NSW Teachers Federation in talks on new principal salaries classification scheme

by The Educator22 Sep 2015
The Teachers Federation laid out its stance on a range of key issues related to salaries for school principals for next year in an Industrial Bulletin distributed to members just days ago.

Issues raised include the Federation’s motivation for opposing the Local Schools, Local Decisions policy and a school budget-based principal classification structure and the need to ensure that the new classification structure is implemented in compliance with Section 5.3 of the Terms of Settlement for the current Salaries and Conditions Award.

It also deals with the Federation’s plan to make a claim for a return to a student enrolment-based principal classification structure in negotiations for the next Award. In addition, the bulletin features key focal points such as the protection of small school principal positions and potential staffing implications of the new principal classification structure.

The Federation noted that it opposed a principal classification structure based on school budgets “because principals are educational leaders and their role extends beyond financial management.”

It argued that the complexity of schools would be better addressed by offering additional executive release along with more teaching and support staff and added that the Department had rejected its arguments and had insisted on including a budget-based principal classification structure in the Award.

The Fedaration said that the Department’s initial proposal for a new principal classification structure would have changed principals of PP6 and PP5 schools to Lead Teacher 1 or 2, cut administrative release time and linked all such schools to a larger school.

“This structure was also unacceptable because while some principals would have benefited from higher salaries, hundreds of others would have suffered a salary cut and potential loss of superannuation,” it noted.

“In response to Federation’s opposition to these changes, the Department conceded that all principals of PP6 and PP5 schools will remain as principals, not Lead Teachers,” added the Federation. “While they are classified as Teaching Principals in the wording of the Award, there is no change in responsibility, leadership or authority. They are and will be called principals.”

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