The Council had recently received a request from the United Services Union that it be involved in any response by the Council to the NSW Government’s ‘Fit for the Future’ policy.
Last Tuesday night Labor Councillors Tony Bowen and Geoff Stevenson broke with other Labor Councillors and unsuccessfully tried to rescind a decision that the union be given a voice on Council committees set up to deal with the amalgamation threat.
Greens Councillor Murray Matson said he was perplexed by the two Labor Councillors’ refusal last Tuesday night to respond to the union request. He said,
“The Union has sought to consult with Council regarding how it should respond to this amalgamation threat with the primary objective of ensuring protection of employees’ conditions. Bowen and Stevenson inexplicably tried to over turn a mayoral minute intended to give the union a voice at the negotiating table despite other Labor Councillors voting to support the request.”
Both Labor Councillors have been accused of opposing the Council’s response plan for “grandstanding purposes”. Council Matson said.
“Councillors Bowen and Stevenson had a rush of blood and saw an opportunity to publicly oppose the Greens but forgot that they were going to vote against union representation. Other Labor Councillors did not forget and voted to help the union with the Greens.”
He elaborated by saying that Bowen and Stevenson needed to “start being part of the solution”. He said,
“Bowen and Stevenson are now desperately using social media to try and hide their lack of defense for the unions by attacking how the Greens voted. Someone in the United Services Union needs to pick up the phone and tell Councillors Bowen and Stevenson to start being part of the solution”.
The Office of Local Government has issued a suite of ‘Fit for the Future’ templates and each NSW Council is required to present a ‘Fit for the Future’ proposal to the Office of Local Government by June 2015.