LGEA members have overwhelmingly endorsed the new Local Government (State) Award 2014.
In an overwhelming show of support, 97 per cent of members voted to support the proposed Award, which has now been approved by the Industrial Relations Commission and enacted as of today, 1 July 2014.
With the new Award now in place we encourage members to take advantage of all of the benefits that it provides. The key features to be aware of are:
Three Wage Increases during the life of the Award
- 2.6% from first pay period on or after 1 July 2014
- 2.7% from first pay period on or after 1 July 2015
- 2.8% from first pay period on or after 1 July 2016
New Flexibility Provisions for Professionals
The LGEA has negotiated the introduction of a new type of agreement called “Hours of Work Flexibility Agreements”. These agreements are designed to enable members to negotiate a special allowance to be paid in addition to their normal rate of pay in recognition of incidental overtime that many members are currently expected to work but are not always rewarded for.
We are particularly excited about this new provision, which has great potential to be used as an attraction and retention tool for professional staff in the industry.
Reimbursement of Chartered Professional Engineer accreditation costs
This new provision will see engineering employees who are required by Council to obtain chartered status, reimbursed for the costs associated with obtaining and/or maintaining Chartered Professional Engineer status, and granted leave to attend course requirements.
Stronger Workplace Change Consultation Requirements
Negotiated changes to this provision will see a larger onus placed on councils to discuss change and to mitigate adverse effects of workplace change on affected employees.
Councils will now be required to provide at least 28 days’ notice of workplace change prior to implementing the decision.
The new Award will also feature an increase in the job search allowance from $2000 to $2500.
Civil Liability Allowance
This important allowance has been retained and strengthened in the new Award.
All protections around leaseback fees that the LGEA achieved in the last Award will be continued.
Improved Personal Leave
The new Award contains several enhancements to employee leave entitlements including bereavement leave and sick leave.
The industry parties have also agreed to jointly approach the Minister to seek legislative change which would allow annual leave to be taken at half and double pay.
New Award Coverage
The coverage of the Award has been expanded to ensure that it applies to any new forms of councils that are likely to emerge in the near future as part of the industry reform process.
Whilst the new Award contains many new benefits for members, we have also reached agreement with LG NSW to work jointly on two additional issues key to our members’ interests now that the Award is finalised. These two issues are phased retirement and engineering cadetships.
All Award parties will be undertaking a joint industry survey to determine what measures councils have in place for phased retirement, in order to determine how we can improve the industry’s approach in this area.
On the issue of engineering cadetships, LG NSW have agreed to work with the LGEA on the development of an industry engineering cadetship programme.