Statement from CEO John Andrejic regarding staff industrial action

Published: 09 Aug 2018

Cairns Regional Council’s senior management has been informed that protected industrial action will be undertaken by some staff who are members of unions.  The protected action will occur between Friday 10 August and Monday 13 August for varying periods for each union involved.  Not all unions are choosing to participate.

We expect that residents will not see any significant change to our operations, due to steps being taken to minimise any potential impacts of this action on Council’s services.

In relation to the ongoing negotiations for a new Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA), we have continued to negotiate in good faith with the unions.

Our most recent offer to the unions comprises a 2.25 per cent wage increase from 1 July 2017, a 2.5 per cent increase from 1 July 2018 plus a $2500 lump sum payment, and further increases of 2 per cent or CPI each year for the next three years.

Once again, unions have refused to allow this offer to go to a staff vote.

Unions represent only a minority of Council’s staff. This means that by blocking a vote, unions are preventing the majority of employees from having a voice in these negotiations.

In recognition of the impact these stalled negotiations have had on our hardworking staff, Council recently awarded all staff a 2.25 per cent wage increase backdated to 1 July 2017, followed by a further increase of 2 per cent as of 1 July 2018. This was in addition to two separate administrative payments of $1500 each, paid to all staff in the 2015-16 and 2016-17 financial years.

CRC management respects the right for staff to participate in protected industrial action, but we again express our disappointment that unions would continue to seek industrial action by its members over a genuine staff vote on the fair and reasonable offers that have been made.

Whatever is paid to our employees is ultimately funded by the ratepayers of Cairns and we take our responsibility to both our employees and the ratepayers of Cairns very seriously.

Last updated: 10 August 2018