The 2020 Local Government State Award Log of Claims from the Employers Association (LGNSW) contains numerous proposed changes which seek to attack or remove existing rights and conditions of employment that exist in the current 2017-2020 award.

These were identified in our USU update dated the 12th of August 2019.

Following that initial update which we quickly released after receiving the employer’s log of claims we have commenced releasing updates on each of the specific issues of concern contained within the employer’s log of claims.

The first of these was released on the 29th of August in relation to the employer’s attack on the 35 hour week. A petition was also released for all 35 hour week Local Government Employees whether they are in the USU or another Union or even if they are not in a Union.

A second USU update which explains why the employer’s somewhat devious attempt to allay fears of existing staff employed on a 35 hour week due to grandfathering the 35 hours for existing staff is a con that will not guarantee ongoing protection has been released on the 6th of September.

This update seeks to cover the matter of the employer’s seeking to open all positions up to a 7 day Monday to Sunday spread of hours.

This is item number 8 in the employer’s log of claims as listed word for word below.

Subclause 18A (Ordinary Hours/Spread of Ordinary Hours) – Amend the clause to provide that ordinary hours may be worked from Monday to Sunday for all positions subject to payment of the applicable weekend penalty rate (currently the default spread of ordinary hours under the Award is from Monday to Sunday, with exceptions. It is proposed that the exceptions be removed by deleting subclause 18A(v) of the Award).

Because s18A(v) Local Government (State) Award 2017, establishes that some roles within Local Government has the ordinary hours Monday to Friday.

s18A(v) Local Government (State) Award 2017 says;
(v) The ordinary hours for employees engaged in the following functions shall be between Monday and Friday:

(a) Building Surveyors; Engineering (Professional and Trainees); Finance; Health Surveyors; and Town Planning.
(b) The ordinary hours for employees engaged in general administration shall be between Monday and Friday except where such administrative duties are associated with work in functions where a different spread of hours is applicable.

If the employers were successful in this claim, which the USU will vigorously oppose, it would place every Local Government worker employed under the award at risk of being rostered on for the ordinary hours on any day.

Where an employer has a legitimate reason for wanting to carry out work on weekends, they have the ability to provide overtime opportunities or can seek to call for volunteers provided that the appropriate weekend penalty rates apply in those ordinary hours.

Many of our members who do not currently work weekends have family and sporting commitments.

This claim would undermine the work life balance of many workers.

The employers need to understand that workers work to live, they don’t live to work.

Please be alert as we will continue to release more of these updates every few weeks until the negotiations have concluded and our members have voted in their next award due in July 2020.

Talk to your colleagues if your ordinary hours are important to you. It Pays to Be United. Join Your Union.