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Maribyrnong Council row raises stink at McIvor Reserve

Stinking rubbish, including dog excrement, is piling up in bins at McIvor Reserve, Yarraville, as a stalemate between Maribyrnong Council and staff drags on.

The failure to collect waste from bins at the park is being blamed on an industrial dispute. But a resident, who wanted to be known only as Jackie, said the dispute had been running for more than 10 years and the council had done nothing to improve waste collection at the reserve.

She said there were bins with dog poo that had not been emptied for up to two months, leaving an awful stench.

The council claims it has been operating a weekly collection.

Notices were recently put on the bins notifying residents that they were not being emptied as negotiations between the council and Australian Services Union members reached a stalemate.

The ASU's campaign has so far included strike action and partial bans on some duties, including waste collection.

"Ratepayers haven't been too pleased with bins in that park not being up to reasonable standard and they have complained long before this negotiation process was happening," ASU organiser Dean Dando said.

Last week, negotiations reached a stalemate and Mr Dando said members/staff were "bitterly disappointed".

"We're only asking for what we got last agreement; we have tried to give a bit."

He said the council was now putting out a ballot on the EBA to all staff in an attempt to get non-union members to agree to the EBA.

"They're frustrating members and going outside what was an agreed process."

The ASU is considering ramping up its campaign to include bans on some duties with local laws department as well as half-day and full-day strike action.


"A lot of long-term employees who have been through ups and many downs and seen a lot of work contracted out worry about their long-term future," Mr Dando said. "We're trying to get a more fair and reasonable wage outcome and incentives for people to be there long term."

Council CEO Vince Haining said in a statement that it had been negotiating in good faith and was in contact with the ASU about the outstanding salary increase claim. "Council has offered a 12per cent increase over three years. We believe that is a very reasonable offer. The draft agreement will be put to all staff to vote on in accordance with the requirements of the Fair Work Act 2009."

Mr Haining said further strike action would impact on council services. It was "committed to resolving this dispute quickly, but on a fair basis".


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