Gympie Town Hall
Gympie Town Hall

Union says council refused paid pandemic leave

THE Gympie Regional Council has “chosen not to adopt” measures like paid pandemic leave for staff during the coronavirus crisis, according to the Services Union.

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The Union released a statement on Tuesday claiming it had written “to all Queensland local authorities requesting twenty days’ paid pandemic leave” to keep member incomes stable amid the crisis.

Council Meeting – Bernard Smith. Picture: Shane Zahner
Council Meeting – Bernard Smith. Picture: Shane Zahner

“This request was in line with measures adopted by Brisbane City Council and also by the State Government in respect of the Public Service and instrumentalities,” the statement read.

“While some Councils have supported our request in line with comparably sized employers, it is very disappointing that Gympie Regional Council has chosen not to adopt important measures like those proposed.

“Our Union has advocated strongly for paid pandemic leave with Council and will continue to do so.

“Despite our highlighting to Council that many staff do not have sufficient sick leave, Council would rather see staff go into leave debt than offer pandemic leave.”

The statement went on to discuss the importance of staff having “enough leave entitlements for work-life balance and any future illnesses” once the pandemic is over.

“Our members want to continue supporting the local community through this crisis, but they also want to know that their employer is going to do the right thing by its staff.”

The council was in the process of responding to requests for comment at the time of publication.

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