• 2013 Annual Report Banner
  • Action Area 5 – Finance and Resources


    Industrial Relations

    The Industrial Relations Unit of the Catholic Education Office Melbourne (CEOM) provides an industrial relations service to Catholic schools across Victoria, funded under a Service Level Agreement with the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria Ltd (CECV). It also provides services and advice to parish priests and school principals on industrial relations, Occupational Health and Safety (OHS), WorkCover and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO).

    Enterprise Bargaining

    During 2013 extensive enterprise bargaining negotiations continued and an in-principle agreement was reached with the Independent Education Union of Australia Victoria Tasmania (IEU) in September 2013 for a new enterprise agreement for staff in Catholic schools and Catholic education offices.

    The Victorian Catholic Education Multi Enterprise Agreement 2013 was overwhelming approved by employees and was approved by the Fair Work Commission on 13 November 2013. The new agreement commenced operation on 20 November 2013 and has a nominal expiry date of 31 October 2016.

    IR Signing of Agreement
    Executive Director of the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria Ltd (CECV), Stephen Elder, and General Secretary of the Independent Education Union Victoria Tasmania (IEU), Debra James, sign the
    multi-enterprise agreement on 7 November 2013

    The main features of the agreement are:

    • salary increases for all staff in six monthly instalments
    • improved classification structures
    • updated and improved personal leave, long service leave and parental leave
    • a new performance, conduct and capacity clause which includes a stronger emphasis on performance improvement.

    Occupational Health and Safety

    The CEOM continued to receive funding from the WorkCover claims agent, Gallagher Bassett, to assist in the employment of two Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) officers with a view to improving OHS in schools and Catholic education offices.


    The Industrial Relations Unit provided a consultancy service to employers, principals and Catholic education staff which dealt with almost 3,000 requests for advice on issues that ranged from employee entitlements to unfair dismissal applications.

    Advocacy and legal representation

    In 2013 the Industrial Relations Unit provided assistance to schools through advocacy and legal representation in matters before industrial tribunals.

    In addition, the Industrial Relations Unit was successful in obtaining an order from the Fair Work Commission in February 2013 in relation to unprotected industrial action by the IEU.


    Personal Story 

    Action Area 5 

    Tony Hirst
    Emmaus College, Vermont South

    In 2013 Emmaus College won the Building Designers Association of Victoria Award for Best Conversion of a Public Building for the total refit of our school’s 22-year-old school hall into the Bill Holligan Performing Arts Centre, a modern 300-seat auditorium with a performance area, drama and dance room, and gallery.

    Renovations were done in tandem with other significant building works to effectively create a completely new look and structure. We had a strict and limited budget to accommodate a range of ambitious improvements to the existing building, so planning was critical to make the best use of funds. We enjoyed terrific support from the Catholic Education Office Melbourne, the Archbishop’s Planning Building and Finance Committee, and the Catholic Development Fund. Credit goes to the architects and builders (EM Building and Design, and ADCO Constructions) for their innovative and high quality results with a very strict budget.

    It is hard to believe the construction took just five months from start to finish, with minimal disruption to our classes, despite the site being right in the middle of the school grounds. The judges described the end result as being ‘dramatically different, innovative and modern’. Considering the cost and amount of work that goes into renovating an older building, especially of this size, most people can’t believe what we achieved for little more than $2 million, on time and on budget.

    The entire school community has benefited from this fabulous new Performing Arts Centre. The conversion has realised a dream for the school because although we’ve always had an excellent reputation for our performing arts program, we’ve never had a dedicated space to showcase the talents of our students. The facility is now the proud centrepiece of our school community.

    The Industrial Relations Unit also successfully sought and obtained the assistance of the Fair Work Commission in July 2013 to assist in the negotiations with the IEU in relation to enterprise bargaining negotiations.

    Other initiatives

    • Assistance to school principals and employers in conciliation hearings in the WorkCover jurisdiction
    • Provision of Industrial Relations News to schools
    • A range of in-service training for principals and school administration staff on industrial relations, OHS and WorkCover
    • Provision of information on the CECV website www.cecv.catholic.edu.au, including the enterprise bargaining updates, circulars, guidelines, templates, OHS and WorkCover news
    • Negotiations with unions and lawyers on behalf of employers on matters relating to the separation of employment in a number of schools
    • National Catholic Education Council Industrial Relations Conference 2013