ASU Branch Secretary Lisa Darmanin along workplace delegates held discussions with a City of Ballarat representative today. Cameron Cahill, Director Innovation and Organisational Improvement, was representing the City of Ballarat. The CEO was unable to attend.

The discussions were requested by the ASU in light of members approaching their union with concerns about the council’s COVID -19 response.

The main issue of concern was the inconsistency in messaging coming from directors and managers to their staff around leave and employment conditions as of Monday 30 March, and the statement from the CEO which advised  council was requesting leave, and indicating that employees had options.

The ASU requested a commitment to consultation between council and affected employees, through the Consultative Committee Forum and with HSR’s in accordance with the enterprise agreement and OH&S Act, in order to constructively work through the issues.

The union advanced a number of issues that required discussions, and attempted to get in place some form of framework for the consultation obligations to be met.

On both these requests Council simply declined. Council would not agree to consult employees on the proposed change to working conditions at Ballarat.

Cameron advanced that council made its decisions unilaterally, in the interests of protecting the workforce and the broader community. He also explained the severe economic hardship council will face in the future.

The ASU remains concerned in the approach, which is inconsistent with the vast majority of councils across Victoria.

Following a discussion with ASU delegates, the ASU will now refer the matter to the Fair Work Commission for urgent assistance.

Following a discussion with ASU delegates, the ASU will now refer the matter to the Fair Work Commission for urgent assistance.

The reason for this is the City of Ballarat’s intention to stand-down workers who could remain usefully employed.

The Fair Work Commission will hear the first part of this important matter tomorrow morning.

The ASU will keep members informed as the matter progresses.

For further information please contact one of your ASU delegates or:
ASU Organiser Will Wyatt | wwyatt@asuvictas.com.au

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