Hundreds of local government workers are going to work today and getting paid this fortnight because the ASU has been by their side during the pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic and government restrictions to control the spread of the virus has affected every worker in local government. Some workers are now working from home, and others have different patterns of work to maintain social distancing.
But too many workers have been put off by council managers unconcerned with the impact on workers of being stood down. There are still too many permanent workers stood down, and too many casuals are not receiving any shifts.
But, because of the ASU, hundreds are working today instead of sitting at home or lining up at Centrelink.
We took Ballarat City Council to Fair Work when, despite its ‘be kind’ campaign, management wanted to stand down hundreds of workers. After taking up suggestions from workers and delegates about other duties and changes work practices, hundreds continued working.
The City of Greater Geelong stood down 576 staff. But after ASU officials, organisers and our strong delegate team got involved, any staff member that was stood down, and sought redeployment, has been redeployed. And the ASU’s working relationship with Greater Geelong management, in the interests of ASU members, is now better than it has been for years.
Beyond these two examples, our organisers and expert legal team have been able to keep hundreds of people working where council CEOs wanted to stand them down.
And ASU organisers and industrial specialists are working every day to get more ASU members in local government back to work.