As members know the USU has been involved in ongoing Local Government Award negotiations for many months. These negotiations have been difficult with every aspect of your Award – included some of your most basic working conditions being targeted in the initial Log of Claims from the Employer’s Association LGNSW.
POSTAL BALLOT RESULT
Members have had their say by postal ballot with the result as of midday on Friday June 26th being 98.39% yes and 1.22% no with 0.40% informal.
TIGHT TIME FRAME
The time frame that we had to adopt regarding the mail out was regrettably tight. This arose because we were not in a position to finalise the information to go out with the postal ballots until we had finalised negotiations, and the Employer’s Association LGNSW Board had endorsed the Award package.
We immediately had to print almost 26,000 individual ballot forms, envelopes and information packages to be mailed out. This was done by priority post but it appears that our postal service did not consistently deliver all of the ballots in a timely manner with some allegedly going missing. Arrangements were made where we were contacted and it could be verified that the member had kept their address up to date in our records to receive an emailed replacement ballot to print and post.
We expect that many more ballots will be received in the week following the official closing of the ballot. We intend to publish the results for each Council with both the ballots as at midday on June 26th and those received after this time. The date of the 26th of June was determined by the availability of the Industrial Commissioner who was dealing with the Award. He was due to commence leave that afternoon and we may have had to delay the new Award and the pay increase if it had not been ratified at 3pm on Friday June 26th.
Web resources for members
Due to Covid 19 restrictions we were prevented from holding the 350 or so mass meetings across NSW Councils that we traditionally hold to vote on the Award, however we did place on our USU website a summary of clause changes as well videos of the USU General Secretary Graeme Kelly OAM and the Award negotiators, Managers Stephen Hughes and Daniel Papps discussing the Award changes as well as individual videos of each clause change which our members could watch.
The videos and summary are still available and members can check them out at: usu.org.au/award2020 to view these recordings if they haven’t already done so.
More updates to follow
We will be releasing fortnightly USU Award updates which will outline the specific award changes in detail that could not be provided on each issue in the ballot information pack that was sent out.
This is the first of the updates and this one covers the Award Vote result and clarifies the first Award pay increase, which is 1.5% from the first full pay period at your Council after July 1st 2020.
The following increases, which will be rounded off to the nearest 10 cents per week, should apply for the following Award Band and Level entry rates.