While we’ve all got penalty rates on the brain, a tipster pointed Crikey towards another potential reduction for a group of workers, this time in local government. Local government councils in New South Wales are in the process of negotiating a new award for 2017, and our tipster tells us the Local Government NSW employer association is “aiming to remove all penalty rates completely for Recreation & Community Service staff under the Local Govt Award (NSW) so that Saturday/Sunday work is paid at normal rates like Monday-Friday”.
We had a look at the employer representative’s log of claims, and among the proposed conditions put forward are amendments to clauses concerning Saturday and Sunday work to “remove weekend penalties for recreation and community services functions”. Community and recreation staff could include roles such as rec centre employees, pool superintendents and childcare workers. Another claim seeks to extend the ordinary hours (i.e. hours before overtime kicks in) for “indoor” staff (like administrative, finance, library employees) from 35 to 38 per week.
The United Services Union said it wouldn’t comment while negotiations were ongoing, and a LGNSW spokesperson told Crikey the association had worked with the union for many years jointly proposing awards to the New South Wales industrial relations commission and had “no interest in prosecuting negotiations through the media”.
Negotiations are expected to conclude in June.