ETU Media Releases

ETU Media Releases

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Hypocritical Treasurer attacks workers while claiming much more generous taxpayer funded entitlements

- Thursday, September 04, 2014

NSW Treasurer Andrew Constance has today demonstrated complete hypocrisy, attacking employment conditions received by electricity workers during emergency incidents while accepting a myriad of taxpayer funded entitlements, including generous travel expenses and a chauffeur driven car.

Mr Constance today described a clause that allows Endeavour Energy employees to be paid for travel time when called to respond to emergency incidents outside of their normal work hours as an “outrageous” perk.

The Electrical Trades Union said the provision only applied to times where motor vehicle accidents, storms, blackouts or major faults cut power services and specialist workers were called in to immediately restore the electricity.

ETU secretary Steve Butler described the comments as a shameful, politically motivated attack aimed at turning the public against electricity workers in retaliation for their campaign against the Baird Government’s plans to privatise the publicly owned poles and wires.

“The Treasurer has not only shown complete contempt for the thousands of electricity workers who are called in following fires, floods and other natural disasters, but he seems completely oblivious to his complete hypocrisy,” Mr Butler said.

“The conditions of employment that the Treasurer has claimed are ‘outrageous’ are not everyday conditions, but only apply when specialist workers are called in after hours to restore power during emergency situations and blackouts.

“While the alleged perk cost taxpayers $1.8 million, Andrew Constance single handedly receives more than $400,000 from taxpayers each and every year.

“In addition to his $249,733 salary, $38,881 for additional expenses, electoral allowance of $92,785, ‘Sydney Allowance’ of $278 a day plus $99.95 per day for meals, the Treasurer also enjoys the luxury of a chauffeur driven car.

“It shows complete contempt for the frontline workers who regularly risk their lives in order to serve the public when they are attacked by a government minister for receiving entitlements that are modest at best and have little to no impact on overall power prices.

“This shameful attack was politically motivated and is simply an attempt to turn the community against hard working electricity workers as payback for their opposition to privatisation.

“Mr Constance owes an apology to the thousands of electricity workers across NSW.”