Newcastle council workers strike: services update


Summary

NEWCASTLE City Council employees are out on strike until midnight Friday.
Nanjing Night Net

United Services Union organiser Robert Potter said more than 300 workers voted to stop work immediately during a meeting on Friday morning at Civic Park.

Union officials met with council general manager Ken Gouldthorp on Thursday night over 13 ‘‘areas of concern’’, all but one of which remain unresolved.

Mr Potter said more than 700 union members were involved in the industrial action.

Professional lifeguards were granted union permission to provide ‘‘skeleton coverage’’ at council-designated patrolled beaches.

Any wages paid to those lifeguards today will be donated to the White Ribbon campaign to stop violence against women.

COMMENT FROM COUNCIL

The stopwork meeting at Civic Park on Friday morning. Picture: Darren Pateman

The City of Newcastle General Manager KEN GOULDTHORP says Council is working to restore services to the community as quickly as possible following a resolution this morning by the United Services Union to go on strike until midnight tonight.

“Due to the commitment and dedication of many of our staff, the majority of services remain unaffected. “

Lord Mayor Jeff McCloysays Council is committed to making the changes it decided on in June this year as a result of its poor financial position.

“Some of the matters raised by union members are already before the Industrial Relations Commission for determination and many don’t affect the majority of staff.”

“I am disappointed this action has been taken and I apologise if there is any inconvenience to the community.”

The current status of services is:

Customer Enquiries Counter –The Customer Enquiries Counter and switchboard remain open to take enquiries from the public.

Waste services– Any waste not collected by 10am this morning will be collected in the next few days.

Summerhill Waste Management Centre– Summerhill will be closed and will reopen at 9am tomorrow.

Street cleaning– The Newcastle Mall will be cleaned and minimal street cleaning in other areas will continue.

Branch libraries– All libraries are closed and will reopen as normal tomorrow.

Beaches and pools– Nobbys Beach, Bar Beach and Newcastle Ocean Baths will be patrolled today.

Swimming Centres– Lambton swimming centre will be closed until 5:30am tomorrow. Stockton, Mayfield and Wallsend Swimming Centres will also reopentomorrowfor the start of the swim season.

Parking Stations– The Mall parking station will remain open.

Parks and gardens– There will be minimal impact on parks and gardens.

Public toilets– Some public toilets in high profile areas will remain open. Others will be closed to the public.

Administration– Council is processing invoices and ensuring creditors are paid.

Beresfield Childcare Centre– Operating as normal.

NewcastleArt Gallery– Operating as normal

NewcastleMuseum– Operating as normal.

Blackbutt Reserve– Operating as normal.

Event management– Events scheduled for the weekend will continue as normal.

Civic Precinct– City Hall and Civic Theatre will remain open as normal.

General Manager and Lord Mayor’s office– As normal.

Environmental Health and Complianceservices– As normal.


NEWCASTLE City Council employees are out on strike until midnight Friday.
Nanjing Night Net

United Services Union organiser Robert Potter said more than 300 workers voted to stop work immediately during a meeting on Friday morning at Civic Park.

Union officials met with council general manager Ken Gouldthorp on Thursday night over 13 ‘‘areas of concern’’, all but one of which remain unresolved.

Mr Potter said more than 700 union members were involved in the industrial action.

Professional lifeguards were granted union permission to provide ‘‘skeleton coverage’’ at council-designated patrolled beaches.

Any wages paid to those lifeguards today will be donated to the White Ribbon campaign to stop violence against women.

COMMENT FROM COUNCIL

The stopwork meeting at Civic Park on Friday morning. Picture: Darren Pateman

The City of Newcastle General Manager KEN GOULDTHORP says Council is working to restore services to the community as quickly as possible following a resolution this morning by the United Services Union to go on strike until midnight tonight.

“Due to the commitment and dedication of many of our staff, the majority of services remain unaffected. “

Lord Mayor Jeff McCloysays Council is committed to making the changes it decided on in June this year as a result of its poor financial position.

“Some of the matters raised by union members are already before the Industrial Relations Commission for determination and many don’t affect the majority of staff.”

“I am disappointed this action has been taken and I apologise if there is any inconvenience to the community.”

The current status of services is:

Customer Enquiries Counter –The Customer Enquiries Counter and switchboard remain open to take enquiries from the public.

Waste services– Any waste not collected by 10am this morning will be collected in the next few days.

Summerhill Waste Management Centre– Summerhill will be closed and will reopen at 9am tomorrow.

Street cleaning– The Newcastle Mall will be cleaned and minimal street cleaning in other areas will continue.

Branch libraries– All libraries are closed and will reopen as normal tomorrow.

Beaches and pools– Nobbys Beach, Bar Beach and Newcastle Ocean Baths will be patrolled today.

Swimming Centres– Lambton swimming centre will be closed until 5:30am tomorrow. Stockton, Mayfield and Wallsend Swimming Centres will also reopentomorrowfor the start of the swim season.

Parking Stations– The Mall parking station will remain open.

Parks and gardens– There will be minimal impact on parks and gardens.

Public toilets– Some public toilets in high profile areas will remain open. Others will be closed to the public.

Administration– Council is processing invoices and ensuring creditors are paid.

Beresfield Childcare Centre– Operating as normal.

NewcastleArt Gallery– Operating as normal

NewcastleMuseum– Operating as normal.

Blackbutt Reserve– Operating as normal.

Event management– Events scheduled for the weekend will continue as normal.

Civic Precinct– City Hall and Civic Theatre will remain open as normal.

General Manager and Lord Mayor’s office– As normal.

Environmental Health and Complianceservices– As normal.