To: Mayor Sarah Carter, on behalf of Councillors
Reinstate the 150 sacked workers at Maribyrnong
Dear Councillor Carter
I am deeply concerned to hear that Maribyrnong Council recently terminated the employment of 150 staff members without consulting those employees or their union. Terminating staff was unnecessary and will worsen the impacts of Covid-19 on our community.
The Minister for Local Government Adem Somyurek has urged local councils to maintain staff, and I want my Councillors to demonstrate support for their community; providing redeployment for staff who have been terminated. Maribyrnong City Council is the only Local Authority in the whole country to terminate the employment of staff; and many of those that have stood-down staff are trying to redeploy them to other critically important tasks. Maribyrnong has no justification to sever the employment of staff when the option to stand them down was available.
These staff are your librarians, swim teachers, lifeguards, and community centre workers. They have provided support and education to the most vulnerable in our community, some of them for more than ten years. Many of them are our neighbours, and they have been sacked by Maribyrnong at an incredibly difficult time for our community and the world.
I urge you to support these workers and ask your Council to keep these people in employment, and demand the reinstatement of the 150 Maribyrnong workers.
Why is this important?
On the 3rd of April, Maribyrnong Council secretly sent termination letters to 150 employees from libraries, community centres and the aquatic centre. They did this without talking to the staff, their supervisors or their union beforehand. Some staff were told they had been sacked by being asked to hand back their keys at the end of their shift.
Maribyrnong Council is the only Council in Australia to sack workers. When asked for justification, they claimed that they believed it would allow the workers to access centrelink if they were sacked. Despite being informed that this is not correct, they have refused to rescind the terminations.
Most of the staff who were terminated knew that they may lose hours, but the termination letter came as a cruel shock. It would cost nothing for Maribyrnong to rescind these wrongful terminations, and they should do so immediately for the well being of the community.