Supporting the independent education community

Sub branch stays strong


The IEU again thanks its principal members for their great efforts, as well of those of their staff, in meeting the evolving challenges of Term 2 as students returned to classrooms.  


The Principals’ Sub Branch met by Zoom on 2 May. Issues raised include:


  • COVID-19: managing staff workloads and ensuring appropriate work, health and safety and hygiene provisions
  • government and system expectations around assessment and reporting in Term 2
  • HSC 2020: clarifying arrangements, including students’ major works
  • Nationally Consistent Collection of Data (NCCD): whether there would be any changes this year to the process, which is linked to funding for students with special needs

Principal members of the Sydney Archdiocese and the Parramatta Diocese have also held online meetings.


The Term 3 Principals’ sub branch meeting will be held on 8 August.


The union is working with our Catholic systemic principals to progress EA negotiations. Principals had strongly stated that any further delay to bargaining because of COVID-19 is unreasonable and unfair to staff, including principals, who have been carrying out their work with extraordinary dedication and commitment in very challenging times – without the 2.5 per cent already paid to their colleagues in the NSW DET. In the words of one principal, “we’ve received the praise but not the pay”. We appreciate the Sydney and Parramatta principals’ meetings for voicing their support for an interim pay rise of 2.5 per cent to be paid pending finalisation of the EA.   


As principals are aware, IEU chapters in schools met throughout May and early June to endorse resolutions calling for Catholic employers to resume bargaining with the union in relation to pay and conditions for teachers, support staff and principals, and to match the 2.5 per cent pay increase from January 2020 for government school teachers in NSW (3 per cent from July 2020 for teachers in the ACT) and for a minimum 2.5 per cent pay rise for principals and support staff. These chapter resolutions have also called for raises to support staff pay in line with increases received in 2019 by support staff in NSW government schools.


Thanks to the ongoing commitment and member-led actions of IEU chapters in Catholic systemic schools, CCER has returned to the bargaining table. In a meeting between representatives from the union and CCER on Wednesday 24 June, the union secured a commitment from all dioceses to lock in pre-COVID understandings regarding pay and conditions. CCER has confirmed, and members can look forward to, the back payment of a 2.5 per cent salary increase due in January of this year as soon as the new agreement is finalised. Members can also expect a further 2.28 per cent increase in January 2021.


The union expects the EA will be finalised ready for voting in the second half of Term 3. Members will be provided with further details closer to the date and as negotiations continue.


The union expects dioceses will back pay staff after a “Yes” vote by members on the EA.


For more information, see EA bargaining update – Catholic systemic schools.


The union celebrated World School Support Staff Day on Friday 15 May and we thank those principals who held activities to acknowledge their support staff.


The latest Principals’ Health and Wellbeing report from the Teachers Health/ACU survey of school leaders unfortunately shows no reduction in principals’ workloads and stress. The survey was undertaken before the coronavirus pandemic, and it is highly likely these factors have intensified in recent months. Please see more details in this newsletter – we invite your feedback.


The union values the opportunity to work with principal members to address challenges and protect and advance your industrial and professional interests, along with your wellbeing.


Pam Smith, Principals’ Organiser