LETTERS: Unions need to be honest with us all
THE current hysteria being whipped up by the Services Union backed candidates about privatisation at Ipswich City Council is a little surprising given the union itself signed a Deed of Agreement in 2009 between council and the owners of Propel at the time which specifically sets out employees' rights and conditions.
The conditions have at all times been met by council and its partners since the union agreement was made so it is difficult to understand why this is now an issue when the unions were party to the agreement.
This agreement's principles are incorporated into terms and conditions in the current EBA.
On a more specific point, in my role as Deputy Mayor and councillor representative on EBA negotiations for 12 years, I can assure readers it has never been an option for council to sell Ipswich Waste Services.
This council prides itself on retaining the only council owned and staffed waste service in south east Queensland.
As a further demonstration of council's commitment to the future of a council owned waste collection service, $3.7 million has been invested recently on 10 new garbage trucks, to allow council to compete more effectively with private operators.
Similarly in council's customer call centre the vast majority of staff are council employees paid under a council-wide EBA with council staff making all decisions when industrial issues are raised.
IWS staff operates under a separate EBA which has also been agreed to by the unions and voted for by IWS staff.
I have been involved in all discussions around these issues and consultation took place until agreement was reached by all parties.
This is the Ipswich City Council approach.
It has always been consultative in industrial matters and through that process we have achieved great outcomes for the city, kept jobs local and improved our efficiency and community service.
Council and the unions cooperative and consultative approach is a big plus for our city.
Ipswich City Council is firmly focussed on continually improving customer service.
It has also improved job security for staff with Ipswich also providing after hours services for 10 other councils.
Regular customer satisfaction surveys with residents who have a need to contact council consistently return very high ratings.
VICTOR ATTWOOD, Deputy Mayor Ipswich City Council
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