Councillors, executive appear worlds apart

Fair Work discussions continuing, but parties kept separate yesterday

COUNCIL management and councillors were kept separate for the duration of the Fair Work Commission conference at Wangaratta Courthouse yesterday.

The conference was closed to the public, however, from the foyer outside courtroom three it was clearly visible how negotiations were occurring.

All of the Rural City of Wangaratta’s corporate management team – chief executive officer, Doug Sharp, directors Ruth Tai, Ray Park and Andrew Close and executive manager of economic development, Graham Nickless, were in one room with their solicitor.

In another room were Mayor Rozi Parisotto and councillors Julian Fidge and Tammy Atkins, as well as acting chief executive officer Kelvin Spiller, while Cr Noel Amery joined the group an hour before the conference wrapped up.

The commission’s Deputy President Greg Smith, together with solicitors for both parties, floated between both rooms throughout the five hour conference to see where each party was at.

Exactly what was discussed is confidential though it’s understood council officers were seeking assurance of their continued employment and a stop to public criticism of them by councillors.

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