Landmark agreement on principals’ pay announced

Landmark agreement on principals’ pay announced

Equal rates of pay could soon apply for Catholic primary and secondary principals following a new Principals Enterprise agreement announced by the Catholic Commission of Employment Relations (CCER).

The changes, which apply to ten Catholic Dioceses across NSW and the ACT, will come into effect following approval by the Fair Work Commission (FWC).

CCER executive director, Tony Farley, who led the negotiations, said the changes are justified as primary education “is no less important than high school”.

“Our primary school leaders are just as important and qualified but have worked under an historical disparity that has existed in all education systems,” he said in a statement.

“As well as providing a 2.5% per annum increase for all principals, this agreement sends a very clear message that the Catholic school system values the specialist expertise required to provide the highest quality primary school education.”

In some cases, the increase for primary school principals will represent a one-off 9% increase which highlights the historical anomalies that have existed for primary school principals.

“CCER is genuinely pleased to have taken a proactive approach to valuing the work and leadership role of principals,” Farley said, adding that principals are at the “cutting edge of innovation and change.”

“This agreement responds to the latest research that highlights the importance of the early years of a child’s education. We are not just an employer group – we’re about making contemporary agreements that build capacity and reward great work.”

The key changes are summarised below:

  • equal rates of pay for primary and secondary principals;
  • two classification levels – Foundation Principal and Accomplished Principal – with rates of pay linked to school enrolment bands;
  • an additional loading of no greater than 10% in circumstances where an employer determines that a school has particular recruitment needs, including boarding schools;
  • a Catholic Ethos provision similar to that applying to Teachers and General Employees; and
  • leave conditions and entitlements similar to arrangements for Teachers to apply from 2017.


CCER executive director, Tony Farley, has been contacted for comment.