FREMANTLE council has guaranteed none of its 11 garbos will lose their jobs, despite outsourcing its entire domestic rubbish collection.
At its last Finance, Policy, Operations and Legislation Committee, the council appointed Australia’s biggest waste management company, Cleanaway, to take over collection of its three-bin service.
The move outraged the Local Government, Racing and Cemeteries Employees Union which covers the garbos, as they first found out about it via the council minutes.
Union secretary Andrew Johnson wrote a blistering letter to the council and lodged a grievance with Fair Work Australia.
“Common decency and humanity should have seen this proposal raised many months ago before it got to council as a ‘fait accompli proposal’, given that the matter has clearly been in the pipeline for some time based on the recommendation to council,” Mr Johnson wrote to the mayor and councillors on November 20.
But on Thursday he told the Herald that after the reassurances all his members would be deployed within the council, the union would consider withdrawing the grievance.
“We welcome that commitment, but we don’t regret stirring things up, because the secrecy was very concerning,” Mr Johnson said.
Mr Johnson revealed part of his members’ concerns were driven by a fear the council was strapped for cash because of the Kings Square redevelopment and they were bearing the brunt of the cost savings.
The council’s director of infrastructure and project delivery Graham Tattersall said the move to a contractor would save money for ratepayers.
“The City of Fremantle’s planned implementation of the FOGO three-bin system is a new initiative that Fremantle, as members of the SMRC, has committed to as a key part of our waste management strategy,” Mr Tattersall said.
“Moving to a three-bin FOGO system is a significant service increase and is beyond the capacity of our current waste services team and asset base.”
Mr Tattersall said having one company responsible for all three bins would also be easier to co-ordinate and create efficiencies.
by STEVE GRANT