IEU’s Principals Sub Branch met on 5 August at the IEU Parramatta office and the Term 4 Sub Branch meeting is scheduled for 4 November.
Regional principals’ events are planned for 14 September for Sydney Inner West principals, 30 October in Forbes, 1 November in Wagga Wagga, 22 November in the Wollongong Diocese and 24 November in Armidale.
A teleconference for independent sector principals will be held on 14 September. Proposals for other diocesan or sector principals’ gatherings are always welcome.
Catholic systemic enterprise agreement (EA) for teachers and general employees
IEU thanks principal members for their engagement with the negotiation of their own EAs (now in place) and for their understanding and support for their teacher and general employee colleagues during the current EA negotiations.
Principals in Catholic systemic schools will be aware of IEU concerns about arbitration – access to the ‘fair umpire.’ The concern relates to dispute resolution in the EA and (specifically about access to Fair Work Commission arbitration.) Access to such arbitration is in place in the Catholic sectors in Victoria and Queensland, for Catholic health service employees, and for most NSW Government sector workers.
Until earlier this year, NSW/ACT Catholic employers had not disputed the right to arbitration under the systemic EA and the IEU has only pursued a limited number of matters to arbitration. There is no reason to think that this limited use would change but the right to arbitration is an essential one. Enterprise agreements and work practices agreements need to be able to be enforced where necessary. Arbitration is a fair, mature, and cost-effective way to solve intractable disputes.
While EAs for NSW/ACT Catholic systemic principals are already in place, the interpretation of access to arbitration of disputes is of relevance to all Catholic sector employees.
Funding continues to be of concern to many principals and was discussed extensively at the 5 August Principals’ Sub Branch meeting, including how current funding concerns are being managed by different employers, including Sydney, Broken Bay and Canberra-Goulburn Dioceses.
Specific concerns raised by principals have included:
• the contentious Socio Economic Status (SES) Index – while the Federal Government has now agreed to review the SES in 2018, this remains a major issue for the non government education sector
• removal of the ‘system weighted average’ which has operated in some systems such as the Catholic sector, and
• despite the information from the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data (with all its problems), it is estimated that up to 90% of students with disabilities/special needs could receive lower funding than is now the situation.
IEU at all levels will continue to contribute to the funding debate to argue for fair, transparent, adequate and sustainable funding so that IEU members can undertake their vital work in a climate of greater certainty.
Headlines enews for school leaders
Term 3 edition of Headlines was recently circulated, with a focus of the current Catholic systemic EA campaign, an update on NESA cyclical and random inspections, and on the IEU’s professional development and training agenda.
All principal members are encouraged to be aware, informed and active in the IEU, with input to Headlines most welcome.