Electrical Contracting, Service Industry and Equipment Technicians

Electrical Contracting, Service Industry and Equipment Technicians

Apprenticeships, Traineeships & Electrical Licensing Under Attack

Paul Lister - Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Dear Colleague

Below you will find a link to a copy of the ETU NSW submission to the NSW Government’s approach to deregulating the apprenticeship system, the ETU NSW Branch submission was lodged Monday afternoon.

CLICK HERE DOWNLOAD A COPY OF THE SUBMISSION.

The ETU NSW Branch has sought the assistance of the McKell Institute in preparing the submission.  The McKell Institute formulated the response based on industry commentary from bosses, the Union, TAFE teachers & regulators.  There is also generous input from the training industry.

Concerns about many issues are included. Here are just a few:-

  • Registered Training Organisations providing dummy training or no training at all.
  • The capacity for workers to enter Apprenticeships as independent contractors or casuals.
  • Continued reduction in face to face theory education.
  • Use of apprentices as cheap labour and supervising each other.
  • Bullying of apprentices by bosses and some tradesmen.
  • Wage rates that are so low apprentices are finding it difficult to survive.
  • Trade outcomes reduced with less rigor on the Trade.
  • Less rigor on the Trade means it’s easier to get an Electrical License and that means our Trade is undermined.

This is our biggest fight ever and I will be ensuring that we develop and initiate a campaigning approach to this matter.

Please read the report thoroughly and hold meetings in your workplace to bring the issues to the attention of your workmates. Please use the elements of the report to talk to apprentices and get them to join the campaign and join the Union.

Please feel free to forward the report on to as many of your acquaintances as you can – workers, bosses and trainers alike.

The ETU NSW Branch are going to campaign strongly on this issue and your assistance and support will be essential.

In unity

Steve Butler
Secretary

 

A Line in the Sand: ETU Launches Construction & Contracting Campaign

Paul Lister - Thursday, June 16, 2016

Last week ETU members from across the Sydney Construction sector attended a mass meeting where a tough new approach to the construction and contracting sectors was unanimously supported by members.

ETU members said that the time had come to take a hardline approach with bosses in the construction sector to ensure ETU members retain hard fought conditions and secured good outcomes moving forward.

In a move that will see a million dollar campaign rolled out across the construction and contracting sectors, the ETU NSW has developed a five point campaign plan to tackle rouge bosses and secure good outcomes for members across the construction and contracting sectors. The five point plan includes:

  1. MAKE EMPLOYERS ACCOUNTABLE - The electrical contracting companies have had it too good for too long, it's time to make them more accountable.
  2. MORE RESOURCES - the ETU NSW has increased the number of organisers, we now have five full time organisers in the construction sector to fight for ETU members.
  3. ZERO TOLERANCE TO SAFETY BREACHES - Bosses who choose to skimp on safety will be our target as we clamp down on safety to protect workers.
  4. A TOUGHER APPROACH ACROSS CONSTRUCTION & CONTRACTING - its a tough industry so the ETU & our members are taking a tough new approach.
  5. STRONGER EBA's THAT PROTECT & IMPROVE CONDITIONS - You spoke and the ETU has listened. The ETU will only sign off on agreements that protect the rights of apprentices, our trade and our license.

This plan marks the beginning of the ETU's campaign and new approach but we can't do this without you. This commitment to the construction and contracting sectors from your union shows that we are serious about fighting for better outcomes.

At a time when the Sydney construction sector is booming it's time for electrical contracting companies to share this prosperity with their workers.

This is a new approach but it will only be successful with your support so get on board and let your organising team know what needs to be done to deliver better outcomes for ETU members.

Your ETU Organisers are:

In unity,

Steve Butler - ETU Secretary

Apprentice numbers down as Liberals & Nationals gut TAFE

Paul Lister - Friday, March 04, 2016

The ETU is seriously concerned at the latest figures which show the number of people undertaking an apprenticeship - including in the electrical trades - has plummeted.

Shadow Minister for Skill's David Harris pointed out today that the number of apprenticeships being undertaking in September last year was 82,600 down from 146,200 in 2010.

This drop of almost 50% in five years is alarming. At the same time the ETU has witnessed a reduction in the quality of trade outcomes following the implementation of "Smart & Skilled" which has financially gutted the TAFE system and reduced face to face training time.

ETU Secretary Steve Butler said that this is a worrying trend which is not reversed will have severe consequences for all trades right across NSW.

"We have had feedback from many employers saying that the quality of apprentice training has dropped significantly." Steve said.

"On the job employers are seeing a drop off in the skills of apprentices particularly around competency and safety."

"The ETU has commissioned research into trade outcomes to help identify the problem and how it may be addressed."

"We have already started talking to MPs about changes and we will have more to say on this front later this month." said Steve.

ETU Canberra Rally to Stop the China Free Trade Agreement

Paul Lister - Wednesday, August 05, 2015

The Abbott Government negotiated the terms of the China Free Trade Agreement in secret because it comes at the cost of local jobs, worker safety, workplace rights and community safety.

Next Monday we're rallying in Canberra to stop the China Free Trade Agreement and demand the Government renegotiate the deal in the interests of the community.

Use your lunch break to join the rally – more information in the attached flyer. RSVP here.

WHEN
August 10, 2015 at 12pm - 1pm

WHERE
Garema Place, Canberra
25 Garema Pl
Canberra, ACT 2600
Australia

The public is overwhelmingly against this deal and making our message heard is crucial to protecting local jobs. Invite your friends and colleagues. See you there.

Stop the China Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA)

Paul Lister - Thursday, July 16, 2015

You may have heard that just a few weeks ago Prime Minister Tony Abbott signed off on the China Free Trade Agreement that will allow Chinese based companies to import their own labour.

Abbott's free trade agreement also removes the requirement for mandatory skills assessment for ten occupations including: Electrician (General), Electrician (Special Class), Automotive Electrician. ALL OTHER occupations will be reviewed within two years with the aim of reducing or eliminating the need for skills assessments.

The ETU is fighting to STOP THE CHINA FREE TRADE AGREEMENT by raising this as a public issue before two parliamentary committee's consider the issues. In order to come into effect these parliamentary committees must sign off on it.

TAKE ACTION TODAY - visit the Australian Unions website and email your MP

 

National Licensing Aborted

Paul Lister - Friday, December 20, 2013

COAG have announced that they have officially aborted the National Licensing model covering electrical and other trade based licenses. 

Following the outcome of extensive State-based consultation, the majority of States decided not to pursue the proposed National Occupational Licensing Scheme reform. Most jurisdictions identified a number of concerns with the proposed NOLS model and potential costs. States instead decided to investigate approaches that would increase labour mobility and deliver net benefits for businesses and governments.
 
To this end, States agreed to work together via the Council for the Australian Federation (CAF) to develop alternative options for minimising licensing impediments to improving labour mobility and to manage the orderly disestablishment of the National Occupation Licensing Authority from early 2014.

Click here to read the full COAG statement.

Click here to read the letter from NSW Fair trading to the ETU NSW.

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.