Wins for principals in new union Agreement

The level of complexity of school communities will be better recognised in a new proposed Principals Agreement, endorsed by Australian Education Union (AEU) members in a recent ballot.

“AEU principal members have worked hard to negotiate significant wins and the Agreement has been strongly endorsed in a member ballot,” said David Genford, AEU Tasmania President.

A central plank of the AEU Principals Agreement 2023 is determining principal salary levels by “global school budgets” (staffing and cash allocations) rather than just student enrolment numbers. The new model will more accurately measure the complexity of schools. 

A significant number of schools will be reclassified at a higher level and principals at these schools will be remunerated accordingly, with pay increases of up to 17 percent in some cases. Principals whose school has been reclassified upward will be back paid up to 22 months.

“This is a very welcome outcome for principals who have an incredibly demanding role, and we hope this will aid the retention of these important leaders,” said Mr Genford.

“Better appraisal of school complexity and recognition for the principal will be an important step in helping to reduce churn in leadership positions at some of our most demanding schools and this will benefit staff and students.”

Gains in the Principals Agreement 2023 offer include:

  •  School classifications will be determined based on global school budgets and not just student enrolments, to better reflect the complexity of schools. 
  • A significant number of schools will be reclassified at a higher level.  The substantive principal in that school will be appointed to the higher level without having to apply for the position.
  • No principal member will be worse off. Salary maintenance is guaranteed for the very small number of cases where a school has been reclassified at a lower level.
  • The inclusion of three progression points within each level of the salary classification, providing for incremental salary increases in acknowledgement of the skills and expertise that principals continue to develop after appointment.
  • Back pay for principals who have been substantively appointed to their school at any time since the beginning of Term 1 2022, where their school classification increases upon registration of the Agreement.
  • A review process so school classifications can be adjusted over time, in line with changes to global school budgets, and to ensure it continues to operate as intended.

The proposed Agreement offer will now go to the Tasmanian Industrial Commission (TIC) for approval and registration.