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 reps and 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 115 member delegates from throughout NSW and the ACT ( more information ).

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

All reps and any IEU members who’d like to develop 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

The Central Coast Sub Branch includes Gosford, Erina, Green Point, Lake Munmorah, Tuggerah, Wyong and surrounds.

The Central Coast Sub Branch met on Thursday 9 May at Ourimbah RSL, with four reps from Catholic systemic schools attending.

Broken Bay teachers are paid 1.5% more than teachers in the other Catholic dioceses and undertake fewer hours of face-to-face teaching as part of their enterprise agreement and Work Practices Agreement. These agreements expire in December. We discussed how to maintain these entitlements in the next agreements.

Broken Bay support staff received the same 8% increase as teachers in October 2023. There was a discussion about the importance of maintaining this new differential with other dioceses.

Our next meeting is on Thursday 1 August at Ourimbah RSL. It would be great to see more chapters represented – bring another member and join us for dinner.

Jim Hall Organiser

Central Metropolitan and Metropolitan East

The Central Metropolitan Sub Branch includes central Sydney, Sydney’s inner-western suburbs and Rhodes, Concord and Meadowbank. The Metropolitan East Sub Branch covers the eastern suburbs of Sydney, including Bondi, Waverley, Bellevue Hill and Maroubra.

On Tuesday 14 May we held a combined meeting of our Central Metropolitan and Metropolitan East Sub Branches at our Ultimo headquarters.

IEUA NSW/ACT Branch Assistant Secretary Amanda Hioe provided information about the new bargaining streams available under the Fair Work Act.

Reps discussed issues at their schools, including workplace debates about the meaning of personal leave clauses in enterprise agreements, personal leave rights in different sectors and meeting times. We also heard from a rep at a school that is covered by the modern award, who explained the issues her small chapter faces and their wish to move to an enterprise agreement.

We encourage all reps and members to attend our next combined Central Metropolitan/Metropolitan East Sub Branch meeting in Ultimo on Wednesday 7 August at 4.30pm (parking, child-minding and dinner all provided).

David Whitcombe Organiser

Central West Branch

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

The Central West Sub Branch met in Orange on 24 May for a dinner meeting, with many chapters represented. Items covered included the new independent school campaign, an ISTAA update, the Catholic systemic campaign, the election of Council delegates (of which we are two short) and the process to elect them (see p 4).

The chapters that were represented raised issues concerning their own workplaces. These included programming, class sizes, and the new pay system to be rolled out across the Bathurst diocese.

This sub branch would like to extend a huge thank you to Bruce Paine for his representation not only at the Central West Sub Branch level but also for his role as Vice President Non-Systemic on the IEU Executive. Bruce has inspired many of us to become active advocates for the IEU.

The sub branch would also like to acknowledge the tireless work of Jackie Groom as our organiser. The thousands of kilometres that she travelled and the support she gave members was astounding. We wish Jackie many more happy adventures in her new sub branch.

Louise Hughes Sub Branch President


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

The Cumberland Sub Branch meeting was due to be held on May 13 at Club Blacktown. Regrettably, we failed to achieve a quorum. Cumberland is one of the largest sub branches and while we know everyone is busy, it is important that reps give voice to their chapters, particularly as bargaining is underway in AIS schools and Catholic systemic agreements will be up for renegotiation in October.

Our next meeting is scheduled for Monday 29 July at Club Blacktown at 4.30 pm. We invite all reps to attend or encourage another member to attend in your place to represent your chapter. You are welcome to bring a colleague if you’d prefer not to attend on your own.

The union invites you to stay for dinner on us afterwards to recognise your time and effort in representing your chapter.

Lubna Haddad Organiser

Hunter Valley

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

The Hunter Valley Sub Branch met on Monday 13 May with representatives from independent schools, early childhood services and Catholic systemic schools in attendance. Reps from independent schools discussed the current bargaining for a new enterprise agreement, and this networking is invaluable.

The sub branch moved the following motion:

“The Hunter Valley Sub Branch of the IEU calls on the CEO and Director of Schools, Sean Scanlon, to recognise the long-term parity arrangement that exists between Maitland-Newcastle Catholic Schools Office employees and Catholic systemic school employees, and immediately pass on an 8% salary increase retrospective to October 2023.

“The sub branch expresses its deep disappointment in the devaluing of the roles performed by education officers, professional officers, psychologists, and support staff in the CSO. The sub branch calls on the diocese to demonstrate a commitment to education by supporting those employees who we rely on to support schools.

“This chapter notes the increasing disconnect between the diocese and Catholic schools. The chapter views this action as reflective of a lack of understanding of the criticality of the work performed by these members in supporting the educational and wellbeing needs of school communities.” Carried unanimously. (See also p 6.)

Therese Fitzgibbon 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 Term 2 on Monday 13 May. We had a record turnout with reps and members from a broad range of schools – Catholic systemic, independent, primary, secondary, teachers and support staff. As well as Ku-ring-gai organisers Charles Wheeler and James Jenkins-Flint, the meeting welcomed IEUA NSW/ACT Branch Deputy Secretary David Towson and Media and Communications Coordinator Monica Crouch.

Discussion included bargaining in independent schools and the IEU’s claim, the future of the Independent Schools Teacher Accreditation Authority (ISTAA) process, Catholic systemic issues specific to the Diocese of Broken Bay and of course workload intensification and staff wellbeing. As always, it was a great chance for attendees to compare notes, share stories, network and learn from each other.

The Ku-ring-gai Sub Branch will meet in the bistro at Hornsby RSL at 4:30pm on August 5. Join us to talk about the issues at your school, and to share a meal and a drink.

Charles Wheeler Organiser

Mid North Coast

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

Ten delegates, all from Catholic systemic schools, attended the Mid North Coast meeting at Port Macquarie on Friday 17 May.

With a new Catholic enterprise agreement (EA) and the Lismore Work Practices Agreement (WPA) to be negotiated later this year, there were many suggestions about what to consider in our claim, including:

  • limiting the number of playground duties in primary schools
  • ensuring extra playground duties are counted towards the extras
    limited by the WPA
  • appropriate allocation of leadership points for leaders of
    wellbeing, ensuring best practice and consistency across the
  • special sick leave as per NSW Department of Education
    provisions, that is: “Special sick leave may be granted to a full-time
    permanent teacher on the basis of 22 additional working days for
    each completed 10 years of service”.

The sub branch passed a motion that the special sick leave claim be taken to June Council, seeking broader union support.

Other issues raised included support staff workloads, the diocese’s redeployment policy, workload impositions on mentors, student disciplinary procedures and the lack of recognition of the work of teacher-librarians.

We also considered how the union might best recognise and celebrate the work and achievements of long-standing members who have made significant contributions to the IEU. A motion was passed supporting this. Suzanne Penson will raise the matter at the next IEU Executive meeting.

Our Term 3 sub branch meeting will be held at Sawtell RSL on Friday 2 August followed by dinner. We look forward to seeing you there.

Markus Muschal Sub Branch President


The Monaro Sub Branch covers Canberra and the ACT. It met on Thursday 23 May 2024.

We congratulated our newly elected IEU Council members: David Caton, Alex Thompson, Anne Leet, Dianne Lefebvre, Jacob Betts and Kate MacDonald. We thanked the outgoing Council member, Eugene Lehmensich, for his engagement and participation on Council.

We also extend congratulations to our new IEU Vice President ACT, on the IEU Executive, Andrew Dane.

Much of the meeting conversation revolved around ongoing member concerns about the lack of relief staff and the impacts of this. Staff are being asked to fill absences by taking on additional classes, doubling classes, plus teaching while providing minimal supervision to another class.

Schools are using creative ways to manage the staff shortages. However, often the solutions result in increased workload for staff who are already under pressure due to overwhelming workloads.

Members expressed health and safety concerns for staff and students and urged the IEU to explore all options to ensure that schools are safe.

Dianne Lefebvre Sub Branch President

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 meeting was held on Wednesday 15 May at Ballina Indoor Sports Centre and was well attended with 14 reps across Catholic systemic schools, Catholic independent schools, CSA Christian schools and AIS independent schools. Acting Secretary David Towson and Industrial Officer Carolyn Moore attended.

This diverse mix of schools made for interesting feedback, and discussion included:

  • the good engagement of Christian school staff with the IEU’s
    petition to the employer about their enterprise agreement
  • AIS sector: pay disparity is the biggest issue and workloads are increasing. There is no time in lieu for staff attending interstate or overseas excursions (learning experiences) in non-term time
  • the possibility of single-interest bargaining is attractive for some
    AIS schools
  • itwas good to hear that some Catholic systemic schools
    have drastically cut back on meeting times allowing more time
    for teachers to plan, mark, program etc – this change has been
    welcomed by members
  • cycle of improvement goals have been reduced from two to one, in recognition of teacher workloads
  • new timetables have been introduced resulting in new classes and courses for some secondary teachers
  • some schools may make coordinator positions permanent
  • learning walks into classrooms by executive are regularly happening in one school and reports of the learning walks are published on the school intranet.

Richard Ryan Organiser

Northern Beaches

The Northern Beaches Sub Branch includes Manly, Dee Why, Collaroy, Narrabeen, Terrey Hills, Warriewood and surrounds.

While we didn’t reach a quorum at our meeting, we encourage all reps in the sub branch to attend the next meeting, to be held at 4pm on 31 July at the Collaroy Services Club. We warmly invite you to join us and share a meal after the meeting, and you’re welcome to bring another member with you. We look forward to seeing you.

Megan Bruce Organiser

Northern Suburbs

The Northern Suburbs Sub Branch covers Artarmon, 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.

The meeting was held on Tuesday 7 May at 4pm. Reps reported that casual teachers for Catholic systemic schools in the lower North Shore are still difficult to find. This is despite the Broken Bay Diocese’s premium in pay for both permanent and casual staff.

Reps also reported that managing student behaviour is becoming more difficult due to parents resisting school disciplinary policies and school leadership, in some cases, relenting to parental pressure.

Unreasonable workloads around the NCCD have returned to some schools, with executive staff completing tasks during the school non-term time, with the requirement to complete such tasks coming from ‘diverse learning’ teams within Sydney Catholic Schools.

James Jenkins-Flint Organiser

Members at the North West Sub Branch meeting

North West

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

The Term 2 North West Sub Branch was held in the evening of Friday 10 May with a solid group of delegates as well as some last-minute apologies due to illness. We had plenty of members to celebrate, with 40-year membership presentations pending for Michael Perkins, currently working across several Catholic systemic primary schools, and Joe Dimech of St Nicholas Primary School Tamworth. Colleagues also acknowledged Geraldine Chapman, based at the Catholic Schools Office, earlier in the year. At Armidale’s O’Connor Catholic College, Kathryn Czinner, Vicki Channon and Denise Fittler are all marking 30 years of continuous membership.

The sub branch congratulates and acknowledges the contribution of each of these members.

Our sub branch also congratulates Kara Spicer who received an IEU Environment Grant on behalf of O’Connor Catholic College.

The campaign for AIS schools was a key agenda item with PLC, Calrossy, TAS (The Armidale School), NEGS (New England Grammar School), Minimbah and now Carinya Christian School seeing the expiry of their current MEA in January 2025. Bargaining between the IEU and the AIS has commenced and members have been asked to endorse the claim and encourage non-members to support the negotiations by joining their union.

Moree and Liberty Christian Schools in our sub branch are covered by the Christian Schools Australia Agreement and were noted as being in a gridlock situation with a petition of members underway.

The meeting concluded with one of our delegates proposing a motion that was endorsed unanimously:

“The North West Branch calls on the IEU to pursue with the Minister for Education and NESA that the need to have programs as evidence of compliance is unnecessary.”

The sub branch meets again on Friday 2 August in Tamworth. All IEU reps and interested members in the North West are welcome to attend and join us for a meal afterwards.

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 meeting was held on 22 May at the Nepean Rowing Club, Penrith. Attendance was good, with members reconnecting and sharing their experiences.

Outgoing Secretary Margaret O’Donnell was honoured for her years of dedicated service, with a motion passed expressing gratitude for her contributions.

Upcoming actions include launching an online petition to advocate for improved CSA offers and preparations for the independent schools’ campaign. Focus areas will include teacher workload, fair processes, and parental leave improvements.

There was disappointing engagement in Council elections, with vacancies across the state. A subsequent election is under way to fill these vacancies, for more details and how to nominate, see p 4.

We urge members in our sub branch to participate in upcoming meeting, campaigns, and events to strengthen union efforts and ensure fair negotiations for enterprise agreements.

The sub branch acknowledges the work of the IEU in CSA (Christian schools) negotiations, appreciating the focus on member participation, with 92 per cent of CSA members rejecting the offer.

The campaign for members in independent schools is ramping up; and we encourage Catholic systemic members to talk to their organiser ahead of negotiations for a new agreement in October.

Liz Heggart Sub Branch President

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 Term 2 meeting on Wednesday 15 May, at City Diggers with 19 members in attendance.

Members raised ongoing concerns with payroll matters, classification issues, and a lack of casual teachers, which is impacting many schools across the sub branch. The union advises members to keep records and contact their organiser for support.

The Term 3 South Coast Sub Branch meeting will be held on Wednesday 31 July at Campbelltown RSL. All reps and interested IEU members are welcome to attend, with dinner following the meeting.

Luke Breen and Valerie Jones Organisers

Members at the South East Sub Branch meeting

South East

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

The South East Sub Branch met at the Quality Hotel in Dickson, ACT on Friday 17 May. Delegates travelled from Yass, Young, Pambula, Bega, Googong, Batehaven, Cooma, Queanbeyan and Batlow. The meeting welcomed IEU organisers Jackie Groom and Angela McDonald; as well as IEUA NSW/ACT Branch Assistant Secretary Lyn Caton.

It was pleasing to learn that the South East Sub Branch had a full complement of delegates elected to IEU Council. Congratulations to Linda Swadling, Simon Fraser, Terrianne Ryan, Leonne Challon and Margaret Findlay (for more about Council, see p 4).

The sub branch appreciated the work of the union with AITSL and NESA to assist in reducing teacher workloads around compliance.

Issues raised by schools and discussed included:

  • relief from face-to-face (RFF) teaching for part-time staff
  • on return from sick leave, staff are being given ‘extras’ – perceived
    by members as a punishment
  • low Variation Curriculum and InitiaLit literacy program annotation
  • middle management being ‘loaded up’ when off class as well as
    having their own teaching load
  • targeted teachers for acceleration being asked to do more/attend
    more PD along with no additional time release
  • continued aggressive behaviour (and its allied trauma for
    students and teaching staff)
  • mandatory training outside of work hours
  • social media postings by students relating to staff and the effects on the professional and personal life of staff

Linda Swadling President

Southern Suburbs

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

The Southern Suburbs Sub Branch meeting was well attended eith close to 20 reps. We welcomed some new reps to their first sub branch meeting: Madeline Turner from St Jospeh’s Catholic Primary School in Como, Rimas Kazokas from St Patrick’s College in Sutherland, Katherine Gavrielatos from St Francis Xavier Catholic Primary in Arncliffe, Simon McLean from Bethany College in Hurstville, and Phillip Pain from St George Christian School also in Hurstville.

Discussion ranged across a variety of topics, including:

  • support requirements for relieving RFF teachers
  • requirements for Year 7 interim reports and parent teacher
  • permanency for LSOs.
  • entitlement to a 30-minute uninterrupted lunch break.

There was a stress on the need for individual school chapters to come together to solve issues and mould their workplaces to benefit staff. The new AIS campaign was welcomed as an opportunity to put into place workload reduction mechanisms alongside increased pay and improved parental leave and long service leave provisions.

Josef Dabbs Organiser

Principals’ Sub Branch

Principal reps from NSW and the ACT met on 11 April at the IEU’s office in Sydney.

The meeting opened with a presentation by IEU Professional Engagement Coordinator Pat Devery who spoke about the new Australian Teacher Performance and Development Framework (ATPDF) developed by the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) in consultation with the IEU (see pp 9-12).

The Fact Sheet provides clear and concise advice about what is required to comply with the ATPDF and identifies practices that are excessive. Principals expressed their gratitude for the IEU’s advocacy and expertise in this space.

A wide variety of matters were raised including:

  • Issues around payroll, finance and classification of staff,
    including the transition of payroll cycles, overpayments and
  • The introduction of new policies and the lack of consultation,
    particularly regarding the employment of casual staff, workers
    compensation and student graduations.
  • Significant budget cuts at all levels of governance.
  • Principal tenure and its challenges in each diocese and/or school.

The announcement of the new interim director for SCS was welcomed.

Members talked about the role of the IEU chapter rep and their organiser, and the potential to meet on a more regular basis. Several diocesan principal chapter meetings were canvassed, with the first in Lismore on 5 June.

We thank all principal reps for their ongoing support of their member colleagues and attendance at the sub branch.

Lyn Caton Principals’ Organiser