Union says unfairly sacked

CEO defends council, says ASU version is ‘inaccurate’

THE Rural City of Wangaratta has been accused of unfairly sacking on outdoor staff employee.

The Australian Services Union (ASU) made the claim yesterday, saying it and its members were ‘outraged’ by the staff member’s termination last week, “for what council has unfairly labelled as a breach of occupational health and safety”.

Council chief executive officer, Brendan McGrath, told the Wangaratta Chronicle yesterday that he was not prepared to discuss an individual staff member’s case.

He said, however, he was aware of the ASU’s claims and “their version of events is quite inaccurate”.

ASU organiser Emma Bagg said the ‘long-term’ employee had safely removed a tree they believed had the potential to fall on pedestrians, but was called in and terminated after council claimed the employee breached the OH&S policy.

“The employee noticed a tree that they believed was going to fall very soon, so considering the worker had all the qualifications, skills and experience to undertake this task, they took all reasonable steps to keep the public safe by acting out a duty of care,” she said.

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