Thursday, 29 January 2009

What A Waste...

The conservatives chooks come home to roost

I refer to my earlier posts about moves to privatise the city’s waste collection services and the council meeting that dealt with Cr Buman's motion that was well outside the notified item (which concerned a tender for three trucks), and should have been ruled out of order by the chair.

Well, in late breaking news...

Statement – Lindy Hyam, General Manager Newcastle City Council
29 January 2008

Industrial action by waste services staff.

The decision to test our waste services by conducting a competitive tendering process was a resolution of Council on 18 November 2008.

I have an obligation under the Act to carry out a resolution of Council and a commitment to ensure the most effective and efficient service is provided to the Newcastle community.

Council has exceeded its requirements in regard to the Council’s award and the Local Government Competitive Tendering Guidelines.

Since the Council’s decision we began a consultative process to ensure staff were in the best position to respond to that process and have offered them three months to do that before the tender process itself begins.

I’ve discussed this directly with the staff and union in meetings in December and January and reiterated our commitment to an open and consultative process which included support for staff including help from an external advisor and a dedicated management resource.

The union has not followed the dispute settling procedures of Council’s award. I have specifically requested the union to provide further details to support their claim.

We have notified the Industrial Relations Commission of the threat made by the union but I reiterate my commitment to reviewing the service in a fair, transparent and open manner.

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