Next week's teachers' strike will go ahead after the Federal Court rejected the state government's attempt to stop teachers taking industrial action.
Justice Christopher Jessup said the government had failed to convince him the planned action was unlawful.
Justice Jessup also criticised the government for waiting so long before applying for the injunction. State school teachers held two mass strikes last year after negotiations with the government, which began in 2011, broke down.
A spokesman for Finance Minister Robert Clark said the government was disappointed the injunction against the planned strike by the Australian Education Union and Community and Public Sector Union had not been granted.
The government’s lawyers had argued that a range of items in the union’s log of claims could not be included in a bargaining agreement and would make further industrial action unlawful.
The hearing began less than an hour after the AEU launched a new advertising campaign attacking the Baillieu government for ‘‘broken promises to public education’’. Television ads will air over the next four weeks.
AEU Victorian president Meredith Peace said the campaign would remind parents of funding cuts to public schools and TAFEs by the government.
She said the government had dragged out the dispute over the new agreement for two years.
Teachers recently submitted a revised request for a 12.6 per cent pay rise over three years. It had first sought a 30 per cent rise over three years following the Coalition’s pre-election promise to make Victorian teachers the best paid in Australia.
The matter will return to court with a directions hearing scheduled for February 22.