The United Services Union is very concerned to learn of a report recommending the outsourcing of Council’s Waste Service Operations.
Any decision to outsource this service will directly impact USU members and their families – workers who, despite being personally impacted by the devastating floods continued to put the needs of the community ahead of their own.
The USU has been active in Lismore advocating for flood resources and funding, meeting with Mayor Steve Krieg as well as various Senior politicians, both state and federal.
Options for Ageing fleet
The USU had been informally advised that a significant factor in Council seeking to outsource its Waste Collection Service is due to an ageing fleet of outdated and unreliable Waste Collection Vehicles, however we have now learnt that Council had been replacing the fleet over time by a local supplier with trucks purchased in 2018 and 2021.
We are told that Councilors have been advised that the trucks are out of date as they don’t have GPS technology fitted to monitor routes and productivity.
Council doesn’t need to replace its fleet to have this technology, as it can be fitted to any vehicle easily and doesn’t have to be expensive.
Other Councils utilize this technology to plan the most efficient routes and to measure productivity. Why can’t Lismore City Council do so too?
These essential services waste collection vehicles should have been properly funded for replacement by successive Councils and Management over the past decade, however Council now intends to outsource the Waste Collection Service and jobs leaving its loyal workers out of a job or faced with significant decreases in income.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO SUPPORT WASTE WORKERS’ JOBS?
1. Download and sign our petition to protect local secure jobs. Get as many mates as you can to sign it too. Then hand it to your local USU delegate or Orgniser.
2. Email or ring your local councillor (see their details below)
3. Support our campaign to protect local jobs
SUPPORT FOR FUNDING APPLICATION
The USU believes the funds can be raised to replace/ repair and upgrade, including fitting them with modern GPS technology to better plan their routes more efficiently and reduce costs. In regards to any ageing vehicles in the fleet that are deemed unsuitable for ongoing maintenance and repairs the USU has proposed to support Council in any application to the State Government for assistance under the Waste Levy or alternatively the Federal Government due to the unique circumstances that the current Council and Management have inherited combined with the overwhelming impacts of the floods.
JOBS MUST REMAIN IN-HOUSE!
However, crucial to any funding request must be that jobs remain in house rather than outsourced. The community should not see its long-term local jobs go out to profit-making private enterprise.
The USU wrote to Council with our commitment to work together to ensure the Waste Service does not get outsourced however the response from council’s General Manager can only be described as a “Claytons” response. One which delays any action to pursue funding and a resolution.
While we now acknowledge that a belated attempt was made after hours to discuss the matter by a Senior Manager, the Union’s position is that Council must commit first in writing to doing a joint request for any funding needed to retain the services as a first option before discussing other options. The entire group of Waste Collection Drivers confirmed they want to keep doing this work for Council and the Community.
We view Council’s failure to commit to this request in writing as a delaying tactic that we cannot accept, as the “review” of waste services is to be put to Council on November 21.
It is also disappointing to learn that Council have held internal workshops on the proposal to outsource as far back as May and September this year in discussing this with Management and Councilors but only started consulting with staff weeks before a planned motion to outsource services goes to Council on November 21st.
The USU calls on our members and the community to get our message to council loud and clear – DON’T TRASH LOCAL JOBS.
Keep waste jobs local!
CONTACT YOUR COUNCILLORS:
Cr Andrew Bing
0417 504 957
Cr Elly Bird
(02) 6626 0152
0418 639 927
Cr Peter Colby
0428 863 134
Cr Darlene Cook
(02) 6626 0154
Cr Vanessa Ekins
(02) 6626 0155
0417 245 502
Cr Andrew Gordon
0415 283 068
Cr Adam Guise
0478 684 497
Cr Jeri Hall
(02) 6626 0158
Cr Electra Jensen
(02) 6626 0159
Cr Steve Krieg
(02) 6626 0150
Cr Big Rob
0414 347 771