Ipswich City Council should remember the golden rule

Memo to Ipswich City Council, the Local Government Association of Queensland and to Queensland Local Government generally:

The Newman Government was defeated. Yes, that’s right. Unceremoniously chucked out of office in January 2015, along with its efforts to cut your sick leave entitlements, redundancy pay, allowances and a few other things, and to fiddle with the longstanding relativities between wage classifications which underpin your Award. 

Despite the best efforts of the Newman Government AND Ipswich City Council, AND the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ), the wage structure in Stream A remains unchanged save for an amendment to Level 8 which the Union agreed to allow to remain.

What does this all mean?

It means that yesterday, while you were taking strike action for fairness, Ipswich City Council was busy cobbling together five pages of nonsense about why it won’t pay the additional one percent you have reasonably and consistently requested over the life of your new Certified Agreement (CA). That is the difference between an unfair pay offer and what could have been a fair pay deal.

The Council spent yesterday trying to rewrite the history of the Local Government wage structure and came up with the same rubbish that the LGAQ is peddling at Whitsunday Regional Council. Ipswich City Council should remember the golden rule that if you are going to copy someone else’s homework, make sure that it is right first.

You can read Ipswich City Council’s efforts here,  and the LGAQ’s efforts at Whitsunday Regional Council here.

What the Council should have been doing is talking to The Services Union, listening to you while you gathered outside the Administration Building, and reading what the Reserve Bank Governor Phillip Lowe had to say in the Sydney Morning Herald yesterday. He said that the national cost of living index was likely to hit 7% by Christmas. The March quarter is running at a national rate of 5.1% and remember that the Brisbane CPI in March already peaked at 6%.

Ipswich City Council has had its chance. We can’t continue to ignore the inflation rhino in the room!!

As per the resolution carried by you and your fellow members of our Union, we will now move this argument to the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission. The discussion on wages must have regard for the state of the economy. Your productivity has not declined so there is no rational basis for a pay increase that would cut the real value of your wages. We will also maintain our vigilance in relation to your wage structure and ensuring that you are paid for the skills, competence and training that you worked so hard for.

Above: Members at Ipswich City Council take Protected Industrial Action for a fair and just EBA!