MAYOR Margaret Strelow has released an email between herself and Queensland Council of Unions Rockhampton branch secretary Craig Allen to disprove accusations she has broken an election promise.
In fact, Councillor Strelow said she did not even make a promise to protect council jobs.
Queensland Services Union secretary Kathrine Nelson and former council candidate Leyland Barnett wrote scathing letters to The Morning Bulletin accusing Cr Strelow and councillors of lying to their constituents by stating in a union questionnaire that they would protect jobs - then slashing 70 once they were elected.
The questionnaire emailed by Mr Allen to all mayoral and divisional candidates, before the April election, posed eight integral questions.
He questioned the candidates' positions on maintaining the current council workforce and ensuring job security.
To both questions Cr Strelow stated she was committed to keeping as much work inside council as possible.
"I was always talking about the decision of outsourcing," she said.
"I was very careful with my wording."
Ms Nelson stated in her letter to the editor that the employees affected were dedicated to serving their local community.
"They are people with children, mortgages and other financial pressures," Ms Nelson wrote.
Cr Strelow agreed heartily with Ms Nelson's comment, saying the decision to cut jobs was not taken lightly.
She said she was very conscious of the implications the job losses would have on employees who had been "loyal to council".
Cr Strelow said they had been led to make the difficult decision to cut jobs after completing a comparative survey which revealed council was overstaffed by about 100 people.
Cr Strelow's Email:
Sent: Thursday, April 05, 2012 9:01 AM
Subject: Attention Craig Allen
Please accept this email in response to your letter of 30th March 2012.
So where do I stand on these issues.?
1. maintaining the current day labour including the administration and governance work force.
• I have alway demonstrated a commitment to keeping as much work in house at Council as possible. I have never seen the value in taking key roles outside - our own staff care more and they are committed to our community.
2. Will you continue to ensure job security for the Council workforce?
• I commit to dealing well with all staff.. and where ever possible will always keep staff rather than outsource.
3. Will you ensure that there will be no contracting out of jobs and services.
• I have alway demonstrated a commitment to keeping as much work in house at Council as possible. I have never seen the value in taking key roles outside - our own staff care more and they are committed to our community - and my position has not changed. I believe my track record speaks for itself.
4. Will you commit to wage rises for Council workers above the inflation rate during Enterprise Agreement negotations.
• No (sorry to be blunt.. I will always try to do the best I can.. but I am not sufficiently across the issues or the finances to commit to this)
5. Will you commit to Union Collective Enterprise Agreements for all Rockhampton Regional Council Workers.
• I commit to maintain the rights of the Unions to be involved in the process on behalf of our workers.
6. Will you keep Fitzroy River Water in public ownership
7. Will you keep Rockhampton Airport in public ownership
8. what steps will you take to ensure there is affordable housing in the Rockhampton Region?
• support the work of the ULDA