City of Gold Coast Bargaining Update

Yesterday The Services Union resumed Certified Agreement (CA) discussions with City of Gold Coast.

The key matters stand as follows:

  1. The City rejected our claim for no reduction to any current condition, but committed that no employee would be financially worse off on their base rates. Regarding the necessary redrafting of the CA, we raised i) vehicle usage, ii) Workplace Delegates’ entitlements and iii) the connection between ‘notional day’, ‘work day’ and ‘leave day’ as items of concern. We will supply draft clauses regarding the first two items for the City’s consideration, and the City will provide information regarding the third.
  2. The City rejected our claim for an expiry date of 16 October 2026, preferring instead for the new CA to expire three years after certification. We pointed out that this would result in misalignment of pay increases and the end of the agreement and reinforced our claim for the fixed expiry date mentioned .
  3. The City rejected our claim for a 35-hour standard working week. We provisionally supported the City’s offer of a 36-hour week, on the basis that the pay offer be improved.
  4. However, the City re-stated its offer of 4.5% annually (with a CPI adjuster capped at 6.5% for the final year). We countered with a proposal for 16% over the three years, noting that smaller Councils had delivered upwards of 15% and that City pay rates have lagged CPI by approximately 1% during the current CA.
  5. The City remained firm that its proposed on-call allowance of $65 per day would not be indexed, because it is a significant increase from the current $37.
  6. The City rejected our Unpleasant & Hazardous Conditions Allowance claim, stating that no Stream A employee should be doing work which would attract the allowance. We countered that our members do in fact perform such work (e.g. City Inspectorate Officers searching illegal waste for signs of ownership) and that our direction to those members would be to not perform the work. We also stated that the City’s proposal for Inspectorate Officers to summon cleaning crews would not be best value for ratepayers’ money, at which the City undertook to seek further feedback.  
  7. We led further discussion around a Wellbeing at Work clause including Heat Stress provisions and will provide a draft clause for further consideration.
  8. Regarding our claim for the City to make up the shortfall for any employee whose back-pay doesn’t equate to at least a week’s pay over the proposed transition to fortnightly pays, the City stated that its back-pay bill already stands at $9M and so is unwilling to pay any more. We will supply for consideration a draft provision ensuring that any pay errors over a certain level be promptly rectified outside the pay cycle.
  9. Local Area Agreement discussions are ongoing. We took the opportunity to clarify the City’s intentions about maintaining current conditions in certain work areas, and the City will supply a draft capturing its position.
Even with discussions reduced to the core items above, there is still work to be done in achieving a CA worthy of consideration. Strong membership is always the best asset in securing a fair deal.

If you work with someone who is not yet a member, now is the time for them to start contributing by joining online.