Parramatta CEO forced to yield on individual contracts

The Catholic Education Office of Parramatta Diocese has indicated that it has no choice but to adhere to the Federal Government's directive over individual contracts as a condition required to tender for one of the 24 Australian Technical Colleges which are to be established nationally at a cost of $351m.

Online Catholics reports that the condition has placed the CEO at odds with Parramatta's Bishop Kevin Manning, who has been outspoken in his defence of the dignity of working people. Individual Contracts are a cornerstone of the Federal Government's Industrial Legislation to which Bishop Manning has expressed his opposition.

Bishop Manning has said: "Today the use of individual contracts once more threatens to undermine equity and solidarity among workers. When employers hold all the cards, what can workers do? Surely collective action is logical, necessary, and a basic human right?"

Dr Michael Bezzina (pictured), Director of Religious Education and Educational Services at the CEO, told Online Catholics last week through a spokesperson that the CEO was tendering for one of the 24 Australian Technical Colleges which are to be established nationally at a cost of $351m.

The Government has insisted, as part of its terms of reference, that any staff employed in the new technical colleges be offered Australian Workplace Agreements, or individual contracts, which they may then accept or reject.

Dr Bezzina says that workplace arrangements offered to 'a small number' of staff will be agreed upon prior to advertising the positions.

"As these would be new positions the employee would be aware of the pay and working conditions before accepting the position," Dr Bezzina said.

He asserts that the CEO would not be a party to unjust or unfair employment conditions.

CEO trips chasing Government dollars (Online Catholics 22/6/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Catholic Education OFfice Parramatta
Australian Technical Colleges - Expressions of Interest

27 Jun 2005