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Brisbane City Council – Let’s Talk About Your Pay

Local Authorities September 9, 2020

The Services Union will recommence EBA10 negotiations next Tuesday, just under a month out from EBA9’s nominal expiry date. As you know, we have kept our focus squarely on the wages outcomes, although we have participated in tidying up some of the existing provisions.

Wages in the community generally have continued to increase notwithstanding the COVID impact. The Fair Work Commission’s annual review delivered a wage increase of 1.75% with a staggered implementation date. The Queensland State Wage Case has also delivered a 1.75% increase.

The Queensland Public Service has received increases of 1.75% to 2.5%. Employees receiving 2.5% will receive no increase this year but will receive catch-up payments in the second year of their agreements. Government-Owned Corporations will receive 3% wage increases with no increase in the first year but two increases in the second year. Outside Brisbane, local government is delivering wage increases though clearly the bargaining environment is subdued.

What is also clear is that the Brisbane City Council remains alone in its bargaining posture of no increase for two years. Not only is it alone, but six months after announcing its position no other major employers have shown the slightest interest in following and no clear evidence has emerged to justify BCC taking such an extreme position.  All this at a time when the economists keep saying spending is the key. Spending includes expenditure on wages.

Our research indicates that BCC has benefitted significantly from restructuring and other productivity that you have delivered as part of your commitment to EBA9. Anecdotally it seems that the Council has also made some productivity gains during the lockdown in terms of work output and through ancillary outcomes such as a reduction in personal leave. Feedback from members indicates a broad range of views, but only one member has told us (in very strident terms!!) that they don’t want a payrise. All feedback is useful to us as this is your agreement.

As the focus of our negotiations will remain on wages, we are commencing a new round of consultation with members to ensure we are accurately representing your views at the bargaining table. Due to COVID restrictions this will predominantly be through platforms like Zoom. Where possible we will hold smaller face to face meetings and of course your Committee and Workplace Delegates will guide this exercise. To begin this round of consultation, we invite you to register for one of the following meetings. Each meeting is limited to 100 participants so ensure you register early to have your say.

As your workplace ally, we fully recognise the benefits you have already delivered to Brisbane City Council and the local community through your diligent efforts during the pandemic and beyond. You deserve an EBA10 that recognises what you have delivered, and we look forward to hearing from you next week about our next steps in achieving this. We also recognise that it was the commitment of our members that helped deliver the special arrangements during the lockdown. Share this update with your colleagues, and if you’re not yet part of the Union that achieves results, get on board today https://www.theservicesunion.com.au/member-information/join/

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