Local government award delivers flexibility

Article image - Local government award delivers flexibility LGAQ chief executive Greg Hallam

The Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) has welcomed the release of the new industrial award, allowing local governments to improve the quality of the services they deliver to the community while continuing to look after the needs of staff.

The new single industrial award will cover all councils, except Brisbane City Council, from 1 January 2015.

LGAQ chief executive Greg Hallam said councils had been looking to modernise and streamline the myriad of industrial awards applying to local government since 2001.

“With this new single award, Queensland councils can finally bring themselves into line with other states and the federal system, all of which underwent award modernisation some time ago.

“This is a big step forward for councils as they will now be able to better position themselves to compete against other organisations in the efficient delivery of services to their communities as well as for talented employees.’’

Mr Hallam said the new award was simpler to understand and apply than the 19 separate awards it replaced, giving greater flexibility for councils and employees alike.

“This reduced the number of wages levels that might apply in any one councils from more than 200 to just 21.”

He said a raft of dated, overlapping, complicated and at times irrelevant staff allowances had also been abolished in favour of 19 simple-to-understand allowances.

“Councils are in an increasingly tough financial situation, trying to balance value for money priorities with meeting high community expectations about service delivery.

“Maintaining a thriving and skillful council workforce was becoming harder due to complicated, discriminatory and inflexible award arrangements.

“This new award goes a long way to solving that problem.’’

The new award includes transition arrangements to ensure no existing employee will suffer a disadvantage to their wage levels as a result of the new award and provides for a greater parity in employment conditions for all employees of local government.