Posted on July 17, 2014 by Stuart Simington

The Local Government (State) Award 2014

The NSW Industrial Relations Commission has made a new award for local government. The award applies to over 50,000  employees in 150 local government areas across NSW from 1 July 2014.

The Local Government (State) Award 2014 was made by the Commission by the consent of the parties.  A concise summary of the process of negotiation that led to the making of the Award, as well as the detail of the changes over the 2010 Award can be found here.

In summarising the matter, however, Justice Walton referred to the changes in three broad categories as follows:

Category 1 – alterations which improved the clarity of the provisions of the award.

Category 2 – alterations which enhanced flexibility within the Local Government industry, and in particular, to alterations to:

  • the ‘Statement of Intent’ in cl 2 of the award (a new commitment of the parties to cooperate positively to increase productivity, financial sustainability, promote job security, encourage innovation, and promote cooperative and open change management processes); and
  • the circumstances under which fixed term contracts may be employed. Councils may now use fixed term contracts of employment to temporarily replace employees working reduced hours under a flexible work and leave arrangement, and to employ staff to perform seasonal work.

Category 3 – rates of pay and conditions, in particular an increase in the rates of pay:

  • by 2.6% from the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2014 (with a minimum increase of $20.40);
  • 2.7% from the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2015 (with a minimum increase of $21.80); and
  • 2.8% from the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2016 (with a minimum increase of $23.20).

Walton J also made particular note of the changes in relation to the the ‘Area, Incidence and Duration’ of the award compared  to the 2010 award. This change will result in the award applying to corporations that are controlled by one or more councils and declared to be non-national system employers (i.e. council controlled corporations that are covered by the NSW State industrial relations jurisdiction).