Sub Branch reports

The IEU has 19 geographical sub branches across NSW and the ACT, plus the Principals’ sub branch. Sub branches meet four times a year, usually in the first three or four weeks of each term.

Sub branch meetings are a way for Reps and members to provide feedback to the union about what’s happening on the ground in their workplaces. The meetings are also an opportunity for chapter reps and IEU members from each region to hear updates from IEU organisers.

Each sub branch sends four to six delegates to quarterly IEU Council meetings. Council is the union’s decision-making body, bringing together about 90 member delegates from throughout NSW and the ACT (see p8).

The IEU Executive of 22 members is elected every three years by members.

All chapter reps and any IEU members who’d like to increase their union activism are warmly invited to attend their region’s sub branch meeting.

Contact your rep or organiser if you’d like more information.

Central Coast

Upcoming meetings: 9 May, 4.30pm, Ourimbah RSL; 1 August, 4.30pm, Ourimbah RSL; 7 November, 4.30pm, Ourimbah RSL; and our next AGM will be held on 13 February 2025, 4.30pm, Ourimbah RSL.

Central Metropolitan

The Central Metropolitan Sub Branch includes central Sydney, Sydney’s inner-western suburbs and Rhodes, Concord and Meadowbank.

The AGM was held on Tuesday 20 February at Club Burwood.

We acknowledged our long-term IEU Organiser and sub branch Convenor Liam Griffiths, as he steps down and transitions to retirement. We will miss his wisdom and energy and we wish him all the best for the future.

The sub branch re-elected President Angela Bonfiglio, Deputy President Peter McHugh and Secretary Dylan (Yujian) Zhang. Together they will make a formidable team as we strive to improve the daily lives of our teacher and support staff members.

During 2024, the Central Metropolitan and Metropolitan East Sub Branches will try out joint meetings in the IEU’s Ultimo office. The aim is to strengthen union power as well as offer opportunities for IEU reps and activists across Sydney to come together with like-minded colleagues.

We look forward to welcoming you to our future joint Sydney Metro Sub Branch Meetings, on Tuesday 14 May, Wednesday 7 August and Thursday 14 November. Save the dates!

We will have light refreshments for those who can join us, and we look forward to meeting you.

Lee Cunningham Organiser

Central West

The Central West Sub Branch includes Dubbo, Bathurst, Orange and Lithgow, as well as Broken Hill, Cowra, Mudgee, Parkes, Forbes, Grenfell and Wilcannia.

The Central West Sub Branch AGM was held on Friday 16 February in Forbes and was well attended by delegates from across the Central West.

Committee election results include President: Louise Hughes, Dubbo; Deputy President: Peter Nunn, Forbes; and Secretary: Nicole Downey, Orange.

Additional Committee Members include Karen Andriske, Dubbo; Cassie Bennett, Cowra; Julian Stewart, Orange; and Geoff Hayward, Bathurst

Following Nicole Downey’s election to an IEU Executive position, the sub branch also filled a casual vacancy to Council with the election of Julian Stewart.

The following motions were unanimously supported:

  • Central West Sub Branch would like to thank Bruce Paine for his involvement in the union for over 25 years and acknowledge his advocacy of the Central West at Council as both a delegate and an Executive member.
  • Central West would like to thank and acknowledge Organiser Jackie Groom for her outstanding contribution to the life of the sub branch and advocacy on behalf of members as she now moves on to working with members within Canberra-Goulburn and the Riverina region.

Next meeting, please note change of date: Friday 24 May, Ambassador Hotel, Orange.

Donna Widdison Organiser


The Cumberland Sub Branch includes Parramatta, Mt Druitt, Castle Hill, Marsden Park, Blacktown and nearby suburbs.

The Cumberland Sub Branch AGM was held on 19 February 2024 at Club Blacktown.

While reps at the meeting represented the diverse sectors the IEU covers, including Catholic systemic schools, independent schools, Catholic independent schools and ELICOS, their issues were similar.

The meeting covered the range of enterprise agreements that were successfully settled and those upcoming in 2024 including Catholic systemic and independent schools. Reps reported that members in their chapters were happy with the outcomes of the Hear our Voice campaign of 2022-23 and subsequent wins for Catholic independent schools (Models A, B, C).

Members discussed expectations around school meetings (number and type), face-to-face loads, extracurricular demands in independent schools, and possible restructuring at Western Sydney University’s Academic Pathways program. Other matters included leave portability clauses between Catholic systemic and Catholic independent schools.

We discussed new delegates rights under the Fair Work Act (see p1).

If you cannot attend a sub branch meeting, we encourage you to invite other members to attend, represent their chapters and connect with reps in other schools.

We thank and congratulate President Robert Paluzanno; Deputy President Anthony Leon Downs; Secretary Tina Ruello; and Committee Members Angelique Ockert and Elias Abi-Elias.

This year’s meetings will be held at Club Blacktown on Mondays 13 May, 29 July, and 4 November from 4.30pm to 6pm.

Lubna Haddad Organiser

Hunter Valley

The Hunter Valley Sub Branch includes Newcastle, Maitland, Singleton, Scone, Taree and surrounds.

On Monday 26 February, 27 members from Catholic systemic, independent, Catholic independent schools and early childhood centres attended the Hunter Valley Sub Branch AGM at the Blackbutt Hotel, Kotara.

We thank all the reps for making the effort to attend and represent their chapter, and congratulate members elected to their sub branch executive and committee, including: President Amanda Wood; Deputy President Sarah Gardiner and Secretary Kim Keating. The sub branch committee includes Dot Seamer, Matt Bower, Jarrod McGrath and Steven Newman.

Delegates to Hunter Workers: Sarah Gardiner, Mark Wilson, Amanda Wood, Steven Newman, Carlo Rendina (Hunter Workers Executive), Jim Hall (IEU Organiser) and Therese Fitzgibbon (IEU Organiser).

Please save the date for this year’s meetings: Term 2: Monday 6 May, Blackbutt Hotel Kotara; Term 3: Monday 29 July, Blackbutt Hotel Kotara; Term 4: Monday 25 November (venue to be confirmed, includes Christmas party); and AGM Monday 17 February 2025, Blackbutt Hotel Kotara.

Carlo Rendina Organiser


The Ku-ring-gai Sub Branch covers Sydney’s north shore, including Hornsby, Wahroonga, Waitara, Warrawee, Thornleigh, Pymble, Turramurra, Berowra and Asquith.

The Ku-ring-gai Sub Branch met for its AGM on 13 February at Hornsby RSL. Elections for sub branch executive were held and we congratulate President Judy Betts (re-elected); Secretary Grace Fowles; and committee members Kate Bedloe and Tony Darwell.

Members representing three different sectors covered by the IEU were present and we talked about enterprise bargaining: one sector recently completed with considerable gains; another ongoing; and one preparing for upcoming negotiations.

Workloads were a hot topic as members compared and contrasted the similarities and differences in the demands placed on teachers and support staff in their sector.

Further sub branch meetings this year will be held at Hornsby RSL at 4.30pm in Week 3 of each term: Monday 13 May; Monday 5 August; Monday 28 November; and 11 February 2025.

We encourage all Ku-ring-gai reps and Chapter committee members to come along and, even better, to come along with one or more union colleagues!

Our sub branch conversations are always lively, it’s a great chance to network, and the Hornsby RSL bistro provides top-notch fare.

Charles Wheeler Organiser


The Lansdowne Sub Branch stretches from Lakemba to Liverpool and includes Bankstown, Fairfield, Auburn, Greenacre and Horsley Park.

The Lansdowne Sub Branch held its AGM on 29 February 2024 at Fairfield RSL; 11 reps from a variety of schools attended.

Election results: President James McFarlane (re-elected); Secretary Janina Kozak; and Deputy President Mohamad Elali.

The sub branch also elected Janina Kozak to fill a casual vacancy on Council, ensuring that Lansdowne remains fully represented with six Councillors (for more details, see p8).

Unsustainable workloads were the major topic of discussion, with several reps from nearby Sydney Catholic Schools commenting on different expectations to implement the same programs.

Discovering that some schools were being provided with more time to perform similar tasks has encouraged reps to raise this issue within their own workplace. We look forward to their report back to our sub branch in May.

We also discussed salaries being offered to staff in independent schools under the Association of Independent Schools (AIS), particularly in the lead-up to bargaining for a new enterprise agreement this year.

Save the dates: Lansdowne Sub Branch meetings will be held at Fairfield RSL at 4.30pm on Thursday 30 May; Thursday 22 August and Thursday 14 November.

If you can’t make it, please invite a colleague to attend so your school’s Chapter is represented; or bring another member with you – we’re stronger together.

Everyone is most welcome to stay for dinner.

Aidan Anderson Organiser

Metropolitan East

Upcoming meetings (jointly with Central Metropolitan Sub Branch): 14 May, 4.30pm, IEU office, 485 Wattle Street Ultimo; 7 August, 4.30pm, IEU office, 485 Wattle Street Ultimo; 14 November, 4.30pm, 485 Wattle Street Ultimo; and our next AGM will be held on 19 February 2025, 4.30pm, Randwick Club.

Mid North Coast

The Mid North Coast Sub Branch includes Coffs Harbour, Kempsey, Port Macquarie, Bellingen, Nambucca Heads and surrounds.

The end of 2023 turned into a flurry after the Catholic Schools Office (CSO) issued a fee rise to parents, phrased in a way that disproportionately ‘blamed’ it on teachers’ salaries, setting up teachers as a potential target for distressed parents over the Christmas break.

While members accepted that a wage rise does increase school costs, our concern was how this was communicated. The CSO communique did not recognise that real wage costs had declined for over 10 years while federal funding had risen.

What happened to these savings? Clearly they have not been reinvested into teacher and support staff salaries and neither have fees decreased over this period while real wages have declined.

Many chapters passed motions decrying how these fee rises were managed as it threatened the vital partnership between parents and teachers.

The CSO responded to these concerns but not in way that satisfied members. We hope this episode will encourage the CSO to reflect on the implications of their pronouncements as this will result in better outcomes for all.

Our colleagues in independent schools are still awaiting progress on additional pay rises above their multi-enterprise agreements to better reflect changing economic circumstances. The campaign for this continues.

We wish Brett Bennett all the best as he takes leave and thank him for his years of service as Sub Branch Secretary; and we welcome Ngahine Munokoa as our new Secretary.

We look forward to another productive year championing the excellent contribution teachers and support staff make in our region. Our next meeting will be held at 6pm on Friday 10 May at the Westport Club, Port Macquarie. All Mid North Coast reps and IEU members are welcome.

Markus Muschal Sub Branch President


The Monaro Sub Branch covers Canberra and the ACT.

The well-attended Monaro Sub Branch AGM was held on 29 February 2024 at the IEU’s office in Deakin.

We discussed the new ‘Right to Disconnect’ in and what it means for schools (see p1).

Members raised ongoing issues regarding school camps and how teacher shortages are contributing to already excessive workloads. Teacher shortages are still having a big impact and some schools are advertising for support staff and teaching positions but not getting any applicants.

Members were keenly interested in the new rights for delegates (see p1) and noted the contribution of Monaro member Eugene Lehmensich who shared his lived experience at the Senate inquiry into the Closing Loopholes Bill#1, passed in December 2023 (see also IE magazine, enclosed with this issue, p25).

Congratulations to members, newly elected in sub branch positions, including President Di Lefebvre; Deputy President Alex Thompson; Secretary Anne Barbic; and Committee Members Jacob Betts, Kate MacDonald, David Caton and Anne Leet.

We also welcome and congratulate new Council delegates David Caton and Alex Thompson.

Sub branch meetings will be held at the IEU Office in Deakin on Thursdays at 4.15pm on 23 May, 1 August and 14 November. All reps and members are welcome.

Angela McDonald Organiser

North Coast

The North Coast Sub Branch covers Lismore, Tweed Heads, Kingscliff, Pottsville, Murwillumbah, Mullumbimby, Kyogle, Ballina, Lismore, Casino, Coraki, Woodburn, Yamba and Maclean.

The North Coast Sub Branch held its AGM on 14 February at the Sherwood Hotel Lismore.

We were on the pub’s back deck with the temperature about 35 degrees and almost 100 per cent humidity, like a Bikram yoga class. We blame St Valentine.

We had hoped to hold our first meeting for the year in the IEU’s recently refurbished Lismore office, but we’re not quite there yet. Ten reps from the region attended, and we warmly welcomed IEUA NSW/ACT Branch Secretary Carol Matthews.

It was great to see the breadth of IEU membership at the meeting, with reps from Catholic systemic schools, Catholic independent schools, Anglican schools and Christian Schools.

Following elections, we congratulate President Kath Egan; Deputy President Michael Namrell and Stewart Grant; and Secretary Jennifer Allen.

Members had many issues to discuss, including:

  • frustration at independent schools (represented by the Association of Independent Schools) that have failed to pass on discretionary pay increases unlike others that have done so to help close the pay gap and address serious issues of staff recruitment and retention
  • timetabling and class sharing in colleges: teachers are being asked to teach out of subject area, leading to others taking on extra supervisory and programming loads
  • a lack of transparency around leave and pay scales
  • issues with Catholic systemic staff needing to log payroll enquiries that may or may not be dealt with in a triage system, which is slow for staff with urgent issues.

Save the dates: Our next meetings will be held on Wednesday 15 May at Ballina; Wednesday 7 August at Tweed Heads; Wednesday 6 November at the IEU office in Lismore; and Wednesday 12 Feb 2025 at the IEU office in Lismore.

Richard Ryan Organiser

Northern Beaches

Upcoming sub branch meetings: 8 May, 4pm; 31 July, 4pm, Collaroy Services Club; 6 November, 4pm; and our next AGM will be held on 12 February 2025, 4.30pm, Collaroy Services Club.

Northern Suburbs

The Northern Suburbs Sub Branch covers Atarmon, Chatswood, Cremorne, Gladesville, Gordon, Hunters Hill, Kirribilli, Lane Cove, Lindfield, Milson’s Point, Mosman, North Sydney, Roseville, Ryde, St Ives, St Leonards, Willoughby and Woolwich.

IEU Executive member Anna Luedi renominated as sub branch President.

This year’s meetings will be held on 7 May, 30 July, 5 November, and our next AGM will be held on 11 February 2025.

We encourage all reps within the sub branch to join us for the meetings.

James Jenkins-Flint Organiser

North West

The North West Sub Branch covers the New England region including Armidale, Tamworth, Gunnedah, Tenterfield, Inverell, Moree and Narrabri.

IEU reps from Tamworth, Armidale and as far afield as Warialda convened at the Tamworth Hotel on 16 February.

Our first item was to elect a new committee and the following were endorsed: President Fiona O’Neil; Deputy President Laura Hughes; Secretary Dale Cain; and committee members Harry Vella, Judy Miller, Kara Spicer and Sharon Draper.

All reps will see campaigning in their schools this year with the Catholic Systemic Schools Enterprise Agreement and Work Practices Agreement set for renewal in October. The Multi-Enterprise Agreement that covers schools under the Association of Independent Schools (AIS) is set to get under way.

Workloads, release time and expectations emerging from complex timetabling are concerns across sectors, and in AIS schools this can be even more demanding with cross-campus travel in inadequate time frames.

The Armidale School and Calrossy chapters successfully achieved discretionary pay increases for 2024 but in an unprecedented turn, PLC Armidale teachers were not awarded the same 6% increase their counterparts in PLC Sydney received.

We talked about training for reps in Term 2, and we look forward to welcoming new reps.

Reps and committee members enjoyed a meal together afterwards and will reconvene again on May 10 at the Armidale Ex Services Memorial Club. All reps and members are welcome.

Sue McKay Organiser

Penrith/Blue Mountains

The Penrith/Blue Mountains Sub Branch covers Penrith to Glenbrook, Katoomba and Blackheath.

The Penrith/Blue Mountains Sub Branch AGM on Wednesday 21 February at the Nepean Rowing Club in Penrith was well attended by members, a great opportunity to reconnect after the break.

We began with elections of the sub branch committee: President Liz Heggart (re-elected) Deputy President Natalie Maddock (re-elected) and new Secretary Raquel Sheehy.

We acknowledge the incredible work and commitment of outgoing Secretary Margaret O’Donnell. Margaret has served in this role for many years, always attending meetings and diligently taking minutes to communicate members’ concerns to the union. Margaret remains a delegate to IEU Council and we deeply value her knowledge and experience. Margaret brought her enthusiasm to many stop-works and rallies, International Women’s Day events and social justice initiatives. She has a keen interest in helping members and society as a whole.

At the next IEU Council meeting on 23 March, we will welcome Joanne Neill as an observer, we thank her for this and hope she will join other delegates in the Council elections to be held from 27 March to 24 April (see p8).

IEU Organisers Peter Criticos, Donna Widdison and Jennifer Tait updated the sub branch on several matters. A reminder about the major changes in the Catholic Systemic Schools Enterprise Agreements and Work Practices Agreements, how bargaining will look for independent schools in 2024, and an update on matters involving Catholic independent schools (Models A, B and C). They also alerted us to a NESA update on implementing new syllabuses. The sharing of issues between schools was enlightening and allowed for great discussion among the members as well as an opportunity to ask questions.

Liz Heggart President


The Riverina Sub Branch covers Wagga Wagga, Albury, Griffith, West Wyalong, Leeton, Hay and Thurgoona.

The well-attended Riverina Sub Branch meeting was held in Wagga on 23 February. Reps from across the region attended and we welcomed IEUA NSW/ACT Branch Secretary Carol Matthews.

Long-term reps welcomed a number of new reps from schools across the region.

The meeting discussed a range of issues including the successful campaign in the Catholic systemic sector and the upcoming negotiations for new multi-enterprise agreements covering members in schools under the banner of the Association of Independent Schools (AIS).

We discussed workload issues and we urged members to revisit recent NESA factsheets as a tool for managing expectations.

This meeting was also our sub branch AGM and we congratulate: President Mercedes Goss, St Patrick’s Primary Albury; Deputy President Vanessa Geddes, Xavier Catholic High School Albury and Secretary Terri-Anne Scott, Xavier High School Albury. We also congratulate Committee Members Sean Michael, Narelle Ryall, Sharon Jennings and Sam Avo.

Save the date for our 2024 meetings: 29 May (Albury); 26 July (Griffith); 22 November (Wagga).

We thank all the reps who made the journey to Wagga as well as those who live locally and look forward to seeing you all again at future meetings.

Anthony Telford Organiser

South Coast

The South Coast Sub Branch covers the Macarthur region, the Southern Highlands, Wollongong and the Illawarra region and the northern end of the Shoalhaven region.

The South Coast Sub Branch held its AGM on Wednesday 21 February at City Diggers in Wollongong, with 17 members in attendance.

Sub branch election results: President Marco Cimino; Deputy President Glenn Lowe; Secretary Kane Soligo. We thank outgoing President Glenn Lowe for his six years of service and note he remains on the IEU Executive.

We warmly welcome fresh perspectives from new committee members Jodie Howards, Elizabeth Pellizzari and Meegan Knight.

The meeting discussed a range of matters including recent enterprise agreements (EAs) for both Catholic systemic and Catholic independent schools. It will be a busy year, with Association of Independent Schools multi-enterprise agreements and Catholic systemic EAs being negotiated this year.

Members raised concerns about ongoing challenges related to workloads and teacher shortages. We urge members to revisit the IEU pull-out poster ‘Facts about NESA compliance’ (downloadable from the IEU website).

We clarified expectations around staff meetings for our Catholic systemic members and informed the meeting of recent changes to the Fair Work Act and the right to disconnect (see p1). Payroll matters are still impacting members in Wollongong Diocese so we encourage you to check your payslip closely and contact your IEU organiser if necessary.

Our next meeting will held on Wednesday 15 May at City Diggers in Wollongong and all reps and interested IEU members are welcome to attend, and to join us for dinner after the meeting.

Luke Breen and Valerie Jones Organisers

South East

The South East Sub Branch covers Yass, Young, Broulee, Bega, Goulburn, Tumut, Pambula, Googong, Batehaven, Cooma, Queanbeyan and Batlow.

The AGM held at the Ramada Diplomat was well attended from far and wide, and welcomed IEUA NSW/ACT Branch Secretary Carol Matthews.

Results of sub branch elections include: President Linda Swadling, Mount Carmel Primary School Yass; Deputy President Margaret Findlay, St Peter’s Anglican College Broulee; and Secretary Leonne Challe, St Mary’s Primary School, Young.

Committee members include Simon Fraser; Stephanie Brown; Terrianne Ryan and Andrew Bigwood.

The meeting thanked outgoing President Beth Worthy for her vital contribution to the sub branch.

Discussion at the meeting focused on workloads and health and wellbeing:

  • lack of consultation by school administrations when major changes are introduced that increase teacher workloads
  • lack of support and inadequate training for staff when new processes are introduced
  • unrealistic expectations for teachers to cover staff shortages, including split classes in excess of mandated class sizes, minimal supervision, first aid in classrooms, additional before-school and after-school supervision, recording professional goals and personalised learning pathways, and
  • lack of support for early career teachers and those seeking proficiency.

Jackie Groom Organiser

Southern Suburbs

The Southern Suburbs Sub Branch covers the St George area and the Sutherland Shire.

At our recent AGM, we welcomed two new reps, Mick Maroney from Aquinas Catholic College, Menai; and Simon Mclean from Bethany College, Hurstville.

The sub branch re-elected President Gerard McMullen from De La Salle Catholic College, Caringbah; and Deputy President Paul O’Brien of Marist Catholic College, Kogarah. Committee members: Stuart Jones, Sharon Robinson, Angelo Scali and Mick Maroney.

There was a general positivity across all sectors with the recently endorsed enterprise agreements (EA), pay rises and improvements to parental leave. The IEU will push for pay rises to flow on to schools covered by the Association of Independent Schools multi-enterprise agreements when these come to be renegotiated this year. We note that many independent schools are already answering chapter calls for discretionary pay rises in the interim.

One issue that arose was what we might call ‘bell creep’; that is, sounding the bell after recess or lunch three-to-five minutes before the start of class. Over the course of a year, three minutes a day adds up to 10 hours. We urge members to monitor this issue.

Remember that employers are required to consult with employees when introducing significant changes likely to have an impact on them.

The offsetting of attendance at camps and retreats was raised as a particular area of concern within the Catholic systemic sector and those present agreed to complete a survey to fully understand what is happening in this area.

Our next meeting is at 4.30pm on Wednesday 15 May at Tradies Gymea. All Southern Suburbs Reps and IEU activists are welcome to join us. Light refreshments will be provided.

Josef Dabbs Organiser


Read for a full update.