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cairns regional council

Stand-Down Now Paid at Cairns Regional Council

Local Authorities March 25, 2020

Following a conference in the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (QIRC) today, Cairns Regional Council agreed to The Services Union’s request to commence paying stood down library workers from the commencement of the usual roster today. This means no members will be without their usual pay.

Ultimately the Union did not press for a return to work at this stage. Given Council’s demeanour, it is not necessary to subject members to a return before some useful work is identified for you to do. Because of this and in light of current advice to not attend work unless you have to, we chose to leave you at home for now.

The paid stand-down will continue until at least early next week while Council engages in consultation with the Union as required by the Certified Agreement (CA). Unfortunately, the present crisis is not about to disappear, and we are still in for difficult times. At least we can assure you that you will not be ambushed again and that you have the right to meaningful consultation.

Our Union will be mapping out how that consultation should occur with Council tomorrow morning. We will keep you posted on how the consultation will unfold. One key issue will be whether there is any useful work for affected staff to do. Members in the libraries need to give this question careful consideration. We know many Councils have decided to close their libraries to the public and still have all staff at work, doing work.

What Just Happened?

In our view, Council completely misunderstood and misapplied the provisions of the Industrial Relations Act. This error caused Council to ignore its obligations under the CA. This should never have happened and should not happen again. Council is now on notice about the type of consultation required and that its actions were unacceptable.

The Services Union has also called on Council to commence consultation with its entire workforce through the Joint Consultative Committee. You are entitled to know what is going on and to have a say in how your work is affected by the crisis. Just because it is a crisis does not mean Council is entitled to ignore you.

Finally, you got a glimpse of what life might be like if there were no Union. There’s never been a better time to be a member. We are always by your side. Joining is easy at – encourage a colleague to join today!

Please direct any questions to your Workplace Delegate. If there is no delegate in your work group, contact


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