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City respond to WASU industrial action

Published on Wednesday, 17 May 2023 at 3:00:11 PM

The West Australian Services Union (WASU) has made the disappointing decision to undertake industrial action against the City of Albany today by encouraging their members to hold a stop work meeting and protest outside the City Administration Building.

The action follows the City of Albany and WASU reaching a stalemate in negotiations for a new Enterprise Agreement and the City recently making the difficult decision to retire the 2019 Enterprise Agreement and enter into a new Industrial Agreement.

The stalemate exists as the City is unable to continue asking the ratepayer to provide an annual pay increase to City staff that is dictated solely by CPI, which has recently reached a 30-year high.

The City is looking to financially acknowledge the importance of staff and the good work they do while finding a solution that is affordable for the community.

In light of that, the City made two offers to staff and the WASU that were unfortunately not supported.

The first was in June 2022 when the City made an offer to staff to rollover the current agreement for 2 years, provide a 6% pay rise in the first year and a 2.5% pay rise in the second year.

The second was in August 2022 when the City made an offer to the WASU as part of negotiations to rollover the current agreement for 2 years, provide a 6% pay rise in the first year and a 3% pay rise or CPI capped at 3.5% in the second year. The WASU did not support this offer.

Despite this ongoing stalemate in negotiations and without a new agreement in place, the City of Albany still provided staff a 6% pay increase for the 2022/23 financial year.

The City is seeking to negotiate an agreement with the WASU and staff that provides an opportunity to find a solution that rewards staff and is affordable for ratepayers.

Chief Executive Officer Andrew Sharpe said the industrial action undertaken by the West Australian Services Union and its members was disappointing.

“The City of Albany values its staff and the work they undertake for the growth and service to our community, and today’s stop work action does not represent the views of all our staff, the majority of whom did not participate in this action,” he said.

“This isn’t about not rewarding staff with a fair pay increase; it’s about making sure any pay increase is affordable for our community and sustainable for our organisation.

“This morning the City recommenced negotiations with the WASU for a new Industrial Agreement as we want to reach an outcome and have an agreement for our staff at the earliest opportunity.

“As an interim measure while we negotiate a new Industrial Agreement, the City is establishing Above Award Policies to ensure employees will maintain their current employment conditions.

“At this point we are not expecting any disruption to services as a result of today’s stop work action.”


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