Wage strike fizzles
TODAY’S planned strike of council employees in Hervey Bay fizzled after eleventh-hour discussions averted industrial action.
Unions had called on members to strike in front of the council’s Tavistock St chambers to progress a raft of claims.
The strategy was to increase pressure on council to preserve the no-redundancy clause in employee contracts and commit to a greater wage increase than those on offer.
David Perry, the acting assistant state secretary of the Qld Services Union, said the strike was called off after he met Fraser Coast Regional Council CEO Lisa Desmond and Mayor Mick Kruger in Brisbane on Tuesday afternoon.
Mr Perry said the tone of the informal discussion was positive enough for union delegates to decide to officially cancel the strike yesterday morning “as a measure of good faith”.
“This is a good opportunity for commonsense to apply ... and a productive step in moving forward,” Mr Perry said.
Cr Kruger said that after seven rounds of conciliation across four months, the next meeting between the parties might mark a turning point in the dispute.
“Hopefully we will be able to resolve the major issues” Cr Kruger said. “Enough is enough.”
Cr Kruger said the no-redundancy clause was only added to council contracts three years ago to protect workers during amalgamation.
He said the clause was designed to lapse after three years and that the independent findings of the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission supported this timeframe.
He added the FCRC had also committed to paying the 3.4% wage increase recommended by the commission.
The Australian Services Union continues to argue the wage increase on offer should keep pace with cost of living increases and the no-redundancy clause should be retained.
Mr Perry, however, said that “with a little bit of compromise” both parties should be able to negotiate an amicable resolution to the dispute.