Industrial action against Sth Gippsland Shire
- Created on Wednesday, 18 July 2012 16:08
The Australian Services Union – on behalf of its members at South Gippsland Shire – have put in an application to take protected industrial action as enterprise bargaining agreement negotiations remain at a standstill.
ASU Organiser Cameron Wright (pictured) announced the ASU and its members have begun running a ‘no-vote’ campaign against the current offer from management, which is still at a level that is not satisfactory, especially considering the financial position council and management find themselves in.
“The council has enjoyed a surplus of $11.5 million over the last two years, and the wage of the CEO has gone up around over 60 per cent to a wage of $210,000 in 2011. Total senior executive salaries are also up over 50 per cent from $650,000 in 2010 to $950,000 in 2011. There really is no reason not to fund the minuscule financial issues in the pending agreement.”
“There are a number of outstanding issues, but the key items are associated with workers in the depot area and home and community care workers, including classification levels regarding pay levels and provisions for training. Management are also offering a four-year agreement, but our members are opposed to that. We are concerned about the length of the agreement because the local government industry changes from year-to-year, and if we lock ourselves in to such a long deal, workers at the council could fall behind industry standards in regards to pay and conditions.”
“We are mainly fighting for the lowest paid people at the council, workers supplying ratepayers with valuable services throughout the year. The outstanding EBA issues in a monetary sense, when considering wage increases the CEO and senior management have enjoyed over the last few years, is a small price for the council to pay and it hardly seems fair that the lowest-paid workers at the council should miss out again.”
“Some ASU members are also fuming at comments made by the CEO that other industries in the area have laid people off due to financial constraints, and they did not appreciate the inference that South Gippsland Shire may consider the same. If the agreement was voted down, the CEO has also threatened to go back to a lower pay rate in his current offer.”
“The council is in a very strong fiscal position and there’s no reason they cannot fund the outstanding issues workers are after in this upcoming agreement. All we are after are pay increases to help South Gippsland Shire workers catch up to other council pay rates in surrounding areas. The ASU will do everything in its power to make sure the workers at South Gippsland Shire are given the pay and conditions they deserve.”
For more information, contact ASU Organiser Cameron Wright