The USU, your Union, lodged proceedings before the New South Wales Industrial Commission to seek orders to ensure Council upholds the redeployment process in accordance with the Enterprise Agreement. Key themes and representations that were raised by the USU centred on Council’s perceived lack of intent to support overall job security for affected members.

The USU was very pleased with the initial outcomes from the conciliation hearing heard on 4th December 2019. These include;

  1. Another hearing and discussions before the NSW IRC chaired by Commissioner Stanton will be held on Monday 13th January 2020. This hearing will include the CN CEO Jeremy Bath.
  2. An agreed agenda of the EA parties will be resolved to ensure all current concerns will be addressed before the Commission on the 13th January 2020.
  3. Processes to be resolved between the parties to ensure a viable redeployment process is enacted as per the EA and genuine intent of the parties.
  4. Any agreement or resolution will be made via a statement by the Commission.

Any further outcomes will be provided to the membership following the next scheduled IRC hearing.

Temporary Employment NSW IRC Update – Good progress

Despite several similar matters regarding temporary employment in recent times, the USU again lodged proceedings regarding Council’s alleged use of temporary employees. This dispute was lodged after the USU was informed of the use of long term temporary employees at Council’s

Administration Building.

These matters were also heard before the NSW IRC on Wednesday 4th December. While some positive individual member outcomes have been achieved, the overall process and Council’s use of temporary employment is now being further examined and processes to be implemented to ensure this practice does not ever happen again at CN.

Following this USU action, Council has now committed to providing a full disclosure on the current use of all temporary employment. Further processes over the tracking and reporting of the use of this employment will be resolved on an ongoing basis with your Union representatives, to ensure compliance with the EA. This matter is scheduled before the Commission again on 10th February 2020.

The City of Newcastle EA contains very clear limitations regarding the use of Casual, Labour Hire and Fixed Term Contract Employees, particularly when they are used for extended periods (in excess of 12 months) or when replacing or filling positions that were, or should be permanent. We recognise there is a genuine need for the use of some Casual, Labour Hire and Fixed Term Contract employment in certain circumstances, but it should not be misused. We want to convert as much of this insecure type of employment as possible to secure permanent forms of employment, in accordance with the intent of the EA and the Local Government Act.

Membership Action and Information Wanted!

Do you have any information you could provide on Council’s employment practices at the City of Newcastle?

Please contact me @ – rest assured all members identities will remain confidential. This information will be crucial to cross-reference any information received from Council.


Do you know a long term Casual, Labour Hire or Fixed Term Contract employee at the City of Newcastle? They can belong to a Union such as the USU and we are here to help.

Civic Theatre Workers – Membership Motion

Following the unanimous motions resolved at the USU meetings held in October and December this year, your Union representatives have engaged with Council’s CEO to raise concerns and seek resolutions to the inequitable industrial arrangements for Civic Theatre Workers. The Union is pleased to report there has been some positive engagement and developments with Council on these matters since USU collective action has been taken. The Union is confident most concerns that members have raised will be addressed and resolved in an open and timely manner.

New USU Delegate

It is very pleasing to report USU members have duly elected, Brent Milsom as another USU Delegate based out of the Waratah Works Depot, congratulations to Brent and welcome aboard!

USU Solidarity in 2019!

The USU acknowledges the solidarity of the membership at the City of Newcastle! It has been another big year in progressing and improving workplace conditions for Union members. The year commenced under a new EA for the first time since 2010.

Collective action was taken (including votes of no-confidence in the HR Director and IT Manager for their disgraceful behaviour) throughout the year with a huge show of collective strength at the stop work meeting held in October!

The USU looks forward to 2020, with major items in need of resolution including NSW IRC outcomes (see above), Civic Theatre industrial arrangements and Salary System development.

We are stronger together!

USU Members Contact

Concerned about issues in your workplace? Contact your USU representatives as below to ensure YOUR rights are being upheld. Keven Burgess – 0400 391 311, Tony Priestley – 0407 092 614, Craig Perrin 0402 303 223, Brent Milsom 0447 272 624, Shane Hardy 0419 467 071 (NCC Depot) or Ross Warren – (02) 4974 2307 (NCC Admin Building) or Emma Callaghan / Jake Fly – NCC Libraries.

Alternatively, you can also contact me on 0419 761 323 or