Garbage truck drivers – who have gone on strike three times in the last three weeks – have overwhelmingly voted down the pay rise offered by garbage collection contractor Suez, opening the possibility for further industrial action.
Suez offered wage increases of 2 per cent in 2021, 3 per cent in 2022 and 3 per cent in 2023 but workers and their union are pushing for a 4 per cent pay rise each year for the next three years.
Drivers received a 3.4 per cent rise this year, Suez said.
Suez put the offer to a vote this morning (20 November) and its rejection was “pretty close to unanimous”, Transport Workers Union ACT Secretary Klaus Pinkas said.
Discussions will continue with the Fair Work Commission next Monday but further strikes seem increasingly likely.
Four days’ notice is required before further strike action can be taken so no action can be taken until at least next Friday (27 November), Mr Pinkas said.
“We are still seeking clarification from our members about what they want to do,” Mr Pinkas said following the vote.
Suez General Manager of Collections and Logistics for NSW, Paul Haslam, told Region Media that the company had gone back to the union with five different offers.
Suez is also offering alternative options such as pay rises tied to efficiency improvements, he said.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story included a picture of an ACT Government garbage truck, not a Suez truck. We apologise for this error.