ECEC educators caught out as negotiations with City of Melbourne break down

ECEC educators caught out as negotiations with City of Melbourne break down

by Freya Lucas

July 21, 2021

A number of staff employed by the City of Melbourne have resigned in recent months, frustrated with stalled enterprise bargaining negotiations and redundancies, The Age has reported


Council staff, including early childhood educators, have gone without pay rises for nearly three years, the paper noted, reporting that negotiations in the enterprise bargaining agreement broke down last week “largely over management’s refusal to give back pay for the past two years”.


According to The Age reporter Bianca Hall, council leaders referred the industrial dispute to the Fair Work Commission, “underscoring the souring relationship between staff and leadership”.


Council’s Chief executive Justin Hanney said there was broad agreement between the parties but management had referred the negotiations to Fair Work “to help us resolve an offer more swiftly”.


Mr Hanney said that while the Council was keen to create an agreement which recognised the “great work of our people”, there was a need to respond appropriately to the financial challenges COVID-19 has presented to the city. 


Speaking on behalf of the employees, Australian Services Union (ASU) secretary Lisa Darmanin said union members had put planned industrial action on hold in good faith while negotiations were under way, but she hinted members’ patience was running out.


“ASU members have taken the first step towards protected industrial action, as part of the ‘Un-Capp our Wages’ campaign,” she told the paper.


The previous workplace agreement expired on 30 June 2019.


To access the original coverage of this story please see here