Local Government Poseurs Association still frightened of the new State Award

Some of the LGPA Board and CEO (GAICD)

One of the findings of the Independent Review Panel in the report in October 2013 was to reject the submissions of the inaccurate, dilettantish, fanciful and paranoid that the “current Local Government Award lacks flexibility, focuses on skills at the expense of other attributes of staff, and builds in excessive labour costs for some activities, especially where 'out-of-hours' work is involved.”

The panel is not convinced that the award is as costly and inflexible as some believe, and believes that further efficiency and productivity gains can and should be made through negotiation… There should also be opportunities for some increased flexibility to address specific skill shortages.

Thus the award should continue to evolve through negotiation to address the changing circumstances of councils and their employees, and the needs of communities. Local government needs a system of industrial relations that will support an efficient and productive sector that can adapt to meet future challenges. In turn, this requires a climate of trust and cooperation amongst employer and employee organisations.

A climate of trust and cooperation between the employer organisation (something which they are not) and employee organisations (and they’re not that either) is something that the Local Government Poseurs Association can’t contemplate. This was a recommendation LGPA didn’t embrace, preferring to reiterate their view about the mysterious third force of general managers and HR professionals (sic) needing to be in negotiations.

But if it’s about trust and cooperation, they don’t have the pre-requisites.

depaNews publicised their views in July and now they’ve done it again. In a letter to Keith Rhoades, President of LGNSW (they got the address wrong but at least spelled his name right this time) LGPA President Paul Bennett complained “the absence of direct involvement by the professional leaders in the negotiations themselves, has meant we believe the significant negative consequences the award changes may not have been fully contemplated” (we think we know what he meant) and “the new State Award will make sustainability even harder to achieve, if not impossible.” Poor Paul believes that the award creates an “untenable position”. Professional leaders, indeed.

And, in case his letter was insufficiently melodramatic and hysterical, he was joined by CEO Annalisa Haskell to write to the Minister for Local Government Paul Toole (described as Paul Tool, in their publication and on their site) raising “a potentially significant impediment” to his reform commitment and calling on the NSW State Government “to do everything possible to assist councils in having unfettered access to the Federal Award system for commercial undertakings.”

LGPA in both letters says their views “are expressed purely out of our unwavering commitment to assist the government” but, despite their attempted seduction of other professionals and their boast to be “the peak body for all local government professional in the state”, they are really the GM/finance/corporate services/careerists and aspirants’ group.

But reform initiatives advocated by the highest paid employees which victimise and punish the lowest paid employees in the industry only make them look self-seeking, unimaginative and hypocritical.

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