Last week staff across Hobsons Bay City Council backed what the ASU has been telling management all along by emphatically voting down their sub-standard EBA offer.

With a very high turnout of staff casting a vote (almost 80%), and over 63% of those staff voting to reject the offer, it leaves no doubt that there is a big disconnect between how workers at Council value their services to the community, and how their employer does.

It also shows that one-off cash payments will not trick staff into giving up permanent salary increases; something the ASU has been telling management throughout these negotiations.

It’s unfortunate that the judgement of the Director coordinating the bargaining process has again proved wildly misguided, and that the process has now had even more expensive delays due to the voice of the workforce being ignored, but here we are!

Where to next?
Hobsons Bay CEO Aaron van Egmond contacted ASU Executive President Billy King over the weekend to discuss ways to resolve this impasse.

The Union’s position is as it has always been: these discussions need to take place around the negotiation table, conducted in good faith with decision-makers in the room (as opposed to what we’ve seen since mid-2019).

Our understanding is that Mr van Egmond will be calling a meeting of all EBA bargaining representatives, which he will be personally attending, to attempt to find a way through the mess that has been created.

We’ll be keeping members informed as this proceeds, and as usual, any proposals will be brought before the membership to decide our collective response. Whether these are face-to-face meetings or online surveys/alternatives will be determined on the best advice at the time.

Message from the ASU Branch Secretary Lisa Darmanin:
“Well done to all members at Hobsons Bay City Council for stepping up during a challenging time. Things aren’t over yet, but I know that when ASU members stand together, especially led by such an inspiring team of Delegates, you will achieve an outcome that delivers what you deserve!”

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