Following recent USU mass meetings, site visits, and online voting processes, USU members have voted unanimously to accept a new Enterprise Agreement. This guarantees wage increases for City of Newcastle employees over the next three years and provides improved and progressive terms and conditions of employment, and job security.
The USU will now proceed to ratify the agreement before the NSW Industrial Relations Commission on 13 December 2022.
This will ensure the agreed 1% annualised lump sum increase will be paid in December 2022 (prior to the holiday period).

Download the full document with tracked changes here

Download a summary of the changes here

Main features at a glance:

  • Three guaranteed wage increases over the life of the agreement including a total increase of at least 4.6% paid in two parts in December 2022 and July 2023.
  • Civic Theatre and Events-Based Workers – Major Win! Finally, after many years of USU campaigning and activism, an in-principal agreement has been resolved to transition ALL Civic Theatre-based workers to the City of Newcastle Enterprise Agreement from 1 January 2023, this ensures an average wage increase of 32% for the lowest-paid workers (or at Newcastle Council)!
  • Improvements and increases to the following clauses Salary System, Workplace Flexibility (four day week), Job Security (core numbers), Family and Domestic Violence Leave, Workplace Resourcing, Waste Collections (allowances), Heavy Vehicle Driver’s License, Clarification of Ordinary Pay, Casual Employment (conversion options), Lateral Transfers (injured workers), Shift Penalties (increase), Public Holidays (option to transfer), Paid Parental Leave (increased options), Miscarriage Leave, Cultural Leave, Defence Service Leave. In total, to your EA!

Trade offs?
The USU can confirm, due to the 100 years of collective union membership strength at City of Newcastle, all changes to the current proposed Enterprise Agreement are only improvements. All current conditions including penalty rates, received payments, public holidays (expanded for City of Newcastle employees), base rates of pay, and allowances (including increases) are maintained and increased.
There are no confirmed “trade-offs” or reduction of conditions.

USU Organiser Luke Hutchinson:

“The USU is proud of this agreement. Reaffirming our long-standing history of delivering improved pay and conditions for our members at the City of Newcastle.”
This agreement provides improved workplace conditions that will enable optimum services for our community and delivers industry-leading and socially progressive conditions such as access to cultural leave, miscarriage leave, improved parental leave, and improved family and domestic violence leave.
The hard-fought transition for all Civic Theatre and Event-based workers is a triumph for all members to celebrate. This lifts the wages and conditions for the lowest and most vulnerable workers at Newcastle Council. Against all the odds we have won this collectively.
This agreement challenges the rest of the Local Government sector to embrace the progressive elements of the agreement. And provides our members some instant relief to address the current inflation crisis impacting workers across our communities.
USU members have unanimously supported this agreement proposal. It is a testament that both parties can achieve a great outcome for workers, Council, and the community.

The USU membership has been integral in improving conditions of employment at the City of Newcastle and this agreement continues this record.
The USU recognises the following delegates who represented USU members diligently and should be very proud of their efforts.
Ross Warren, Keven Burgess, Shane Hardy, Jake Fly, Craig Perrin,
Tony Priestley, Kurt Douglas and Andrew Mercer         

Not yet a member?
Want to ensure your vote counts? Want to be part of a united collective that continually improves wages and conditions?
How to join?
Please contact your above delegate or USU Organiser Luke Hutchinson on 0419 761 323 or or simply turn over and complete. You can also join online at