The ASU met with management on 26 September to progress EA negotiations.
Council presented an offer last week however in the meanwhile a range of matters have not yet been finalised, including the majority of appendices. The ASU has made clear that we expect further detail on the financial position council is relying upon as a context to the current offer. We will then need to bring a package back to members for your informed consideration, with all the relevant info. Thanks to those who have attended recent meetings or given your feedback via the survey.
All members are urged to complete the survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BDYKPMD
By indicating the priority claims you will be assisting the union in negotiations. The survey will remain open until just after school holidays – 8 October.
Response to date do not indicate a majority support for the offer.
Today’s meeting largely focused on council’s finances with info from the CFO, and further detail to be provided by him next week. Whilst rate capping is a factor in the mix, the ASU wants to ensure members are clear that the current cap is 2.5%, however council regularly receives more than this amount due to supplementary income. From 2018-19 to 2019-20 the increase is 3.03%, in a highly attractive LGA like Port Phillip it is very likely that healthy supplementary income will be maintained.
Another key financial piece of information is the use of insecure forms of work at council. Members across almost every area of council have reported concerns with the revolving door of staff – from the high proportion of agency staff in some areas, the lengthy periods agency staff are engaged in other areas and the subsequent impacts of lack of secure employment on offer, loss of workplace knowledge and subsequent stress and workload issues for staff.
Members have made us aware recently that financial reporting on agency is expected and happening currently. Recent financial reporting shows expenditure on agency staff increasing, with last financial year peaking at $10.9 million, or approximately 15% of the overall wages bill. This is an incredibly high amount that council maintains relates to project roles and domino effect of backfill of staff absences. Council have agreed to fix reporting issues on this, and that data will in future be presented to the SCC. In the meanwhile, the financial figures do not stack up, and we want to keep hearing further examples from members about impact in your area, please contact Tash if you have a story or information you want to share.
Further detail on key financial information has been undertaken by council to be provided by mid-next week.
Workforce turnover and retention have been publicly acknowledged as an issue by council, and the ASU wants to see matters of concern addressed by council. Pay that reflects the way you do in, in the context you’re in, and fair and accountable processes are all part of that.
The next EA meeting is scheduled for 18 October, with further appendix meetings over the next few weeks. Membership meeting notices for the next couple of weeks will be circulated early next week.
In the meantime, please talk to others in your work area about what’s happening and the importance of being a union member, providing feedback and getting involved!
For further information please contact:
ASU Lead Organiser Tash Wark | firstname.lastname@example.org | 0418424052 (Hayley Davies is currently on leave)