“Come on Barry, give me a cuddle”

We don’t really care how much cuddling goes on between LGNSW and the dilettantes at LGM/PA unless they start to dabble in employment issues. Because, let’s face it, neither of them have the expertise or commitment to look after the employment interests of workers in the industry - and LG M/PA is not even a registered industrial organisation. And will never be.

LGM/PA has also had a bad history when it has had the chance to do something to protect senior staff. In the Standard Contracts Working Party, the unions argued for the removal of term contracts for senior staff so the people couldn’t simply be sacked with 38 weeks’ notice when they had been doing a great job.  But when it came to the crunch about the future of term contracts, the unions were not supported by the dilettantes at LGM/PA.

Let’s be broadminded about these things, whatever sordid or fascinating plans these people have, LGNSW President Keith Rhoades reported in his weekly missive to “Mayors, Councillors and General Managers” that “this week LGNSW’s chief executive Donna Rygate met with LGPA (sic) to talk about ways to strengthen our working relationship”. Ooooo Donna, the mind boggles.

While we try to work out exactly what LGM/PA does, their website tells us that today they had 799 members. That means the organisation is smaller than even the smallest of the local government unions; more than half of their members are actually employed under the Award, despite the hostility of LGM/PA to the State Award negotiations in 2014; and the remainder may well be substantially senior staff, and that means they represent fewer senior staff than the unions do.

The unions have more senior staff as members than LGM/PA. That puts the issue in context. What is it then that LGM/PA does and what are they there for?

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