This is the eighth-member update in our series on the negotiations for the Local Government (State) Award 2023.

Local Government NSW, on behalf of your Council, wants to ATTACK and seek CUTS to your current adverse working conditions allowances. This also would result in your pay being slashed when you access your leave entitlements.

Excerpts of Item 5 on the Employer’s Log of Claims for the new Award says:

“Update and modernise the allowances to reflect contemporary work practices”… “using the Adverse Working Conditions Allowances under the federal Local Government Industry Award as a starting point for such reform”.

The USU has successfully fought over many years to ensure our Award and industrial relations framework remain intact and not exposed to the perils of the Federal Industrial Relations system.

Why are Adverse Allowances important?

Currently, you are entitled to receive various adverse working condition allowances in addition to the weekly rate of pay to compensate for working outdoors and for obnoxious, offensive or dirty working conditions. This includes the workplace conditions for workers in Waste Collections, as well as Disposal, Sewerage and Public Toilets, just to name a few.

These proposed change would result in PAY CUTS to workers’ allowances and take-home pay.

Two examples:

  1. On current Award rates, a member who is required to clean septic tanks would see their current allowance CUT from treble time for the hours worked to $12.38 per hour while undertaking these highly obnoxious and filthy working conditions. Even on the Award base rate of Band 1 – Level 3, this would result in a PAY CUT of $63.82 per hour while being exposed to the vile working conditions in a Septic Tank.
  2. Compared with current Award rates, a Waste Collections Driver would receive a CUT to the Award Level 2 Adverse Working Conditions Allowance of $45.10 per week to $33.06 per week under the Federal Modern Award. This is a PAY CUT of $12.04 per week!

In the current climate of raging inflation, these are outrageous attacks on your current entitlements and take-home pay.

Employers are just focused on slashing the take-home pay of workers who are working in the MOST filthy and offensive working conditions possible. These workers do these jobs to ensure vital services are provided to our communities.

The USU will not accept these attacks! The USU is the voice of all workers to improve and protect your Award entitlements.

Join the USU today if you want to:

  • Improve your working conditions in local government
  • Protect your current take-home pay
  • Ensure workers exposed to these filthy working conditions are compensated fairly

The USU conducts around 350 mass meetings of MEMBERS ONLY across NSW to vote on the new NSW Local Government State Award.

You can find our previous updates here:


Non members are encouraged to join the USU and join with us in our fight to retain and improve working conditions and wages in the 2023- 2026 award.