Many members at Georges River Council were issued with disheartening letters titled ‘Lateral transfer’, two weeks prior to Christmas which included factually incorrect and misleading information.
Council’s interpretation of a ‘Lateral transfer’ meant they acknowledged employees performed “substantially’’ the same role prior to amalgamation but they also wanted to further add two toxic ingredients into the mix which were:
- Incorrectly stating Council will maintain an employee’s terms and conditions of employment until May 2019, which is inconsistent with s354 of the Local Government Act 1993
- Incorrectly stating an employee’s grade and rate under a new salary system will be much less than what they currently receive even though award provisions and the Local Government Act compel Council to maintain this
The unions (USU, Depa & LGEA) and our members were left feeling perplexed, disbelief and unclear on how Council formed this view considering the letters were unnecessary and added an extra layer of confusion to the overall process.
As a courtesy we met with Council on 19 December 2016, with the intent of getting the matter addressed however this was unsuccessful.
The matter was heard before Commissioner Newall on Monday 30 January 2017, resulting in the GM Ms Gail Connolly sending an email to all staff on Tuesday 31 January 2017, (as per Commissioner Newall’s instructions) rightly acknowledging a lateral transfer is a simple move under the new Council (Georges River) and employees therefore maintain their terms and conditions.
It’s disappointing but not surprising that Council cannot take responsibility/ accountability via an apology to all staff regarding their latest debacle. Nothing. Zilch!
Lateral transfer letters accounted for approximately 80% of the bulk of the letters issued to all staff which we can gladly announce with relief has now been rectified.
Council continues to strive to be known as the “model merged Council’’, although the local government unions are highly confident if all employees were surveyed regarding Council’s ability to execute this process (new Council structure) we predict with our Union crystal ball, Georges River would receive a big fat ‘’F’’ for FAIL.
Council needs to pick up their game and realise this is people’s “bread and butter’’ we’re dealing with not minor or trivial issues.