Electrical Contracting, Service Industry and Equipment Technicians

Electrical Contracting, Service Industry and Equipment Technicians

ETU Secure Apprentice Wage Increases

- 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

- 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

- 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

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

- 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.

Lift Industry Update

- Thursday, June 20, 2013

Negotiations to renew the Otis, Kone and Schindler EBA’s have been running for six months. Schindler’s agreement is now close to finalisation with the committee agreeing to a 12% increase over three years with increases in allowances and a guarantee of their superannuation rising to 11.75%. The only major point that the committee has conceded is that members can now only carry over two RDO’s from one calendar year to the next.

Otis and Kone on the other hand  have not even come close to meeting the expectations of the members. Kone’s offer currently stands at 9% over three years and Otis has increased their position to 10.5%.
In the case of Otis they still have a large wish list on the table that includes reducing overtime entitlements, cashing out of Annual Leave and RDO’s and a number of other items that haven’t fully been agreed to as yet.

Industrial action for Kone and Otis will be going ahead on Friday 21st at which time the members will endorse a range of actions to further their claim. Schindler’s Industrial action has been withdrawn and on Friday the members there will simply be voting on the proposed arrangement.

Lift Industry Mass Meeting

- Tuesday, June 18, 2013

There will be a four hour stop work meeting for members working at Otis, Kone and Schindler this Friday 21st of June. A mass meeting will be held at Trades Hall, Sussex St, Sydney at 7.00am.

The purpose of the meeting is to report back on the company position for the current EA negotiations and a vote will be conducted on taking further industrial action.

All members must attend.

CEPU/ETU 2012 Financial Accounts

- Tuesday, June 18, 2013

In accordance with the requirements of the Fair Work Registered Organisation Act 2009 and the Industrial Relations Act 1996 the CEPU NSW Branch and ETU NSW Branch has made available to members the complete financial reports and associated documents for 2012.

By law the CEPU must provide a copy of their financial report free of charge to members, this can be downloaded here

Free Training for ETU Members

- Thursday, June 13, 2013

ETU members are invited to participate in the following training courses and events, open to all members and free of charge. We hope you find something of interest.

Public Speaking: Saturday 15th June 
Learn techniques that will give you confidence when introducing yourself or delivering a persuasive speech. Register online

Public Sector Workers: Tuesday 18th June
Join the community unions network to meet other workers confronted with the same challenges and discuss ideas for combined union activities. Details

Workers Comp Day:
Wednesday 19th June
‘Fair Go for Workers Compensation Day’ to highlight the NSW Government’s attack on injured workers.  Flyers and surveys

Cumberland Community Unions:
Wednesday 19th June
Come along to the official launch of a new community unions group for Smithfield and Fairfield areas of Western Sydney. RSVPs and details

Bullying and Workers Comp - basics: Friday 21st June
This training will enable organisers and delegates to:
Session 1. Give simple advice on the job about NSW Workers Comp.
Session 2.  Use new Anti-Bullying and Harassment Laws as a tool to make workplaces safer. Register for either or both sessions

Arc Up - June 2013

- Tuesday, June 04, 2013

The Construction and Servicing industry newsletter Arc Up is now available for download. In this edition - Anniversary of the failed construction industry Lockout, mechanical sector update, electronic security industry update and the fire industry.

Download your copy of ARC UP

Schindler EBA Update

- Tuesday, June 04, 2013

I was hoping that by now I would be able to deliver good news regarding the EBA negotiations. Unfortunately that isn’t the case.

Following the mass meeting held back in April the committee met with management to discuss our endorsed position. The Company put a proposal to us that on face value looked like 4% per year for three years however on closer inspection it added up to well less than that figure.

The committee tabled a counter proposal which the company stated they would review and respond to.

I finally received that response late on Friday – 4 WEEKS later and it was simply “for the formality Schindler rejects you last offer”. No in depth response, no counter proposal, no discussion.

There will be a meeting at some time this week to discuss our position but as the company has ignored the committee for this long I don’t expect there will be any agreement reached.

The only option I believe we have is industrial action therefore could you please ensure that your ballot is returned to the Electoral Authority ASAP