A SELF-IMPOSED exile from membership of the organisation that represents councils across the state is set to end for Frankston Council.
Councillors at August’s public council meeting unanimously voted to rejoin the Municipal Association of Victoria after a two-year absence during which Frankston stood alone as the sole council from 79 across the state as a non-MAV member.
Frankston councillors during the previous council term decided to leave the MAV, which charges about $55,000 in membership fees per council annually, amid concerns about the association’s governance and transparency highlighted in a 2015 audit by the Victorian Auditor-General’s Office.
“I think we’ve made our point because at the last election they changed the president,” Cr Colin Hampton said at this month’s council meeting.
“With that new president, there is a new core of thinking within the MAV.”
Whittlesea councillor Mary Lalios was elected president of the MAV in March this year for a two-year term.
Cr Hampton said he had briefly spoken to Ms Lalios about the possibility of the MAV negotiating local government staff enterprise bargaining agreements collectively in future instead of individually with 79 councils “on different terms”.
A majority of Frankston Council staff has rejected the terms of a new EBA and a 1.4 per cent pay rise offer, less than the cost of inflation, amid a near 18-month standoff between council management and the Australian Services Union.