FIVE local licensed clubs have joined a national fight against proposed weekend penalty rate pay cuts for staff.
Dora Creek Workers Club, Wangi Wangi RSL Club, Toronto District Workers Club, Teralba Bowling Club and Club Catalina (Rathmines Memorial Bowling Club) oppose the proposed cuts.
The governing body for the club industry, Clubs Australia, is seeking to have penalty rates for staff reduced by the Fair Work Commission.
The move would impact more than 42,000 club workers across Australia.
In the Lake Macquarie and Newcastle area, the proposed cuts would impact 1500 club staff, leaving them up to $100 a week worse off.
Clubs Australia wants the Clubs Award abolished, and for club employees to be brought under the Hospitality Award, which had penalty rates reduced by the FWC in February.
Jo-Anne Schofield, the national secretary of United Voice, a union representing club staff, said there was a split within the clubs sector.
“We congratulate all of the clubs in the Hunter, Newcastle and Lake Macquarie who are putting their community values first by standing with their staff,” she said.
United Voice had launched an interactive tool, saveourweekend.org.au/goodclubs, and was giving a “good club” badge to venues that had publicly supported their staff, Ms Schofield said.
Clubs Australia told ABC Radio that clubs could always pay their staff more if they wanted to, but smaller clubs were struggling, and couldn’t afford current penalty rates. It said clubs should be on a level playing field with hotels and pubs.
The next hearing on the matter is scheduled in the FWC on October 29.