City’s new Enterprise Agreement reflects commitment to inclusion, diversity and equity

05 Dec 2022

Greater support will be extended to victims of domestic violence as City of Newcastle (CN) doubles leave provisions for affected employees under its proposed new Enterprise Agreement (EA) 2023. 

Up to 20 days of paid leave will be accessible to employees in domestic violence situations to take the necessary steps to find safety for themselves and their families, along with a raft of other leave provisions and enhancements offering greater flexibility. 

Returned service people will be honoured by being granted paid leave to attend Remembrance Day and ANZAC Day with their fellow comrades, whilst apprentices and trainees will be given a leg-up with 100 per cent of their tool allowance covered. 

City of Newcastle CEO Jeremy Bath said in-principle agreement had been reached in relation to the Enterprise Agreement 2023 with many enhanced provisions available that provide greater support and flexibility for employees and their families, whilst meeting the City's financial sustainability objectives. 

“City of Newcastle is pleased to provide industry leading benefits and employment conditions to our employees that reflect our organisation’s commitment to inclusion, diversity and equity,” Mr Bath said. 

“Together with the unions and delegates, we’ve made key improvements that address what our employees told us is important to them in a 2021 survey. 

“As one of the first councils in NSW to lead the way in domestic violence leave provisions back in 2018, we remain committed to providing ongoing support to staff that are victims or survivors and stand in agreement with the United Nation’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.” 

USU Official Luke Hutchinson hailed the success of negotiations for City of Newcastle employees. 

"The USU is proud of this agreement that reaffirms our long-standing history of delivering improved pay and conditions for our members at the City of Newcastle," Mr Hutchinson said. 

"This agreement provides improved workplace conditions that will enable optimum services for our community and delivers industry-leading and socially progressive conditions such as access to cultural leave, miscarriage leave, improved parental leave, and improved family and domestic violence leave. 

"This agreement challenges the rest of the Local Government sector to embrace the progressive elements of the agreement. And provides our members some instant relief to address the current inflation crisis impacting workers across our communities. 

"USU members have unanimously supported this agreement proposal. It is a testament that both parties can achieve a great outcome for the workers, Council, and the community." 

The Enterprise Agreement 2023 will be submitted to the Industrial Relations Commission for ratification in mid-December 2022, and is proposed to commence from the 1st pay period after 1 January 2023. 

At this point in time, casual Civic Theatre employees will also transfer over from the Live Theatre and Concert Award to the new Enterprise Agreement 2023