The Australian Services Union (ASU) is calling on its members to reject an enterprise agreement put forward by Ballarat City Council.
The agreement - which sets out the terms and conditions of employment - has been put out to a vote by council management, with voting running until this Friday (November 8).
The ASU is urging people to vote no, saying it did not address issues including what it described as a "terrible classification review policy" and "stagnant wage growth".
The ASU said council management had put an agreement out to its employees before its negotiators were happy with the detail.
ASU branch secretary Lisa Darmanin said: "The City of Ballarat's proposed enterprise agreement is a dud deal for workers at Council.
"The ASU is encouraging all employees at the City of Ballarat to vote against this poor offer from Council.
"If the proposed agreement is rejected by workers at the City we expect council management to return to negotiations with a much improved offer."
The City of Ballarat's proposed enterprise agreement is a dud deal for workers at CouncilASU branch secretary Lisa Darmanin
Union officials are seeking a wage increase in line with the rate cap imposed on councils, which was set at 2.5 per cent this year.
A City of Ballarat statement said it had been in "productive negotiations" with staff and unions for six months.
"We believe the proposed agreement will provide significant workplace improvements, including more flexible working arrangements and a better work/life balance."
It also said the proposed staff salary increase equated to the 80 percent of rate cap set by the Minister for Local Government.
"We believe the two per cent increase will allow us to be fiscally responsible to our ratepayers while providing our employees with a fair wage rise that will continue to allow us to provide our extensive range of services to the Ballarat community."
The union also highlighted other areas of contention, including "recognition of long-standing employees", "unfair discipline and misconduct processes", "failures around thermal comfort."
ASU communications also mentioned "unresolved issues in Leisure, Waste, Early Childhood and in the Phoenix Centre", but did not give any specific details.
We believe the proposed agreement will provide significant workplace improvements, including more flexible working arrangements and a better work/life balanceCity of Ballarat statement
One trade union representative estimated that more than half of City of Ballarat employees belonged to the ASU, although The Courier was unable to confirm this figure.
Other councils are also renegotiating enterprise agreements. Last week, more than 50 Warrnambool City Council employees voted to take industrial action and stop collecting litter.
However, the threat of industrial action for Ballarat is unlikely in the short term. Management and union delegates are likely to head back to the negotiating table with council management if employees vote no.
The last enterprise agreement between council and employees was confirmed in 2017 with a nominal expiry date at the end of September this year.
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