City of Newcastle's Enterprise Agreement paves the way for rest of NSW

23 June 2023

A raft of progressive leave provisions and enhancements featured in City of Newcastle's (CN) Enterprise Agreement (EA) 2023 is being extended to local government employees across NSW.

Up to 20 days of paid leave will be accessible to all NSW local government employees in domestic violence situations, along with Miscarriage Leave and a range of other initiatives offering employees greater support and flexibility if the proposed Local Government (State) Award 2023 is endorsed on 1 July.

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

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said CN's industry-leading Enterprise Agreement 2023 has set the tone for the rest of the state in terms of a harmonious industrial sector across local government.

“As one of the first councils in NSW to lead the way in domestic violence leave provisions back in 2018, City of Newcastle is pleased to see the results of those successful negotiations presented to all local government employees in NSW," Cr Nelmes said.

"The success of CN's EA has challenged the rest of the Local Government sector to embrace the progressive elements of the agreement."

City of Newcastle CEO Jeremy Bath said the outcome achieved for local government employees statewide is a testament to all parties involved.

"The inclusion of these new provisions in the proposed State Award is a great outcome for local government employees in NSW, the unions, delegates and ratepayers," Mr Bath said.

"It's wonderful to see the progressive benefits and employment conditions led by City of Newcastle's EA now reflected in the proposed state Award, in addition to the Local Government sector's commitment to inclusion, diversity and equity."

USU Official Luke Hutchinson said the proposed Award reaffirms the USU’s long-standing history of delivering improved pay and conditions for all 50,000 workers employed throughout all Councils in NSW.

"This proposed Award provides improved workplace conditions that will enable optimum services for our community and delivers socially progressive conditions such as access to miscarriage leave, improved parental leave, improved workplace flexibility and improved family and domestic violence leave," Mr Hutchinson said.

"Following the resolution of the City of Newcastle Enterprise Agreement in late 2022, the USU challenged the rest of the Local Government sector to embrace the progressive elements of this agreement.

“Most importantly, this proposed Award provided our members some instant relief to address the current inflation crisis impacting workers across our communities."