Council staff down tools in frustration

MORE than 100 Shellharbour City Council staff walked off the job last week over restructuring and changes to their job descriptions.

About 120 staff attended a stop work meeting last Thursday voicing their disappointment at a perceived lack of communication between the council and staff about the restructuring process.

"It's a combination of things that led to the industrial action, there's frustrations about the restructuring and there's also the fact that there's been a lack of communication about what the changes to the job descriptions will be and that council aren't giving staff the information they need to decide if they will accept those changes or not," United Services Union industrial officer Greg Golledge said.

The USU said there was already evidence of how the restructuring was affecting services, pointing to the council's recent decision to dissolve four ranger positions.

"The issue at Blackbutt and Bass Point is [a] prime example, without the rangers we have fears for the security and safety of our members while they're there carrying out their duties," USU organiser Rudy Oppitz said.

"There's been a lot of time put in by our members working at those reserves and a lot of money spent by council, and our members are concerned that won't be protected with just ad hoc drive-throughs, and we'll just see a gradual degradation of the areas."

A council spokesperson said the council was working with staff to assist them through the restructure.

"Council has maintained negotiations with staff and their representatives throughout the review and restructure process.

"Management is working with staff impacted by any proposed changes to positions to meet their needs and match positions with expertise.

"The matter will be heard in the Industrial Relations Commission on Monday and council is not in a position to provide details until the process is finalised."

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