Changed legislation makes schools employer body redundant
The Victorian Catholic Schools' Association will close, with its functions to be brought within the Catholic Education Office.
The Age reports that Archbishop Denis Hart said legislative changes meant that a separate employer body for Catholic schools was no longer necessary.
The decision to close the schools' association followed a review headed by business leader John Ralph. The Archbishop of Melbourne, Denis Hart, announced the decision in a letter to priests and principals yesterday.
The Victorian Independent Education Union has criticised the treatment of the redundant body's five staff members who will lose their jobs. They are expected to be offered other jobs in the Catholic Education Office.
The schools' association was set up in 1983 to represent and advise Catholic school employers. The Catholic system educates one in five Victorian students.
The Christian Brothers, who have seven schools in Victoria, said the review had not included wide consultation. "I think that would be something that we'd be wanting to talk to the archbishop about," Province Leader Br Peter Dowling said.
Br Dowling said the association had served Catholic education well for over 20 years.
"The proposal might be a good one, but I think the implications of it and the consequences of the proposed move would need to be thought through more broadly," he said.
Brother Dowling said the religious congregations that ran schools in Victoria had not been part of consultations.
The Brigidine Sisters, who run six schools in Victoria, also raised questions about the lack of consultation.
Sister Brigid Arthur, co-ordinator of the Brigidine Secondary Schools Council, said she believed any restructure should happen after consultation and with a "process that's very clear to everybody".
Church moves to sack its employer group (The Age 21/12/05)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Victorian Catholic Schools' Association
21 Dec 2005