Local government workers provide vital frontline services to the community. But years of underfunding and cost-shifting by the state and federal governments, together with rate capping, have hit councils hard.

One of the effects of underfunding has been an increased use of labour hire. It is valid to use Labour hire to cover short-term skill gaps, but the use of labour hire at Yarra City Council is excessive.

Figures provided by Council late last year show that dozens of labour hire staff have been at Yarra City Council for months and some for over two years. More up to date figures will be available shortly.

Excessive use of labour hire undermines ASU members. There is no obligation for them to be paid on the same rates and conditions as you, so they can be a cheaper option.  If you take industrial action during enterprise agreement negotiations, they can’t legally support you and can be used to break work bans.

Yarra City Council is currently in breach of the enterprise agreement by refusing to provide the classification of labour hire workers to the Staff Consultative Committee. We will be taking further action on this matter.

Labour hire workers have no job security and generally no access to unfair dismissal remedies. As a result, they are less likely to raise issues or make complaints which put them at greater risk of harassment, bullying, underpayment and working in unsafe conditions.

What is the ASU doing about excessive labour hire at Yarra?
The ASU has requested a meeting with the CEO about the use of labour hire at Yarra City Council. We’ll report back to members after this meeting.

We are also working to strengthen clauses relating to labour hire in the next enterprise agreement.

What can you do?

  • If you are a  labour hire worker or have concerns about the use of labour hire – tell us your story here.
  • Forward this to a labour hire worker or non-member and ask them to join the ASU
  • Support your bargaining team in enterprise agreement negotiations and take part in union meetings.

For further information please contact one of your local ASU Delegates or
ASU Organiser Martin McDonald | 0418 513 379 | mmcdonald@asuvictas.com.au

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