Electrical Contracting, Service Industry and Equipment Technicians

The ACT commemorated International Day of Mourning at a site set up some years ago by the ACT Labor Government. It’s in a beautiful spot close to Lake Burly Griffin and adjacent the Carillion.

There were speeches from local Political leaders, Unions ACT, CFMEU Secretary Dean Hall and a Mother who had lost her son in an industrial accident, the circumstances of this loss was staggering.

Speakers commented on the legal and public outrage delivered to other offenders, for example “coward punch” initiators and the “slap on the wrist” for employers who fail to meet their safe workplace obligations.

Its fair to say that bosses have become emboldened in recent years, willing to cut corners for the sake of saving time, in the pursuit of even greater profits and these bosses are unlikely to change their tune until we change the Government and get rid of the ABCC and building code - both of which threaten the safety of workers.

Despite the sombre tone there was a significant gathering and the local Tradies Club who put on a sausage sizzle and drinks – thank you guys.

The ETU offer six general scholarships every single year with each scholarship valued at $2,000. These scholarships are available to ETU members, their children and their grandchildren. To qualify, you must be enrolled in studies in an approved course at a registered training organisation at diploma level or higher.

To apply for one of six annual general scholarships download the application form. Conditions apply (see application form). Applications are being accepted for 2017 and close at 4.30pm Friday 30 June, 2017. Successful applicants to be notified by 31 July, 2017.

With the footy season gearing up the ETU Footy Tipping Comp is now open for people to join. Try your hand a tipping your weekly favourites and get you workmates to join in the fun.

We will again be giving away periodical prizes through the season based on weekly results while the overall competition winner will receive one free week accommodation at the ETU Holiday Cabins at Nambucca Heads on the NSW Mid-North Coast.

CLICK HERE TO BE REDIRECTED TO THE ETU FOOTY TIPPING COMP HOME PAGE.

The competition password is: Electric

In order to be awarded a prize participants must be financial members of the ETU NSW and ACT Branch.

In Unity,

Dave McKinley - Secretary

Young electricians in Sydney are now reporting that some electrical contracting bosses are ‘setting up’ workers to dud them out of entitlements such as annual leave, RDO’s, leave loading and notice period. This can often amount to tens of thousands of dollars which the bosses refuse to pay the workers

The ETU has now been involved in several cases that have come to light where workers are told that the employer has evidence of misconduct including issues such as theft or working outside of work for someone else.  Often this is just an allegation without any proof but the employer points to dodgy contracts drawn up to pressure the young workers.

Also In some cases young workers have been told that because they did not return PPE such as, a shirt or hard hat, then the company will not pay them their entitlements. These bosses then threaten the workers with legal action and even the police. Some of these workers are given an ultimatum ‘either you resign or we will sack you’ and that they will tell others in the industry that these workers are no good at their job. Faced with this intimidation from bosses some workers have walked away without their entitlements.

In one particular case, a young electrician in Sydney who worked for a contractor who was subcontracted to Heyday 5, sought assistance from the Fair Work Ombudsman.  However, instead of the Fair Work Ombudsman advising the electrician that he could join a relevant union, he was told that he could seek legal assistance.  The young worker then engaged a lawyer who charged him approximately $400 per hour to represent him.  Faced with potential legal action from his former employer, and owed almost $20,000, the young electrician was forced to represent himself at great cost. 

Incredibly, the employer cancelled four mediation appointments with the Fair Work Ombudsman leaving the young worker stressed and at a loss to how to recover his entitlements and stop the increasing legal costs.  Then the young electrician heard about the ETU after a visit to site by organisers Antony Stegic and Fred Barbin.  The worker was told that the ETU could represent him and that we would pursue his case

The ETU agreed to a final mediation with the Fair Work Ombudsman to resolve things.  However, far from settling the amount owed, the employer argued that the worker should provide evidence of what he had done. Unbelievably, despite the employer agreeing that the amount of money owed for the entitlements was correct, pressure was applied to the young Electrician to settle for nearly half of what he was entitled to. The dodgy boss provided no evidence at all despite owing the money for four months.  The ETU officials were shocked at the process to say the least, which allowed an employer to withhold entitlements worth nearly $20,000 for four months without any evidence to Fair Work, the young electrician or the ETU.

Since the failure of the mediation at Fair Work, ETU officials have visited numerous sites in an effort to address the issue.  The good news is that the new ETU member’s problem has now been resolved. Not only has the ETU recovered the full amount but the dodgy boss has even agreed to pay the legal costs incurred by the young electrician. 

The young electrician in this example had nothing but praise for the ETU.

“If it wasn’t for the presence of the ETU officials during the mediation I would have felt pressured to accept half of what I was entitled to.” said the young electrician who cannot be named as part of the negotiated settlement.

ETU recruitment officer Antony Stegic was happy that he and colleague Fred Barbin were able to secure entitlements that rightfully belonged to the ETU member.

“Young electricians and apprentice should join the ETU to find out their rights.” Antony said.

“If you are put in a similar situation DO NOT RESIGN call an ETU official immediately.

“Many young people in the industry are taken advantage of by dodgy bosses who would rather buy themselves expensive cars with your hard earned money.” said Antony.

“The ETU is not here to mediate away electrician’s entitlements, we are here to make sure dodgy bosses pay what they owe”. Antony finished.

The 2017 ETU construction RDO calendar is now available for members online and printed versions are available from ETU organisers.

Click here for a printable version.

Working in Heat

Posted on 13-12-2016

Weather forecasters are predicting that temperatures will be in excess of 38*C across NSW while the ACT is expected to reach temperatures exceeding 33*C.

All members should be aware of the dangers of heat stress please follow the links below for further information from SafeWork NSW on working in heat.

SAFEWORK NSW HEAT RELATED ILLNESS

SAFEWORK NSW HOT & COLD ENVIRONMENTS

SAFEWORK NSW MANAGING THE WORK ENVIRONMENT CODE OF PRACTICE

ETU members should take appropriate action depending on your individual health and work situation, including but not limited to taking regular breaks, conducting individual (personal) risk assessment and/or ceasing work completely.

Members should exercise extreme care as temperatures rise. If you have any questions about working in heat please contact your workplace delegate or ETU organiser.

In unity,

Dave McKinley - Deputy Secretary

CUB 55 REINSTATED ON FULL PAY!

Posted on 08-12-2016

Yesterday the CUB55 were reinstated by their employer Carlton & United Breweries to their old jobs on full pay, representing a massive victory for these workers made possible thought strong collective action and the support of their unions the ETU and AMWU.

ETU NSW members must be congratulated on their efforts and support for these workers through your countless workplace actions, fund raisers, donations, rally’s and messages of support – without your support this campaign would not have gained the traction it did.

Your commitment to boycott CUB products hit the company where it hurt - in the back pocket - the good news is we can now return to the CUB products we all love to drink.

Thank you for your support over the past few months it has made a huge difference and helped these workers secure what was rightfully theirs in time for Christmas.

In Unity,
Dave McKinley
Deputy Secretary.

ETU members working at OTIS are set to benefit from a new agreement that delivers improvements to members over the next three years.

The combined union negotiating committee covering ETU and AMWU members commenced negotiations almost six months ago and were able to present a draft agreement to a mass meeting held at Unions NSW yesterday.

The new agreement will operate for three years and delivers significant improvements for ETU members including:

  • 4% wage increase each year for the life of the agreement
  • Back pay to the 1st of May
  • Increase to MERT each year for the life of agreement
  • Increase to LAHA each year for life of the agreement
  • Increase to First Aid allowance each year for the life of the agreement
  • Increase to Fares & Travel each year for the life of the agreement
  • Increase to the remote allowance

ETU Organiser Steve Bankes said that the ETU members have done well out of negotiations with the result delivering real pay increases to members well above inflation.

“This is a good agreement that delivers improvements across the board without any need for trade offs” Steve said.

“ETU members will receive wage increases totaling 12% over three years which goes to show that it pays to be an ETU member and that the union continues to deliver for our members.

“Yesterday’s meeting voted almost unanimously in favor of the agreement which will now be registered with Fair Work with benefits to flow through to member’s immediately.” said Steve.

“When you compare this outcome with non-union workplaces where workers are most likely loosing conditions it shows just how valuable ETU membership is.” finished Steve.