As we look ahead to the 2016 school year it’s a chance to look at where we have been; the year ahead holds many new challenges as well as some of the same old ones.
That sense of an ever increasing workload and pressure to do more flows through all sectors of a school. It is important to remember that as employees on an hourly wage rate, we should be paid for all the work we do. If there are simply not enough work hours to do what we are being asked to do – say so. Ask that extra hours be granted or overtime be approved, before doing work and/or professional development tasks outside of your normal paid hours.
During the break I had the great pleasure of doing a road trip through central and western NSW, where I noticed the number of small towns with independent schools. I am in awe of how staff must be so well organised with resources, when it is not as simple of just going down to the local department store to buy materials. Networking is invaluable for staff and the sharing of information is paramount. The IEU plays an important role in this networking and information gathering.
Some locals spoke to me about the inconsistencies with communications; specifically, the internet is not always reliable and often phone lines are down. However, the upside is that nearly all do not regret staying or moving to the country for a different lifestyle and strong sense of community. We need to be mindful of communication issues when we network within the Union.
So, welcome back and I wish all staff well for a year of growth and fulfillment.