Benalla Rural City ASU members have commenced industrial action with a stop work planned.
Australian Services Union (ASU) members at Benalla Rural City have commenced industrial action as enterprise agreement negotiations continue to stall on the back of what they call a ‘‘sub-standard offer’’ from management.
ASU Organiser Ty Lockwood said that staff were ‘‘sick and tired of management’s lack of understanding’’ during negotiations’’, including an offer they believe does not reflect the ‘‘hard work and commitment’’ of council workers at the shire.
‘‘Chief Executive Officer Tony McIlroy put the agreement to staff last week for consultation and a vote was held (last) week on whether staff would accept the agreement,’’ Mr Lockwood said. ‘‘The majority of staff voted against the current agreement on the table and as a result have put a large list of bans in place until management decide to negotiate again.
‘‘The main sticking points remain council’s pay offer to workers, the spread of hours for home and community care workers and maternity and paternity leave entitlements.
‘‘We hope management want to begin a process of negotiating fairly, but until that time bans will continue across the council.’’
In response, council chief executive Tony McIlroy said Benalla Rural City had been acting in good faith throughout the enterprise bargaining process, which began in April last year.
‘‘Regular meetings have taken place, including two in January and one in February 2013,’’ Mr McIlroy said.
‘‘With the Consumer Price Index projected at 2.2 per cent for the full year, together with tough economic conditions and less than budgeted revenue from the Victoria Grants Commission, the council believes its offer of 3.75
‘‘The council’s offer is consistent with the average local government industry increase and is inclusive of a 0.25 per cent contribution towards staff superannuation in years two and three.’’
Mr McIlroy said in the event of industrial action this Friday, council’s business was expected to continue as usual with minimum disruption to the public.
‘‘A draft 2012 Enterprise Agreement will be put to all staff by the end of February and we are confident that a fair and financially sustainable agreement will be reached in the near future,’’ Mr McIlroy said.
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