Many of Tasmania’s local government enterprise agreements are due to expire at the end of this financial year and bargaining beginning to get started before the Novel Coronavirus struck.

As many of you would be aware, we are attempting to maintain employment and stave off compulsory stand-downs in a number of Tasmanian councils and as a result, we do not believe that now is a time when our members will benefit from continuing the bargaining process.

With that in mind, a few weeks ago we approached your employer seeking their endorsement of a plan to postpone bargaining until the start of next year, when the uncertainty of COVID-19 cannot be used as an excuse for poor bargaining positions, pending the approval of ASU members and the bargaining representatives who have nominated to bargain the EA. We have received several varying responses to this request.

Some Councils have been very supportive of this option and have agreed to continue to provide the pay rise from your previous agreement whilst others have advised that such a proposal would need to come with a zero percent wage increase.

We are working through these options with each employer and will discuss these options with our members once a final position is reached.

Whilst we strongly recommend the postponement of bargaining to ensure that any pain from COVID-19 isn’t locked in for four years, if members decide that they would prefer to continue bargaining then we will attempt to do so. There is some risk though that in the current environment may see unions struggling to obtain bargaining orders from the Fair Work Commission if the employer chooses not to meet in relation to bargaining.

Our campaign for government support of local government is gaining momentum and, if successful, will see the validity of any argument for zero percent increases significantly reduced.

We will maintain contact with members and delegates as we progress through these discussions.

For more information please contact:
ASU Tasmanian Coordinator Aaron De La Torre | 0427 813 821 | adelatorre@asuvictas.com.au

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