The USU, your Union, provides further updates from our proceedings before the New South Wales Industrial Commission.

Social Distancing & Grievance Processes

The Union escalated proceedings to the Commission as Council did not meet with a USU Member and your Union within two days of a grievance being lodged. This grievance concerned USU members working in Water and Sewerage who were told by bosses to now work “two-up” in a 2 door ute or truck. These vehicles make it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to maintain appropriate social distance in the workplace during a time when health concerns are heightened.

Success! Council has now stated before the Commission that bosses will not “force” any member to work “two up” in a 2 door ute or truck if they feel uncomfortable. Therefore, if your boss has previously placed pressure on you to work in this way, and you feel uncomfortable with these arrangements – we want to know! We are also aware that bosses have attempted to demand members gain a medical certificate to appropriately social distance – this is incorrect and we also want to know if this has happened to you!

Contact your delegate or USU Organiser Luke Hutchinson to discuss further.

These outcomes were achieved due to the positive action of members lodging grievances. Remember, Clause 36 (iii) b) of the Award states the following:

(b) A meeting shall be held between the employee(s) and the supervisor to discuss the grievance or dispute and the remedy sought within two working days of notification.

As always, you are fully entitled to Union representation at any stage and we strongly urge you to contact us, as your boss will probably have their representative from People and Culture present.

If Council does not comply, the USU will ensure your Award entitlements are upheld and if escalation to the NSW IRC is required, we will do that.

Update Excess Leave Dispute

Further proceedings were held before the Commission on 10th July, whereby discussions continued between your Union and Council bosses, seeking an appropriate approach to these matters. Further updates will be provided to the membership following these discussions and the next IRC hearing.

In the meantime Council may still issue letters to members outlining individual “excess leave” balances and request a meeting – you are entitled to union representation and we urge not to go alone!

IMPORTANT Council has given an undertaking that no Union member will be required to agree to or sign off any plan at these initial meetings. We suggest that members engage but not agree to any plan under duress.

The Union Services Union, your Union, will always ensure Central Coast Council is held accountable to the Award.

Action Required: All members are invited to Unite and if you are summoned to attend a meeting with your boss on any industrial matter – DO NOT ATTEND until your USU representative is with you to ensure your Award rights are upheld.

We are stronger together!

Not yet a member? Concerned about being next the target? Contact your local USU Delegate or USU Organiser on 0419 761 323 / to join today!