Today’s Federal Court decision has come as an embarrassing set back for the Baillieu Government who is struggling to deal with an increasingly poisonous dispute with Victoria’s teachers, the Member for Western Victoria, Jaala Pulford said today.

Ms Pulford said the court’s decision against the Baillieu Government was a clear vindication that the campaign run by both teachers and public sector unions are legally legitimate.

“Today, the Federal Court told Ted Baillieu that he can no longer intimidate those who disagree with his government,” Ms Pulford said.

“For two years now the state’s teachers, along with public sector workers, have been desperately trying to negotiate to strike a deal on wages and conditions, but for two years they have been treated by the Baillieu Government with contempt.”

Ms Pulford said Mr Baillieu had resorted to court action against the unions to stem the public backlash from the campaign being run against his government.

“This Government’s stubborn refusal to deal with the issues and engage in negotiations has left teachers and public sector workers no choice but to take industrial action, action which then spurred the state into punitive legal action,” Ms Pulford said.

“Following today’s decision, Mr Baillieu has only one option left – he has to sit down, negotiate and strike a deal.”

Ms Pulford said the Federal Court rebuke comes on top of the Opposition pursuing the Government in Parliament this week over its cuts to TAFE, education and the ongoing failure to strike a deal with teachers. 

“This week the Premier and the Education Minister have been faced with a barrage of questions and submissions from Labor about the impact of their cuts and the fallout from their failed campaign against teachers,” she said.

“We have provided them first hand accounts of teachers, students and their families who are increasingly angry with this Government’s mismanagement of every facet of education and training in this state.

“Justice Jessop’s ruling today must finally get the message through to this Government that it is time to start treating teachers with respect. The fact remains that Mr Baillieu is not working on education.

Media Contact – Tim Miller – 0458 555 585