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    Industrial Relations

    General Overview

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

    Main Activities

    Implementation of the Victorian Catholic Education Multi Enterprise Agreement 2013

    During 2014, staff from the IR Unit commenced full implementation of the Victorian Catholic Education Multi Enterprise Agreement 2013 (VCEMEA), an agreement reached with the Independent Education Union of Australia Victoria Tasmania (IEU).

    Implementation of the Agreement included:

    • salary increases in February and August 2014
    • new leave provisions in relation to parental leave, long service leave and personal (sick and carer’s) leave
    • new method for calculating pro-rata school holiday pay and annual leave loading
    • improved processes in relation to managing performance and conduct issues for school employees
    • improved classification system for Education Support employees
    • over 50 statewide training and information sessions for principals, senior leadership teams and education support employees.

    Occupational Health and Safety

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

    OHS officers also completed 106 OHS school audits for primary and secondary Catholic schools across Victoria.


    The IR Unit provided a consultancy service to employers, principals and Catholic education staff, which dealt with requests for advice that ranged from conditions of employment under the new Agreement to unfair dismissal applications.

    Advocacy and legal representation

    In 2014, the Unit provided assistance to schools through advocacy and legal representation in matters before industrial tribunals.

    Fair Work Commission

    The Fair Work Commission (FWC) released its annual report* at the end of October 2014. This report includes a feature on the VCEMEA 2013. In addition, FWC has a short video which includes representatives of the CECV and the IEU. A copy of this video can be found here**.




    Personal Story


    Molly McQueen
    Year 12 student in 2014
    Avila College, Mount Waverley.
    Profoundly deaf and totally dependent on two cochlear implants to hear, Molly McQueen graduated from Avila College, Mount Waverley, at the end of 2014 with an ATAR of 84.6 and is now studying psychology and forensic science at Swinburne University.

    I think the best thing I can say about my time at Avila College is that they treated me as a normal person and made sure my disability didn’t stop me doing anything that I wanted to do at school. So many activities, like the Year 10 study trip to Italy, will stay with me for a lifetime.

    I always thought it must be pretty expensive to provide for someone like me, but when I stopped to think about everything Avila did it reinforced that I had the best time at high school.

    The personalised support I received was wonderful –from radio frequency microphones that transmitted directly into my ear and specialist computer equipment, to teachers being my ears at swimming carnivals and providing a note taker in Year 12 English.

    And it went well beyond funding. So many teachers were there for me, like Mr Johnson in Year 12 legal studies, who met with me one-on-one every week to make sure I understood everything. I got a study score of 40 and was so glad to be able to repay his commitment.

    I now want to help others and to work in the legal justice system, maybe with victims of crime, and also to mentor people with deafness, because not a lot of deaf students had the same access to funding and the same experience as me.

    I know I wouldn’t be where I am without Avila.

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    L–R: John McNamara, Executive General Manager, Statutory Worker's Compensation at Gallagher Bassett; Stephen Elder, Executive Director of Catholic Education; and David Parker, Hawthorn Football Club Premiership Captain (1971) and Premiership Coach (1978), and Carlton Football Club Premiership Coach (1981, 1982 and 1995). 

    Other Initiatives

    • assistance to school principals and employers in conciliation hearings in the WorkCover jurisdiction
    • the 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
    • the provision of information on the CECV website, including Agreement implementation updates, circulars, guidelines, templates, OHS and WorkCover news
    • the production of the fourth OHS DVD for schools, which reviewed four key safety issues concerning schools
    • the provision of policies and guidelines for schools on:
    • Safe and Sound Practice Guidelines (Occupational Violence)
    • Anti-Bullying Guidelines and Policy
    • Social Media Policy.

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    Professional Learning Programs

    Activity Attendance Sessions
    Education Support Biennial Conference and Start-of-Year Forum 170 2
    Education Support Induction and Refresher Programs 34 3
    Introduction of Change and Redundancy 6 1
    Know Your Agreement – Business Managers 20 1
    Know Your Agreement – CEO Staff 25 3
    Know Your Agreement – Education Support 371 13
    Know Your Agreement – School Leaders 232 19
    Managing Employment Concerns 62 6
    Managing Workplace Behaviour 300 2
    OHS Hazard and Incident Management 23 5
    OHS for School Leaders (two days) 50 5
    Parental Leave 21 2
    Principal Induction 32 3
    Principal Network Meetings – General Information Sessions 255 10
    PAVCSS – General Information Sessions 250 3
    Return-to-Work Coordinator Training 34 4
    Salary Assessment Training 28 2
    TOTAL 1,913 84

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