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Issue #1660      October 15, 2014

Qld: Attacks on local govt workers

The Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (QIRC) has handed down its decision about the new Local Government Industry Award. Local Council workers have already taken a hit via Campbell Newman’s new industrial laws which instigated the Award Modernisation process.

They were also attacked by the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) which set out to destroy working conditions and entitlements in its submissions to the QIRC.

What is now clear – local council workers, who deliver services to their local community have lost entitlements and conditions. Acting secretary of The Services Union Jennifer Thomas said the new Award only highlights the ruthlessness of the Newman government against the Queensland workforce.

“Throughout this Award Modernisation process, the Newman government claimed the process was part of a plan to ensure local council workers are properly valued, properly paid and recognised for the important roles they play in delivering our community services,” Ms Thomas said.

“What we have ended up with is losses around Saturday overtime, locality allowances for remote workers, annual leave for workers in northern and western Queensland and personal leave,” Ms Thomas said.

The Services Union will be making applications around the losses of these particular entitlements to the QIRC in the very near future. “The Newman government’s tactics in their industrial reforms has been totally supported by the LGAQ who took a slash and burn approach in their submissions. They have always wanted to cut wages, cut entitlements and attack job security all of which we fear means cutting jobs,” Ms Thomas said.

“The union had a couple wins against the Newman government and the LGAQ. Workers retained their 36.25 hour week and we kept 13 weeks long service leave for local government officers.

“However, if Councils decide to bargain in the near future it will mean further losses. We will be asking Local Governments across the state to commit to maintaining decent wages and conditions for these workers,” Ms. Thomas concluded.

Next article – Cuts and privatisation – consequences laid bare

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