How are the award negotiations going?

There have been three major issues occupying negotiations.

The first is having the IRC require Councils to report on how they are complying with their Award obligations to have a training plan in place to manage the training and assist progression of their staff. Probably poorly, but we will see. The IRC has directed that information be provided and it is flowing in. It’s required by the Award, so it’s a legally enforceable entitlement. It’s the L-A-W!

The second, is having the IRC require Councils to furnish information about the extent to which their workforce is casualised (not just by the number and extent of allegedly casual employees - more often than not really temporary appointments, or part-time permanent appointments without the benefits of permanency - but labour hire and inappropriate term contracts as well) to ensure that local government remains a place for permanent employment. Again, it’s the L-A-W.

And the third has been to focus on the commitment of the three unions, and LGNSW from their Conference late last year, to recognise the need for proper protection and leave for the victims of domestic violence and introduce Family and Domestic Violence Leave through a new clause 21M. And the good news is that on 24 February, accompanied by the furious agreement and consent of the parties, the IRC will vary the 2017 Award with immediate effect to provide a protective clause.

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