Western Downs Regional Council Bargaining Update #3
On Wednesday 28 November 2018, The Services Union and AWU met with Western Downs Regional Council to continue negotiating new Certified Agreement (CA). At the meeting the respective Logs of Claims were discussed in more detail, along with several draft CA clauses we had previously provided.
Council rejected our claim for “no reductions to current conditions of employment”. Most concerningly, Council is still fixated on removing all your RDOs, relying on a written submission that is no more than an accusatory opinion-piece laden with hearsay.
Other than a three-year agreement and inclusion of bereavement leave and no-forced-relocations provisions into the CA, Council rejected the rest of our claims. Council also stated a desire to water down existing provisions around vaccinations and allowances, and to remove any provision also found in the Award or legislation. To top it off, Council is only prepared to pay the equivalent to CPI as an annual wage increase.
Our bargaining team made it clear that we will not accept any removal of conditions and that our members are deserving of a better pay increase that acknowledges the productivity you have delivered to Council. This is the industry benchmark and there is no reason for Western Downs to do anything differently.
The Services Union met with the outdoor unions after their negotiations, and it appears Council is treating the blue-collar workforce with the same contempt by trying to reduce conditions and only pay the bare minimum increase. All unions confirmed the commitment to stay united in the battle to maintain and improve conditions across all CAs. We will maintain communication with the other unions in the coming months and lock in meeting dates from February 2019.
In the meantime, please address any questions to your Workplace Delegates Kylee Goss and Penny Harvey. Both Kylee and Penny have been a great benefit to have on our negotiation team and have been unwavering in looking after members rights and best interests.
The bottom line is that there is still a lot of work to be done on the new agreement. We have finalised negotiations with over 20 Councils across Queensland in this round of bargaining, and in all cases, we have delivered respectable pay increases without having to trade away conditions. If you’re not yet a member and you want to make sure this is the case here at Western Downs Regional Council, join now. It’s easy at www.theservicesunion.com.au