Electrical Contracting, Service Industry and Equipment Technicians

Electrical Contracting, Service Industry and Equipment Technicians

Eastern Tree Services EBA Offer

Paul Lister - Friday, November 08, 2013

Yesterday the Union met with Senior ETS management to progress the EBA discussions.

The outcome was an offer of a 3 year agreement with Annual increases of 3% x 4% x 4% compounding each year.

ETS also offered Income Protection for all employees.

This is an offer from the Company that needs to be endorsed by employees following production of a draft document by the Company which is then distributed to employees for a minimum of seven days before it can be voted on.

The ETU will consult with management re the voting process and venues for the vote. This will allow the Union to endeavour to get officials to the various locations in NSW for the vote.

This outcome has been negotiated over a protracted period of time and represents diligent work by your delegates. It is important to remember that more members will equal better outcomes.

Join your union today.

IGT Poker Machines Back Pay

Paul Lister - Friday, November 08, 2013

Members working for IGT Poker Machines would be aware of the discrepancies relating to the past payment for overtime and rostered on call periods.

To recap, the issue of past pay discrepancies was raised by members at IGT and as a result the union contacted management who appointed an “independent” auditor. Following an audit some members were advised that they in fact owed the company money from working overtime and on call – a situation that was just ridiculous.

Following the report from the “independent” auditor the ETU sought legal advice and discovered that their report is flawed and calculations incorrect.

The ETU met with management a month ago about this issue and proposed a number of remedies and the company gave an undertaking to consider the union’s proposal and get back to us.

IGT have now advised the ETU that they are recalculating the underpayments however, should the company return with an unsatisfactory outcome the union will apply to undertake an inspection of the wages book and take all action necessary to recoup what you are owed.  

On another matter IGT is now trying to impose a new roster which we know will simply not work. Under your award IGT must first get your agreement to implement these changes and for this reason we are advising member to follow clause 10 of the Manufacturing and Associated Industries and Occupations Award 2010, which says:

 10 Dispute Resolution

10.1 In the event of a dispute in relation to a matter arising under this award, or a dispute in relation to the NES, in the first instance the parties will attempt to resolve the matter at the workplace by discussions between the employee or employees concerned and the relevant supervisor. If such discussions do not resolve the dispute, the parties will endeavour to resolve the dispute in a timely manner by discussions between the employee or employees concerned and more senior levels of management as appropriate.

10.2 If a dispute about a matter arising under this award or a dispute in relation to the NES is unable to be resolved at the workplace, and all appropriate steps under clause 10.1 have been taken, a party to the dispute may refer the dispute to Fair Work Australia.

10.3 The parties may agree on the process to be utilised by Fair Work Australia including mediation, conciliation and consent arbitration.

10.4 Where the matter in dispute remains unresolved, Fair Work Australia may exercise any method of dispute resolution permitted by the Act that it considers appropriate to ensure the settlement of the dispute.

10.5 An employer or employee may appoint another person, organisation or association to accompany and/or represent them for the purposes of this clause.

10.6 While the dispute resolution procedure is being conducted work must continue in accordance with this award and the Act. Subject to applicable occupational health and safety legislation, an employee must not unreasonably fail to comply with a direction by the employer to perform work, whether at the same or another workplace, that is safe and appropriate for the employee to perform.

Should our members NOT agree with the introduction of this new roster the ETU is available to assist in pulling together a roster that meets the needs of both our members and the company.

Byron Bay Tunnel Project

Paul Lister - Friday, November 01, 2013

Info for Contracting members re Far North Coast project.

Baulderstone have indicated that they are still considering which electrical company will be taken on to do the fit out for the Byron Bay Tunnel.

The Union has been advised that Electric works will commence about May or June 2014. At this stage the tunnel breakthrough is not expected to happen till Jan or Feb 2014.

If any further info about this project comes to hand we update accordingly via the website.

Contact ETU Organiser Geoff Prime: 0416 060 955

NSW Bushfires

Paul Lister - Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Over the past week many parts of NSW have been engulfed by bushfires with the hardest hit areas being the Blue Mountains, Southern Highlands, parts of the Central Coast and Lake Macquarie and Newcastle around Heatherbrae and Raymond Terrace.

I know many of our members live and work in these areas and I am asking each and every one of us to keep an eye out for fellow ETU members that may have been affected by these fires.

If you know of any ETU members that have been impacted by the fires through loss of property or if you have been impacted yourself, I would like to know so please call the office on 02 9267 4844 and the union will consider what assistance may be available.

I would also like to extend a massive thank you to ETU members that have once again put the community first by responding to this emergency situation to make sure the electricity network, rail corridor and our communities remain safe.  We all know who the real heroes are – people like you, who work within the fire ground protecting the community.

Again, if you are aware of any ETU member that requires assistance following these destructive fires please get in touch. To the rest of you thanks for your hard work, selflessness and community spirit.

Yours in unity
Steve Butler
Secretary

Public Warning - Infinity Brand Cables

Paul Lister - Thursday, October 03, 2013

On Friday 27 September the Fair Trading Commissioner issued a public warning against all Infinity branded TPS and orange round cable. A copy of the Public Warning press release and the Fair Trading Fact Sheet is attached for your information.

In August 2013, Fair Trading announced the voluntary recall by the company of three batches of Infinity brand TPS. Those were batches numbered INFH 190311, INFH 210912 and INFMEL 081112.

Fair Trading had continued to gather further samples of Infinity electrical cable and conducted further indicative testing of cable samples. The test results concluded there were deficiencies in the manufacturing of the cable and as a result, Fair Trading has concerns regarding the safety of all Infinity branded TPS and orange round cable.

Infinity was recently notified of Fair Trading*s growing concern about all of Infinity*s flat TPS and orange round electrical cable and had discussed the possibility of a wider recall.
However, on 27 September 2013, Fair Trading became aware that the company had initiated action to wind-up the company. In the absence of a formal recall Fair Trading is issuing this public warning to ensure that consumers and electricians are aware of the safety risks of the cables and no further cable is purchased or installed.

Fair Trading's advice to traders and consumers is that unused Infinity cables should be returned to the place of purchase by electricians, where they will be entitled to refunds on any unused cabling they have purchased. We are also advising that consumers should not try to inspect the cable in their homes. Any work on wiring or cable should only be done by licensed electricians.

Further information is available on the Fair Trading website www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au.

Anyone with questions or concerns regarding the Infinity electrical cables can also contact Fair Trading on 13 32 20.

ETU Automated External Defibrillators Report

Bruce Fan - Monday, September 16, 2013

The ETU NSW Branch have had the McKell institute write a report on the need for defibrillators on live electrical worksites (actually worksites in general) also included is a list on commonly asked questions.

The paper was written as a result of our 2013 conference discussion to campaign for Defibs. The ETU believes the report is comprehensive and argues a very strong case for the provision of defibrillators.

The paper is available to download below,

1. Common Questions About Automated External Defibrillators(AEDs)

2. AEDs on Australian worksites

ETU Secure Apprentice Wage Increases

Paul Lister - Monday, August 26, 2013

The ETU was instrumental in the recent decision by Fair Work Australia to award significant increases to apprentice award rates of pay. The decision handed down on Thursday 22 August was the culmination of months of hard work coordinated and run by the ETU National Office.

In summary the key points covering the Electrical Contracting Award include:

  • Junior First year rate with year 12  - increased from 40% to 55% of trade
  • Junior Second year rate with year 12 - 52% to 65% of trade
  • Junior Third and Fourth year rates - unchanged (70% and 82% of trade)
  • Adult First year rate - 80% of trade
  • Adult Second year rate - minimum wage
  • Adult Third & Fourth year rate - the higher of the minimum wage or the junior rate

This decision represents a 37.5% pay rise for first year apprentices with year 12 (the rate is set at 50% of trades for first year apprentices without year 12) and we now have adult apprentices rates permanently and nationally.

Due to the size of these increases, there will be a 2 year phasing in period.

A copy of the full decision is available here.

Electrical Licence Update

Paul Lister - Monday, August 26, 2013

The CEPU has raised serious concerns over proposed changes to electrical licenses with the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd.

After hearing the CEPU's concerns the PM has written to the union and advised that his Government will not agree to any National Occupational Licensing reform that dilutes existing electrical, plumbing, mechanical, refrigeration, or fire protection services licenses that may compromise community safety and consumer protection.

In his letter Prime Minister Rudd goes on to say that the Government will only proceed with there is agreement reached with all stake holders including the CEPU, employer associations and industry skills councils.

You can read the full letter here.

Product Recall - Faulty Electrical Cables

Paul Lister - Monday, August 26, 2013

NSW Fair Trading has negotiated with the Infinity Cable Co Pty Ltd for the recall of three batches of *Infinity* brand insulated electrical cables. The cables are Thermoplastic Sheathed electric cable - commonly known as TPS.

The specific cable is 2.5mm "Polymeric Insulated Electrical Cable which is PVC Sheathed, PVC Insulated, Flat and Flexible Low Voltage Electrical Cable" also commonly known as "TPS 2.5mm Twin and Earth" (ThermoPlastic Sheathed Electrical Cable, active, neutral and earth). The batch numbers being recalled are INFH 190311, INFH 210912 and INFMEL 081112.

The cables that are the subject of the recall have been subjected to laboratory testing commissioned by NSW Fair Trading and conducted by TUV Rheinland in Victoria. The sample submitted for testing by NSW Fair Trading failed the commissioned tests against AS/NZ 5000.2:2006 and relevant parts of AS/NZ 3808. The testing failure indicates that the plastic coating insulation on the cable can become brittle when exposed to high temperatures over time whether through exposure to heat generated by the copper wire itself or through exposure to external heat such as if it is used in the roof of homes in warmer parts of NSW.

Information provided to Fair Trading is that the product has been stocked in NSW for about one year.  NSW Fair Trading has been in contact with electrical safety regulators around Australia and advised them of the concerns regarding this cable. NSW Fair Trading believes that the cable may also be sold in other States and Territories. Fair Trading has no information that any incidents or injuries to people or property has resulted from the cable. However, given the cable batches have failed essential safety tests the recall is needed to prevent possible future
problems.  

The company is publishing recall notices in newspapers and writing to everyone they have sold the cable to requesting them to return the recalled batches of cable to the place of sale.The company has agreed to provide information to Fair Trading concerning the importation and sale of the recalled batches of cable and to provide ongoing reports to Fair Trading of the recall and disposal of the affected cables.

Fair Trading will be issuing a media release regarding the recall in addition to the company*s own recall notices. Our advice will of course be that consumers should not try to inspect the cable and that any work on wiring or cable should only be done by licensed electricians. We will also recommend to consumers that if they have recently had building work done, or wiring changed or installed, they should contact the responsible builder or electrician for advice on whether the recalled cable was used. If it was, we will recommend that they talk to the builder or electrician about getting the cable inspected and replaced.

It would be appreciated if you could make your members and stakeholders aware of this recall through your own communication channels and networks. The formal information that you could direct people towards will be on the Fair Trading website www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au.

Kone Put Revised Offer On The Table

Paul Lister - Thursday, July 18, 2013

Correspondence from KONE management to the union:

Please be advised KONE agree in principle to our Employees revised claim for a 17% wage increase over the proposed period with an expiry date of the Agreement being March 2017.
 
This acceptance is based upon the following dates for the incremental wage increases being applied:

  • 2% 1st July 2013
  • 2% 1st December 2013
  • 2% 1st July 2014
  • 2% 1st December 2014
  • 2% 1st July 2015
  • 2% 1st December 2015
  • 3% 1st July 2016
  • 2% 1st January 2017

These increases will also be applied to the allowances as noted in our previous offer.
 
Any further changes to the above nominated percentages and dates will result in this offer being withdrawn by KONE.
 
We believe we have now reached a point in negotiations whereby outcomes should be resolved by secret ballot conducted by the Union or other nominated party, and all current and planned industrial action cease as of the start of shift Friday.