TWU activists, delegates, organisers, and members have been actively pursuing our strategy of holding local councils to account for the conditions of their workers. Currently, most union members working council waste contracts earn well above the minimum award rate.

At Brisbane City Council, workers at Suez have secured pay rises over a long period by building union strength and pressuring council to guarantee our conditions.

Due to our campaign, Council have ensured that companies who tender for the waste collection contract are locked into the terms and conditions of employment that apply to the existing contractor.

This strategy ensured that Suez were not undercut, and were rewarded with a new 16-year contract in 2017 – meaning secure jobs and pay rises for workers. Our continued union strength at Suez over the years means that BCC collection drivers now earn a base rate of $32.63 per hour.

Cleanaway’s contract with Moreton Bay Regional Council, was due to expire on 20 June 2019. Cleanaway workers have fought hard over many years to secure their current Enterprise Bargaining Agreement.

Most workers under this agreement are earning $6 over and above the award rate. Cleanaway’s contract will be put out to tender by the council. The union have had meetings with council to ensure that workers’ hard-earned rights and conditions aren’t undermined by a cheaper contractor, and we’ve received written assurances from the Mayor Allan Sutherland that workers’ pay rates and entitlements will be safeguarded in any new contract.

It will be crucial that we hold them to account on this. The tender went out at the current rates and Cleanaway retained the business.

We are now having meetings and correspondence with the Sunshine Coast Regional Council to secure our member’s conditions.

All across Queensland, TWU waste workers are cleaning up and winning strong wages and conditions by joining their union and standing together to hold companies and councils to account.

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