Meeting with principals a vital area of union engagement

IEU’s Principals’ Branch met at the Union’s Parramatta office on 7 November with a focus on the current EA negotiations for Catholic systemic principals.

As principals will be aware from previous IEU meetings and communications, the IEU has been engaged in negotiations with CCER for a new Principals’ Multi-Enterprise Agreement to apply in all NSW and ACT dioceses. Discussions have also occurred in recent times with Sydney CEO in regard to principals’ classification, remuneration and other aspects of working conditions.

Following these discussions, the Union has now reached in principle agreement with the Sydney Archdiocese for a new enterprise agreement (EA) to apply to principals. This proposed agreement would apply for 2016 only.

The IEU will continue to discuss with CCER the implications of the Sydney proposal for principals in other dioceses with a view to achieving a MEA to protect and enhance the interests of NSW and ACT principals.

In addition to salaries and other aspects of remuneration, issues raised by principals with the IEU and at CCER consultations have included workload and wellbeing, funding and other aspects of school resourcing, and dealing with Parish Priests and school communities.

Wellbeing survey

Many IEU principal members have also participated in the ACU/Teachers Health Fund principals’ wellbeing survey and data from this research will help inform current and future industrial negotiations on behalf of principals.

Meetings with principal members are a vital area of IEU engagement and recent Catholic sector meetings have been held with principals in the Archdioceses of Sydney and Canberra-Goulburn and in the Bathurst, Wilcannia-Forbes, Broken Bay, Wagga Wagga and Wollongong Dioceses. Further Term 4 meetings are scheduled with principals in the Maitland-Newcastle, Armidale and Lismore Dioceses.

A teleconference for independent sector IEU principal members was held on 29 October with agenda items including BOSTES accreditation for pre 2004 teachers and principals, current and emerging workload issues, and dealing with school boards/governing bodies.

It is with great sadness that the Union notes the sudden deaths of two principals - Michael Connell at St Columba’s at Berrigan in the Wagga Wagga Diocese and Terry McGoldrick at St Lawrence’s at Coonabarabran in the Bathurst Diocese. Tributes were made to both Michael and Terry at the recent Principals’ Branch meeting and our thoughts and prayers are with their families and school communities.

The IEU thanks principals for their support during the past year and especially acknowledges the contribution of those who attended Principals’ Branch meetings on other gatherings. In 2016, the Principals’ Branch AGM will be held on 13 February, with other meeting dates scheduled for 7 May, 6 August and 5 November.

Pam Smith
Principals Organiser