Agreement advances principals' position

Following lengthy negotiations with Catholic sector employers, agreement has now been reached for a new three year multi enterprise agreement (MEA) to cover principals in 10 dioceses and also for an enterprise agreement (EA) for principals in the Sydney Archdiocese.

Appreciation is expressed to IEU principal members for their involvement in the EA consultation processes, including at a range of meetings, teleconferences and via the Union’s Principals Sub Branch.

Principals covered by the 10 diocese MEA voted on 27 and 28 February to endorse the Agreement and Sydney Archdiocese principals were scheduled to vote on their EA during the period 8 to 14 March.

After fine tuning a number of issues such as contract provisions, access to professional development, and continued flexibility of long service leave arrangements, the IEU emailed all its NSW and ACT principal members to endorse a ‘yes’ vote for the agreements.

It is the view of the IEU that a vote in favour of these agreements will provide clarity and certainty to protect and advance the interests of principals over the coming three years.

The MEA provides the following benefits for principals in the ten dioceses which it covers:

pay rises of at least 2.5%, with many principals achieving more significant increases

additional loading of up to 10% for principals of schools in a remote location or where there are other special factors (including diocesan boarding schools), and

a new classification structure which recognises both the size of the school and principals’ experience, noting that principals employed prior to the commencement date of the agreement will be deemed to be ‘Accomplished’.

The EA for Sydney principals includes:

pay rises of 2.5% per annum over the term of the EA, with larger increases in some instances

continuation of a classification structure that recognises both the size of the school and principals’ experience

automatic appointment for principals to the second incremental step of the level in small primary schools (up to 449 students) (for principals appointed on a permanent basis).

greater clarity around progression and contract renewal processes, including in situations where the employer has not advanced the process in a timely manner

clarification around classification and progression when principals change schools in the Archdiocese.

protection until the end of the current contract period if enrolments decline to a lower salary band level, and

a commitment to the equitable and transparent resourcing of professional learning opportunities for principals.

Principals with a specific inquiry about how the NSW/ACT MEA or the Sydney EA applies to them should contact their employer in the first instance for clarification and then follow up with the IEU if there are any ongoing issues or concerns.

Pam Smith
Principals Organiser