AS USU members are aware, Central Coast Council bosses lodged proceedings before the NSW IRC concerning their interpretation of Section 354 of the Local Government Act 1993 which deals with the employment protections for employees following the 2016 amalgamation of Wyong and Gosford Councils.
This interpretation was critical in the finalisation of Council’s proposed Redeployment Guidelines, as the incorrect wording could have jeopardised USU members’ entitlements following the expiry of the 3 year employment protection period – 12 May 2019.
Following USU representations to the Office of Local Government and the Department of Premier and Cabinet, Central Coast Council management were provided with a letter from the Office of Local Government clearly outlining Council’s obligations under Section 354 of the Act. (download below)
As you can see this document clearly states, at dot point 2, the following:
Non senior staff - “must continue to be employed under the same terms and conditions unless they voluntarily consent to the alteration of their terms and conditions (this is not time limited)”
It is not ambiguous !
It is not open to interpretation !
It is abundantly clear !
Your wages cannot be cut and nor can your entitlements be removed UNLESS you voluntarily accept a position where the terms and conditions are different to your current role.
In our view, Council had no option but to amend the wording in the proposed Redeployment Guidelines.
Council’s representatives initially indicated Council may not have an obligation to follow the advice of the Office of Local Government , however, following further robust discussions with USU officials and time to “think things over” Central Coast Council accepted the view of the Union and the Government Department.
WHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOU:
Your Union has now ensured Central Coast Council is complying with the provisions of Section 354 of the Local Government Act 1993 and, in short, your union has shown that we are not afraid to stand up for our members’ entitlements.
If you are speaking to workmates who are not yet USU members, send them this link – it shows that acting collectively gets results!
USU Membership Actions:
1. USU members should be vigilant in regard to anything put to them requiring their agreement, or signature, to ensure they are not agreeing to anything that can alter their existing conditions to their detriment’.
Not yet a current member of the USU? Want to ensure you are protected? JOIN NOW!
Last week USU General Secretary Graeme Kelly visited former General Secretary Peter McMahon AM who is living in a nursing home. Peter has been a member of the USU (formerly the Municipal Employees Union) since 1948 and remains a proud member of the USU through our USU’s Retired Members Club. Next year Peter will be a member for 70 years! As a Lifetime member of our union he has made a lifetime commitment and on behalf of all members the USU executive thank him for his amazing and continuing contribution to our great union.
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