Last week the USU lodged a dispute with Upper Lachlan Shire Council over restructuring at Council. With jobs, wages and conditions under threat by the so-called restructure we have held meetings with members to alert them to the serious consequences of the restructure. Members are understandably concerned and angry.
We also held meetings with council’s general manager, John Bell, and director of works and operations, Mursaleen Shah and were advised that management had committed to reconsider their evaluation of ULSC staff wages and positions. We will know their new position on Wednesday and will meet with members on Thursday morning to discuss future action.
As a consequence of the restructure three senior management employees have left their positions because their jobs were re-graded. According to USU Organiser Stuart Geddes the union has concerns that ULSC could lose vital RMS contracts as a result of the restructure.
“We have serious concerns that up to 30 council staff could lose their jobs if the Roads and Maritime Services contracts are affected,” Stuart Geddes said. “And this seems to be confirmed by recent statements by the Goulburn Mulwaree Council general manager reported in the Crookwell Gazette.” (see article below)
The union believes the consequences on jobs, wages and conditions at ULSC if the RMS contracts move would be devastating to the area, especially as Council is a major employer.
According to Stuart Geddes there is a dual pressure on ULSC workers. “We have ULSC restructuring and downgrading positions and as a consequence losing vital experienced senior employees. Without those key experienced employees RMS contracts could be lost, putting further pressure on the Council,” said Stuart. “And all of this without full consultation with the union or workers.”
The union will meet with members on Thursday following Council’s anticipated announcement about the restructure.
“We believe this is a serious threat to the livelihoods of our ULSC members’ wages and conditions,” Stuart explained.
Read the full Crookwell Gazette article here:
USU union officials negotiate with ULSC management over department review
The USU met with the council’s general manager, John Bell, and director of works and operations, Mursaleen Shah.
USU official Stuart Geddes said management had committed to reconsider their evaluation of ULSC staff wages and positions.
Their decision was expected by Wednesday October 31, at which time the union would report back to its members, Mr Geddes said.
The meetings followed Gazette reports on the structural review, in stage one of four stages, with potential to affect all its workforce.
Three senior management employees are known to have left their positions following a lowering of their job grading.
Up to 30 council staff could lose their jobs if the Roads and Maritime Services contracts are affected, Mr Geddes said.
The council had earlier released a statement that the restructure was expected to have a minor operational impact, and that they did not intend to decrease current staffing numbers.
However, the loss of senior management roles could see Roads and Maritime Services contracts handed to Goulburn Mulwaree Council, Mr Geddes warned.
Goulburn Mulwaree Council has been in negotiations with the RMS to undertake state road maintenance within Goulburn Mulwaree boundaries for the past four years.
State roads include the Crookwell Road from the boundary with ULSC into Goulburn, and the Braidwood Road from the boundary of Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council.
“We believe it is inappropriate that other councils maintain state roads within the Goulburn Mulwaree Council local government area,” said Goulburn Mulwaree general manager Warwick Bennett.
“RMS are supportive of this council’s position and have agreed in principle that, subject to council meeting all the RMS requirements, this work will be undertaken by Goulburn Mulwaree from 1 July, 2019,” Mr Bennett said.
ULSC says it is seeking to restructure its workforce to improve efficiency through better asset management and delivery of infrastructure services, including management of major projects.
The dispute is being heard in the Industrial Relations Commission and will reconvene there on November 6.