Ballarat council workers vote for industrial action

May 3, 2024 9:02 am in by
Photo: Supplied

Some council services in Ballarat are set to be disrupted, with staff members voting to take industrial action at a meeting yesterday.

Council union members unanimously rejected a revised enterprise agreement put forward by management on Wednesday.

Negotiations over a new enterprise agreement have now been going for six months, with the services union saying Bendigo and Geelong front-line workers are paid around $4,000 a year more than their counterparts in Ballarat.

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The union are calling for a pay increase of six per cent in the first year, backdated to September last year when their last agreement expired, followed by five per cent in the next two.

Industrial action will reportedly span across a number of council services, with Australian Services Union deputy branch secretary Tash Wark saying the community may notice certain bins not being picked up, changes in parks and garden work and phone calls not being answered.

“Our members love their jobs and love doing stuff for the community, so they do this really reluctantly, however this is not where we’re at right now,” Ms. Walk said.

“We think that [council] can come back with a better offer, and pass a different budget on the 22nd of May.”

A follow up meeting with council will be held next week.

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A spokesperson from the City of Ballarat says their increased pay offer is 3.5 per cent or $43 per week in year one, 3.5 per cent or $45 per week in year two and 3.5 per cent or $47 per week in year three, whichever amount is higher.

They say the increased pay offer in years two and three will require council to find ongoing savings in future years of approximately $2.5 million. 

The council says management hope to reach a position that satisfies all parties in a timely manner.