The formation of a staff association engenders trust in a Principal. Not only is it a good industrial forum but, if it has a broader focus on well-being, is also a good pastoral and social body.
The elected president of the staff association is a sounding board for perceived grievances and an advocate for more reticent employees.
The Principal meets with the president once a month and informally as needs arise.
The staff association needs a constitution that is clearly empowering. It needs permission to think and act industrially, within the bounds of legislation, and not be confined to pastoral and social issues alone.
Depending on school size, it is best to allow the president time during school hours to attend to members needs.
They need to be accessible to employees, especially during break times and time for administrative aspects of the role.