Council votes yes on enterprise agreement

THE Glenorchy City Council has reached agreement with employees on a new enterprise agreement (EA) that has been described as “fair and responsible” by both council management and union representatives.

Approval of the EA, containing an improved package of employment terms and conditions, was recommended by Council management and the Australian Services Union (ASU) and voted on by employees.

The employee vote followed a series of structured information sessions and informal question and answer meetings.

In addition to providing annual salary increases for employees and locking in existing entitlements, the new four-year agreement includes a leave provision for any employees impacted by family and domestic violence.

Under the agreement council employees will receive a two per cent pay rise this year, 2.5 per cent increases in 2017 and 2018 and a 3.5 per cent increase in 2019.

Glenorchy City Council general manager Peter Brooks said the new EA demonstrated necessary restraint reflective on the current financial circumstances, with a more generous wage increase in the fourth year.

Mr Brooks said the agreement provided certainty for employees and the council and was a very fair outcome reached after highly productive and responsible negotiations with the ASU and employee bargaining representatives.

“I commend the ASU and everyone involved in the enterprise bargaining process for the professional and constructive approach to our negotiations,” he said.

“As well as the family and domestic violence leave provision, we are particularly proud of two additional clauses – the doubling of the innovation payment to a maximum $1000 to recognise employee ideas and an employee support benefit to assist to provide employees, who have a long-term medical condition, with additional paid leave when they have exhausted their paid sick leave.

“I particularly want to thank our director corporate governance and general counsel, Seva Iskandarli, for her outstanding leadership and strategy during the EA process.

“The process strategy Seva has put in place was acknowledged and commended by a number of parties, both internal employees and external organisations.

“I also commend our manager people and safety, Dionne Berry, for her hard work in successfully negotiating the agreement.”

Mr Brooks said the council was an active supporter of the White Ribbon campaign, which works to prevent male violence against women.

“We are turning our commitment into positive action by agreeing to introduce 10 new days of additional paid leave for employees who are experiencing family and domestic violence as part of this EA,” he said.

“Glenorchy City Council hopes this will set a positive example of other organisations within Glenorchy and beyond to consider, discuss and commit to this important issue in our community.”

ASU Tasmanian branch coordinator Dennis Mullen said: “The EA negotiations had been conducted responsibility and had resulted in good outcomes for both the council and ASU members.

“We particularly welcome council management’s decision to accept the union claim to add the special family and domestic violence leave clause for employees and the salary increases, as well as the other provisions are fair and responsible.”

Mr Brooks said the negotiations had been conducted in a professional and productive manner with all parties committed to achieving a positive outcome that benefitted employees, council operations and ratepayers.

The EA also includes confirmation of Easter Tuesday as one of the 12 listed public holidays, 13 per cent superannuation and the removal of restrictions in long service leave provisions to enable employees to access additional leave after the initial 10-year qualification period, and the introduction of pro-rata leave provisions and increase compassionate leave.

Caption: The Glenorchy City Council enterprise bargaining group, from left, Dionne Berry, Dennis Mullins (ASU branch coordinator), David Hunt, Linda Gray, Peter Brooks (GCC general manager), Stefan Johns and James Don.

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The Glenorchy Gazette is your monthly community newspaper, reaching over 24,000 homes and businesses in the Glenorchy municipality. It is the product of Nicolas Turner, Justine Brazil, Ben Hope, Simon Andrews, Tobias Hinds and guest contributors, with support from advertisers.

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