Leisure, Arts and CCTV staff win better conditions

In late 2010 Councillor Wilson and I successfully moved the "Employment Values" policy to steer the council away from employing people on fixed term contracts, to respect workers' right to organise and to set a target of 5% indigenous employment.

We also moved an amendment to our own resolution that sought to end to the City's practice of employing Leisure Centre, Arts Centre and CCTV operator staff on an inferior scale of wages and conditions to the main staff body. Unfortunately this amendment was lost, after which Councillor Wilson and I had to keep out of the issue.

The Australian Services Union took the matter to FairWork Australia in Melbourne where they have slugged it out with City for eighteen months. Inevitably this was a lawyers' picnic. The March Interim Budget Review revealed that the City has spent $108,000 defending the case. Presumably the union spent a lesser but still significant sum as well.

So it's a big relief to hear that the two sides have reached an out of court resolution and signed an MOU that will bring these workers up to a similar standard as the rest of staff.

Of course I wish council had just supported our original amendment. This would still have cost money in wages and conditions, but better it go to the pockets of people who live and work in Fremantle than help some lawyer in Toorak buy another BMW! Anyway a good outcome at last and congratulations to our Leisure Centre, Arts Centre and camera operator staff.

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