Union supports Blue Mountains council in battle with minister

The union which represents some of the council workers concerned about potential exposure to asbestos has written a letter of support for the elected councillors.

The letter to local government minister Gabrielle Upton stresses the United Services Union (USU) does not believe that appointing an administrator is necessary.

Explaining that the USU has been concerned with the asbestos issues, general secretary Graeme Kelly wrote: “The USU believes that in recent weeks council has taken steps that the union is hopeful will go to addressing these issues.”

He wrote that the acting general manager, Rosemary Dillon, and the mayor, Mark Greenhill, had made themselves available to meet with union officials on a number of occasions.

“The USU has found that council is listening and responding to the concerns raised,” Mr Kelly wrote

He added that council had recruited specialised safety staff, engaged independent investigators and offered to participate in safety round table discussions with the union and SafeWork NSW.

“Given council’s willingness to respond to and address the union’s concerns, the USU does not believe that appointing an administrator is a necessary step, nor do we believe it would be in the best interests of the staff or community.”

Blue Mountains mayor Mark Greenhill

Blue Mountains mayor Mark Greenhill

Cr Greenhill responded with a short comment: “The union has fought hard for member safety and they make a real difference.

"I thank them for supporting their members and local democracy."