Disability care dispute

Talitha WolfeAlbany Advertiser

Negotiations to resolve the on-going pay dispute between disability service provider Community Living Association and staff continues, and the peak union body says further industrial action has not been ruled out.

As revealed by the Albany Advertiser last month, the Australian Services Union WA claimed about 160 full-time employees were underpaid by the not-for-profit organisation in recent months, with some on-call staff paid just $11 an hour.

In September the WA Industrial Relations Commission was brought in to reconcile the dispute.

But according to the ASU, CLA management have been unavailable for negotiations since November, with the latest attempt at reconciliation in January.

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ASU assistant secretary Jill Hugo said CLA had since been in contact and negotiations seemed promising.

“We have been consistent in our approach, and we’re pleased the CLA has now recognised this fact,” she said.

“We’re encouraged that CLA management are now actively negotiating with us as we secure the correct pay and conditions for our members.”

However, Ms Hugo said the matter would return to the WAIRC if it was unresolved in six weeks.

“The law is clear, an employee must receive the salary and conditions commensurate with their skills and experience as defined under the relevant award,” she said.

“If successful resolution is not achieved within six weeks, the ASU reserves its right to head back to the Commission.”

CLA chief executive Iain Campbell declined to comment.

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