The 2020 IEU Principals Sub Branch AGM was held on 15 February and appreciation is expressed to those who have accepted leadership roles in the sub branch. In particular, congratulations to Sidonie Coffey on being re-elected president, Kathy Neely as deputy president, and Jude Ryan and Des Fox as joint secretaries. Noeleen O’Neill, Geoff McManus, Peter Meers and Chris Egan were elected as sub branch committee members.
Future sub branch meeting dates have been set for 2 May, 8 August (to be confirmed, subject to COVID-19), 7 November and 13 February next year. Regional principals’ gatherings are also a vital way for the IEU to engage with principal members and, as in 2019, opportunities for these events are most welcome.
The participation of principal members from the independent schools’ sector in IEU principals’ activities is also warmly invited. The union hosts a teleconference for independent sector principals each year and is also very open to other opportunities to engage and be of support.
At the sub branch meeting, priority areas for principals were identified as the Catholic systemic enterprise agreement negotiations, workload and wellbeing issues for principals and staff, and the need for support by employers for principals in their challenging and diverse roles.
Principals at the meeting also spoke of the impact of the drought, bushfires, poor air quality and other extreme weather events on their school communities. As noted in a previous Newsmonth, there has been networking amongst principals and schools to provide support for communities affected by drought and fire in particular, with several practical examples being provided at the sub branch meeting.
There was also a significant participation of principal members in the IEU’s online PD session on ‘Responding to bushfire trauma’ held on 11 February and an interest by principals in using this input as appropriate with their school communities.
The IEU thanks its principal members for their support and looks forward to working with them during the year ahead to protect and enhance the industrial, professional and wellbeing interests of principals and their staff.