Gladstone council workers to strike next week over wages
UNION members at Gladstone Regional Council will strike all day next Tuesday in a bid to increase pressure on management to offer a "fair pay rise".
The industrial action was voted on late yesterday afternoon during the second mass union meeting held outside the Goondoon St Civic Centre about the ongoing workplace agreement negotiations.
Services Union Central Queensland organiser Chris McJannett said workers voted to strike all day on Tuesday.
They will wear badges and ribbons in the strike.
Mr McJannett said the union was calling for the council to offer a "fair pay rise" after two years of wage freezes for workers.
"It's now in (the) council's hands to come to the table with a fairer deal," he said.
Gladstone Region mayor Matt Burnett told The Observer in a statement the council would continue to negotiate for a new enterprise bargaining agreement in "good faith".
Cr Burnett said concerns about job security had been addressed by including a "no forced redundancy" clause in the proposed EBA.
He said the bargaining team also proposed wage increases of 2.5 per cent, 2.25 per cent and 2 per cent annually during the next three years.
"(The) council remains committed to working with our workforce, via the combined unions, to understand what they are seeking from the Certified Agreement, having already redesigned the original enterprise agreement offer based on feedback and concerns raised by employees," Cr Burnett said.
"We recognise that the agreement expired several years ago, which is why we voluntarily delivered a 2.5 per cent pay increase to our staff in September last year."
Services Union secretary Neil Henderson said employees had endured two years of wage freezes and deserved better.
"Employees at Gladstone Regional Council work hard each and every day to provide front line services to their local community and at the same time have had to put up with a lot of disruption over the past two years," Mr Henderson said.
"It really is time for (the) council management to do the right thing."