Brisbane City Council has awarded employees a pay increase in defiance of unions.

The move comes after the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission ruled on new industrial relations laws, stopping a ballot of workers on a proposed new enterprise agreement because unions representing only 15 per cent of workers did not support the ballot. 

“This was despite the council and unions representing 85 per cent of workers being happy for the matter to go to staff for a vote following a lengthy and drawn-out bargaining process,” Local Government Association of Queensland chief Greg Hallam said.

The local government lobby says workers were being denied their right to have their say and vote on their wages and conditions.

Mr Hallam said it could be a sign that councils and their employees are moving away from enterprise bargaining.

“This could be the deal breaker that ends certified agreement making as we know it in favour of a more inclusive and less formal approach which encourages worker participation and an improved say in how employees work and are rewarded for their efforts,” he said.

“I suspect the Government and unions have underestimated the positive relationships most, if not all, councils have with their workers, who also happen to be constituents as well. Councils value their employees and, as a result, local government employment is highly prized and sought by workers.”