The ASU has been fighting for job security for casual and labour hire staff at Yarra City Council for a while now. We held urgent discussions with the CEO last week after being advised that some casual and labour hire staff were being threatened with stand down without pay or termination because of COVID-19.
Council has now agreed that if a casual is stood down that they will be paid 2 weeks special leave. You can see Council’s response here.
Council has also agreed to convene a meeting this week of OHS Representatives and commence consultation under the OHS Act 2004.
This is a start but what happens to the casuals after 2 weeks? It may be appropriate to pay 2 weeks special leave if a casual is diagnosed with COVID-19, is required to quarantine or self-isolate. But 2 weeks is not reasonable in an ongoing shutdown of the workplace or schools.
Council has given no commitments in relation to labour hire staff and acknowledge that some have had their hours cut.
We again call on Council to make these staff who work regular and systematic hours permanent. Workers who don’t get paid if they don’t work shifts could be less likely to self-isolate if they suspect that they are infected with COVID-19. This puts the whole community at risk.
We would like to work constructively with Council on these issues. Council say that they would welcome any suggestions for redeployment. We are compiling a list of suggestions and if you have any ideas for your area then please let your ASU Delegates know.
We will continue to fight for income security for all our members and will update you in coming days on the Wage Subsidy campaign led by the ACTU and VTHC.
Don’t forget to forward this to your workmates and ask them to join your union, the ASU.
Want to know more about your rights at work and COVID-19? Check here first https://www.actu.org.au/coronavirus/your-rights-at-work-faq#wfh
The ASU team are all working remotely now and fighting harder than ever to support you in these tough times.
We are only a phone call or an email away. If you need support please contact your ASU Delegate or the ASU Member Contact Centre on 1300855570 or email@example.com