have a teacher shortage and that will flow on to filling leadership roles in future if we don’t address workload, remuneration and staff wellbeing issues in schools.”
Similar issues and concerns have been raised by Catholic systemic principal members in recent meetings to discuss enterprise agreement negotiations and by IEU independent sector principal members.