City of Gold Coast Bargaining Update and Notice of Protected Action Ballot
Today The Services Union was expecting meaningful discussion with City of Gold Coast on the core items of pay, the City’s claim for fortnightly pays, and an equitable approach to reducing normal working hours.
Instead we got:
- No increase to the City’s pay offer of 4%, 3.5% and 3.5%. The City described this offer as “competitive in comparison to other local authorities” but failed spectacularly to provide supporting evidence. Lockyer Valley Regional Council (Category 3) has offered 5%, 4% and 3.5%, and the list of smaller councils either paying more or offering better increases than City of Gold Coast (Category 8) continues to grow.
- No financial support for the first week of the proposed fortnightly pay cycle. The City claimed (again without evidence) that this would cost an additional $9 million, and that the efficiencies gained by halving the payroll workload would not match this. The City’s proposal remains that you bear the cost of delivering this change by cashing out your accruals.
- No equity regarding the proposed reduction of working hours. Instead the City reinforced its position of 36 hours per week across the board (40 for 10-day fortnight officers). For Stream A staff, this ignores the fact that – by the City’s own admission – Stream B and C employees would effectively gain an additional 5.6%.
- Additionally, the City declared its intention to “revisit” buying out all Local Area Agreements (LAAs), after having previously moved away from this position.
While the City’s overall proposal devalues all staff, this is especially so for Stream A, and for those employed in niche areas covered by LAAs. In a further bizarre twist, the City stated that its current turnover rate of 11.5% is acceptable, and the fact that this is nearly 2% above the national average is “not significant”. With this sort of warped thinking on the part of the City in ample evidence, we called an early halt to today’s discussions. It’s clear that the City needs assistance to sharpen its focus, and in our view Protected Industrial Action is the best available option.
Accordingly, please be advised that The Services Union will conduct an electronic ballot of all members at City of Gold Coast commencing at 9:00am on Monday 11 December 2023
to determine support for Protected Industrial Action. We will send a voting link prior to that time and date. Only members of The Services Union are entitled to vote and to participate in any resulting protected action. Please review and circulate this notice
. If you work with someone who is not yet a member, now is the time to ask them to contribute to a better outcome for everyone. Joining online is easy at www.theservicesunion.com.au/join.
The Services Union remains committed to working through the negotiations for your new CA. But given the City’s current approach to bargaining, prudence and pragmatism indicate that we should conduct the protected action ballot as advised above.