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Somerset Regional Council Employees Railroaded by The Services Union (TSU)

SOMERSET Regional Council’s white collar workforce is being railroaded by a union who is refusing to approve a formal vote on an updated enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA).

Negotiations have been occurring between Somerset Regional Council, its employees and unions over several months.

In September Council employees voted on the proposed EBA and the majority (88%) of the indoor workforce voted in support of the agreement.

Somerset Regional Council Mayor Graeme Lehmann said it was “very clear” the union was not listening to the workers.

“There is absolutely no reason why, when 88% of Somerset Regional Council’s indoor workforce voted in favour of the proposed enterprise bargaining agreement that the union should continue to put up road blocks, or be in a position to stop this agreement from being enacted,” Cr Lehmann said.

“Council employees are annoyed and have started a petition to fight the absurd actions from the union which is supposed to represent their interests.

“The union is ignoring the basic rights of employees. Our employees are entitled to have a say and they have voted, yet the union is ignoring the wishes of the majority of workers.

“Non union members are being held to ransom by an organisation that doesn’t represent them.”

A Somerset Regional Council employee, who did not wish to be named, resigned from the union following recent EBA negotiations.

“We’re voting with our feet and many union members have resigned, or have indicated they will, from the union because they blatantly have not listened to their members,” the SRC employee said.

“There is no point being in a union when they are not willing to listen to its members.

“I have no problem with the proposed EBA, as did the majority of union members, and we voted accordingly but they are ignoring our views so they have lost our support.” 

Council’s outdoor workforce have had their EBA passed and have received a 2.5% wage increase as a result.

Somerset Mayor Graeme Lehmann said all of Council’s 92 indoor staff were impacted by the union’s actions.

“Council offered indoor staff a 2.5% or $25 wage increase as well as other improvements in their working conditions however employees will not receive these benefits as long as the union stop the EBA from being adopted,” he said.

“I understand why Council employees are disgruntled with the union. Members and staff voted on the EBA, yet they still aren’t being listened to by the union.

“It’s clear that we need a government in power that will overturn this union biased law and support the wishes of Council employees,” Cr Lehmann said.