Fair Work supports City’s Covid-19 strategy

Published on Wednesday, 15 July 2020 at 10:52:02 AM

A City of Albany proposal to temporarily reduce staff costs and secure jobs as part of Council’s strategy to balance its budget in the wake of Covid-19 has been approved by the Fair Work Commission.

The proposal to implement a wage freeze in 2020-2021 and a 20 per cent reduction in ordinary hours from July to December 2020 was submitted to Fair Work after staff voted in favour of the measures.

Its approval is the culmination of three months of negotiations between the City, its staff, the Australian Services Union and Fair Work and is timely as Council prepares to adopt it’s 2020-2021 Budget.

Chief Executive Officer Andrew Sharpe said he is proud of the way staff have rallied together to support each other with this variation and are committed to maintaining the positive relationships with community.

“The support received from our Elected Members, staff and community demonstrates the positive work culture we have collectively developed at the City,” Mr Sharpe said.

“Council has been working through a range of strategies to balance a forecast revenue reduction of more than $7 million this calendar year and being able to temporarily reduce staff costs was a major part of implementing our strategy successfully.

“We already had a large number of staff that had signed on to the reduced hours voluntarily in good faith, so we’re really pleased to get this across the line and be able to move forward with our budget measures.”

Public facilities and services have temporarily adjusted opening hours to ensure the community still has access to all the services they are used to, while managing a reduction in service capacity.

Facilities and services with revised opening times and service delivery models include Albany Public Library, Albany Leisure and Aquatic Centre, Vancouver Arts Centre, Albany Heritage Park, Hanrahan Waste Facility, Fossicker’s Tip Shop, North Road Customer Service, Planning and Building Services, Rates and Environmental Health teams.

“These small changes are temporary and we are fortunate to have a fantastic, supportive and understanding community who have worked with the City through this pandemic to ensure we are all focussing on a positive outcome,” Mr Shape said.

A full list of revised operating hours and service changes can be found on the City of Albany website, social media and at all public facilities.

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