Friday 17 Apr 2020


The Australian Services Union (ASU) has lodged proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia against the City Greater of Geraldton for unlawfully standing down staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ASU believes the City of Greater Geraldton has breached its enterprise agreement by standing workers down on the basis of an estimated future loss of income.

ASU WA Branch Secretary Wayne Wood said standing workers down based on an estimated loss was unlawful and a breach of the Fair Work Act.

“Earlier this month, more than 100 local government staff were stood down at the City of Greater Geraldton without consultation. The ASU has brought a test case relating to four of those staff members,” he said.

“Under the Act stand down provisions are available when a section of the business is closed. This is not what we’ve seen for these workers. Their workload has been passed on to other staff who were not stood down.

“The City has made an estimate on the money it will lose in the future and has stood people down who are part of core business,” Mr Wood said.

The ASU also sought an interim injunction returning the four employees to work given that the Agreement clearly states that the status quo should remain during a dispute.

The City yesterday gave an undertaking to the Court to return the four employees to paid work on the same terms and conditions as they previously enjoyed.

The City has also agreed to pay a further two weeks of standard pay to all workers who have been stood down.

The ASU and the City are scheduled to attend court mediation next week.

12-04-2020 ASU COURT ACTION FV.pdf