Nine days to go …

On Friday 2 June the Board of Local Government New South Wales will consider recommendations from their industrial relations staff to make a formal offer to the three unions for the 2017 Local Government State Award.

Only nine days to go...

In March we reported that the historic cooperation from LGNSW had disappeared. Something’s happened to the negotiators to restrain the cooperative approach to fixing those parts of the Award that we know need to be fixed and to keep the Award modern and relevant. Since that time we’ve continued to meet and had a succession of days of conciliation before Commissioner Murphy in the IRC to bring us together on those issues where we remained apart.

The Committee of Management considered a report at the last meeting on 15 May about Award clauses where “in principle” agreement had been reached between the negotiators which, with potential changes to the Workplace Change and Redundancy clause and a consensus on pay increases over the next three years, would form the basis of an offer subject to endorsement by the LGNSW Board.

At this stage, there is no offer and there is no agreement. There are more than 20 areas of the Award where the negotiators have reached a common view but there is nothing formal until the Board meets to formally resolve a position and then convey that as an offer to the unions.

We are hoping for the best.

Mind you, it doesn’t help when you sit down to negotiate pay increases to know that the CPI is running at 2.1%, that wages growth over the last 12 months is around 1.9% generally or 2.3% in the public sector. Still ...

There is still work being done to bring together agreed wording on clause 39 Workplace Change and redundancy and some other minor matters.

If the Board endorses the package of changes we are hoping for, a formal offer will be made late the following week to allow the unions time to consider it - or will have further conciliation if there are issues where we remain in dispute.

If agreement can be reached, the Commission has listed a hearing for the Award to be made on 30 June.

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