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Issue #1658      October 1, 2014

Qld local council workers next on hit list

Queensland’s 30,000 local council workers are waiting nervously to find out if they go home soon with less money in their pay packets, when they already face insecure work due to the Newman government’s new industrial laws.

The Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (QIRC), is currently deliberating over the Local Government Award Modernisation, and will hand down its findings before October 1, 2014.

The submissions put forward by the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) on behalf of Councils have set out to destroy the working conditions and entitlements local council workers have fought hard for over decades, as well as ensuring that workers’ conditions and pay packets are slashed.

Acting secretary of The Services Union, Jennifer Thomas, said the Newman government’s industrial reforms designed to establish processes which strip away and drive down working conditions, coupled with the LGAQ’s attack, means this set of workers are next on the hit list.

“The Newman government claims the modernisation process is part of a plan to ensure these workers are properly valued, properly paid and recognised for the important roles they play in delivering our community services,” Thomas said.

“However, our union has just spent the weekend in the QIRC because there seems to be a speedy need to push the Award Modernisation through, which has meant no time to consult about what is really best for Queensland’s Local Council workers.

“The Newman government has delayed the time frames for other parts of the Queensland workforce around Award Modernisation and we believe Local Council workers should have been given the same respect so as to achieve the best and most transparent outcomes.

“The Newman government’s tactics in their industrial reforms has been totally supported by the LQAQ who have taken a slash and burn approach in their submissions. They want to cut wages, cut entitlements and attack job security all of which we fear means cutting jobs. Every Queensland Local Council worker will lose something!

“Whatever the outcomes handed down by the QIRC, we will be asking Local Governments’ across the State to commit to and maintain decent wages and conditions for these frontline workers who deliver our vital community services,” Thomas said.

Next article – Vietnam’s workplace safety

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