Hinchinbrook Shire Council is bracing for disruption to key services as enterprise bargaining with union officials over staff pay increases has again reached a stalemate.
Mayor Ramon Jayo said the Council is doing its best to operate business as usual but warned residents they could be inconvenienced.
“We apologise for any delays in the delivery of some services during the next week and appeal to residents to be patient” Mayor Jayo said.
“We have been participating for months in the bargaining process in good faith with the Unions to settle on wage increases which are not only fair for our staff but also ensure the Council remains financially sustainable during these challenging economic times”.
“We simply can’t afford the Union’s demands if we want to continue providing services which our community relies on, enjoys, and deserves”.
Council’s offer of a 13% pay rise over three years has been rejected by the Unions who are demanding a 19% wage increase over the same period, along with enhancements to superannuation.
Mayor Jayo said the Council’s current wage increase offer will still mean further cost cutting internally as it delivers on other promises, including increasing a number of allowances, parental leave and improved natural disaster leave provisions.
“We know our staff are feeling the pressures of cost of living rises, but so are our ratepayers. Our offer is in line with a number of other recent local governments’ enterprise bargaining agreements” Mayor Jayo said.
A public assembly is scheduled at the front of Council’s main office on Tuesday 14 November 2023, before Council and the Unions meet again on Monday 20 November 2023.