A WAGGA councillor has called for nine-day fortnight working arrangements to be abolished for council workers.
Julian McLaren believes Wagga City Council staff have had it too good for too long and their “archaic” working arrangements should be brought into line with those afforded to the rest of the workforce.
“I think we’d all love to have nine-day fortnights and have automatic pay increases each year but the majority of the private sector doesn’t have that luxury,” he said.
Outdoor council staff are entitled to a nine-day fortnight, working 38 hours a week, while their indoor counterparts work 35 hours a week and can take advantage of flexible working arrangements, some of which take the form of an extra day off every two weeks.
Managerial staff work to 19-day months.
Cr McLaren has suggested that despite council staff enjoying significant perks, productivity hasn’t increased and ratepayers aren’t getting bang for their buck.
“(Staff) get above average pay and above average entitlements,” he said. “You would think with all those entitlements it’d be a happy workforce – anecdotal evidence suggests otherwise.”
Fellow councillor Paul Funnell has backed calls for the nine-day fortnight to be dispensed with.
“The levels of inefficiency and a lack of reality in commercial sense bewilders me,” he said.
“We pay above industry standard and get below standard results ... it defies logic.”
Nine-day fortnights were introduced to Wagga City Council employees in June 2009.
The perk is being reviewed as part of a broad-based review of council operations currently under way.
Director of corporate services Craig Richardson said nine-day fortnights weren’t a specific target of the review but needed to be looked at.
Nine-day fortnights aren’t mandated in the award governing council workers and Wagga City Council holds the power to abolish the practice, unlike many other conditions for staff.
United Services Union industrial officer Greg Golledge told the Advertiser he had no knowledge of the entitlement being up for review.
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