2014 State Award negotiations off and running

Off and Running

LGNSW has provided the three unions party to this State Award a log of 44 claims - some of them supportable, some of them where we could be open-minded and some of them which should only be rejected. For example, we will reject the claim to exempt increase costs arising from legislative changes (like FBT, for example) from the 10% maximum leaseback fee, the claim to allow a Council to determine the size and composition of their consultative committee, the claim to introduce a discretion to ignore any or all of the functions of the consultative committee, and the claim to consider superannuation increases in any pay increase - just like the NSW Government wants to do to its employees.

The USU has 80 claims and the LGEA has 21.

Usually we restrict ourselves to 8 or 10, but on this occasion we have 24. Here is a link to our Log of Claims, in the order of the clauses in the Award we would like to amend and where there are no appropriate clauses, three additional claims at the end.

As a summary, we have claimed:

  1. commitment by the parties to “ensure and facilitate” flexibility for work and family responsibilities

  2. 3.25% pay increases to continue

  3. oblige councils which can’t attract suitably qualified staff to incorporate a market component in the salary system to allow them to do so

  4. oblige councils to make available access to bonus payments or other opportunities for employees who have progressed to the maximum for their position.

  5. oblige councils to make deductions from pay as authorised by the employee

  6. oblige councils to pay for and provide leave for accreditation under the BPB for employees on extended leave - especially on maternity leave

  7. oblige councils to consult on leaseback changes “before any definite decision is made to introduce any changes”

  8. ensure the Award is complied with by providing Union Picnic Day for union members only and if a council wants to provide an over award entitlement to an additional day off, then it should be provided to all employees
  9. more encouraging wording to councils in providing flexibility for work and family responsibilities

  10. consequential renumbering of sub clauses

  11. oblige councils and employees to agree to flexible work and leave arrangements for work and family responsibilities

  12. introduce a minimum number of hours for casual employees

  13. ensure consultative committees “allow free and frank exchange of views and allow representatives of the workforce to participate in the decision-making process of the functions identified in 28C”

  14. ensure councils refer any matter the falls within the scope of the consultative committee to the committee “before any definite decision is taken”

  15. provide training and/or specific work to employees who miss out on a job and asked for the reasons in writing to make them a better candidate on the next occasion

  16. ensure councils have a duty to consult on “potential decisions and/or recommended actions, particularly in relation to  organisation structure before making any definite decision”

  17. consequential renumbering of sub clauses

  18. clarify option for an employee to take a redundancy if the Council cannot provide a position “of comparable skill and accountability levels etc”

  19. delete some words as a result of claim 18

  20. continue leave reserved on the accreditation of Council employees by the BPB

  21. increase the number of days available for adopting parents to a more realistic figure, or provide no limit, subject to the presentation of evidence

  22. provide a longer period of parental leave for  the adoption of children under the age of five, ideally the same provisions of parental leave that apply for natural birth children

  23. provide specific leave for employees forcibly adopted to find and reunite with their natural parents or access to sick leave entitlements as part of the principles of Carer’s Leave

  24. provide measures to encourage healthy lifestyles and combat obesity with subsidies for agreed programs of health and fitness and/or providing access to sick leave or seeking professional advice on developing programs to assist.

Caution: this is a very, very, brief summary of each claim and the claims will be better understood by reading the full log of claims.

The Award discussions will start on 11 December.

Thanks to those members who participated in the development of our log by providing ideas and encouragement.

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