Thursday, July 5, 2012

Council EBA Coming Soon

Public sector employment costs have been under pressure not just in Queensland, but more widely. NSW and Victoria have both imposed a 2.5% cap on increases. The Cairns Regional Council EBA for the next three years also seems to be close to finalisation
At the negotiations meeting held Friday 5 June 2012 The Services Union and other unions advised members that Councils initial wage offer was rejected by members. Post that meeting, Council revised its wage offer to: 3% 1 July 2012; 3% 1 July 2013 and 3% 1 July 2014.
Lynn Russel, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), latter announced she was leaving Council. As a result of these developments, members meetings were held last week to seek direction. At these meetings, members expressed concern about the new Council and the departure of the current CEO. Members agreed that these events coupled with unemployment figures of approximately 9% in the Cairns region, made it essential to secure the “No Forced Redundancies”. While members expressed a preference for a higher wage offer, there was a significant reluctance to take action in pursuit of this.
There was a clear consensus at each of the members meetings that if further discussions could not deliver an improved wage offer then the proposed Agreement should be put to the workforce to determine. Our Union continued to have discussions with Council to try to improve the wage offer but with no success. Council wrote to our Union advising that, by resolution on Wednesday, 27 June 2012 the wage offer of 3% each year and proposed Agreement was agreed to by Council with no further substantive changes to be made. Other unions’ party to the current Agreement will be holding meetings with their members over the next week. It seems likely, however, that the proposed Agreement will go to the wider workforce to be determined by ballot.
Loose Change last visited this in relation to the Financial Sustainability Review from QTC for the Entertainment Precinct proposal. The CRC financial projections were based on 4% annual increases in employee costs. The previous EBA specified annual 4% pa increases in pay rates, which QTC noted had resulted in per head cost increases to Council of 7%. Council employee numbers have been stable in recent years.

Combined with a no forced redundancy agreement it could be suggested that Council employees should agree to the proposal?

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