General Trade, Mining and Manufacturing
General Trade, Mining and Manufacturing
Help the ETU stop dangerous unlicensed electrical work.
The meeting follows six months of industrial action by ETU, AWU and AMWU members at Bluescope’s Port Kembla and Springhill plants.
Each section of employees will now undertake a 12-hour strike over the next fortnight to ramp up pressure on the company.
ETU delegate and negotiator Matt Daly said workers are determined to achieve ‘a fair and equitable outcome’.
‘We want an agreement that is equitable across the company, which recognises our past sacrifices and the huge profits now being made at Bluescope,’ the shift electrician said.
Employees accepted reduced conditions and job losses in 2015 when the company faced financial pressure due to global conditions.
Now Bluescope is booming again with an annual $1.6 billion profit but has refused to fairly reward loyal employees.
A proposed bonus system that is weighted heavily in management’s favour, a low-ball pay offer and weekend sick pay rates are among the issues at stake.
ETU organiser Brad Currey said the company seemed in no hurry to reach agreement.
‘Negotiations are not moving. Bluescope seems happy to stonewall while raking in huge profits. But the company should not underestimate the resolve of our members to get a fair deal,’ said Brad
I write to you today as Secretary of the NSW Branch of the Electrical Trades Union.
Dave McKinley has decided to step down from his role as Secretary. At last night’s ETU State Council, I was unanimously endorsed as Branch Secretary of our great union. I am honored and privileged to be chosen to lead our union into the future.
After 28 years as an ETU member and official, I know many of you and I look forward to working had with you to improve the working conditions within our industry.
I entered the trade as an electrical apprentice at Tomago Aluminium in 1987. I served as an ETU delegate during some of the big industrial battles at the birth of enterprise bargaining.
In 2010 I became an ETU Organiser working out of Newcastle. In 2015 I was elected President of Hunter Workers. In 2016 I was elected ETU Assistant Secretary.
I’ve helped lead the union’s work across major sectors including Ausgrid, Essential Energy, generation and manufacturing. In 2017 I led our successful lobbying campaign to protect NSW electrical trades standards and security for apprentices.
Since my apprenticeship I’ve been proudly union. My commitment to the ETU and our members has never wavered.
My leadership team includes Ben Lister as ETU Assistant Secretary. Ben worked 15 years as an Ausgrid lineworker at West Gosford and was a delegate for most of that time. He was one of our key activists in the Your Rights at Work and Stop the Sell Off campaigns.
Under my leadership the ETU will deepen the Branch’s focus on growth. We must grow to build industrial and political power to achieve the best outcomes for all ETU members.
Our organising drive in construction and supply contracting has delivered strong early results. The ongoing success of these campaigns is essential to the future of the ETU, the integrity of our trade and the welfare of electrical workers everywhere.
I want to acknowledge and thank Dave McKinley for his many years of service to ETU members.
I look forward to working with you as we embrace the challenges ahead with optimism, courage, determination and unity.
Secretary ETU NSW
PS Please feel free to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Bluescope Reportback following Fair Work Commission
As you are aware, The AWU, ETU and AMWU sought the assistance of the Fair Work Commission yesterday to bring Bluescope to the table. Following a brief report from the Unions and the company, both sides separately met with Deputy President Dean to discuss the current negotiations and the points that we are currently unable to reach agreement on.
The parties then reconvened, and some discussions were had around BlueScope’s offer. It is clear that at the moment Bluescope are unwilling to move from their current position. Bluescope also introduced a new claim, Bluescope indicated that they want to remove the existing superannuation clause from the agreement and have it contained in an MOU. The Unions are opposed to the removal of this clause.
The Unions had a brief discussion with the commissioner on how we could continue to have the assistance of Fair Work and keep Bluescope talking.
The Unions agreed to put to Bluescope that we use the Interest Based Bargaining process properly, with the process assisted and controlled by the Commission in an attempt to resolve the outstanding issues. Bluescope agreed to this.
Whilst we continue with our industrial campaign the Unions believe that we should be exploring every avenue in trying to achieve an acceptable EBA outcome. We need to keep talking and negotiating while apply pressure through industrial action.
The interest based bargaining process is entered into only by agreement and the outcome of bargaining must be agreed by the Unions and the Company and final acceptance by the membership is through the normal EBA approval formal voting process. So if an acceptable outcome can not be achieved through this process it is not forced upon the members unless you agree to it.
We have nothing to lose by trying a new approach to bargaining. At the moment the answer to our outstanding claims is “NO”, if interest-based bargaining can shift some of those answers we should explore it.
When? 17th, 18th & possibly the 19th of December 2018.
During these 2-3 days we will pause our industrial action to allow negotiations to take place.
Yours in Unity
Brad Currey, ETU Organiser, NSW Branch.
Employees accepted a wage freeze and sacrificed significant conditions after the company threatened to close Port Kembla operations. ETU members and others lost thousands of dollars are a result.
But now business is booming with Bluescope raking in $1.6 billion profit last year – the company’s second strong annual result and highest profit in a decade. No Australian corporate tax was paid on that profit due to previous losses being brought forward.
Despite this 119 percent increase in profit, Bluescope refuses to make an acceptable wage offer or restore conditions in stalled EBA negotiations.
Members of combined unions have dug in for a long battle, said ETU organiser Brad Currey.
‘Workers are rightfully angry that the company is all take and no give. The sacrifices made in 2015 saved $60 million. It’s time for employees to receive a fair share of the profits generated by their committed hard work,’ said Brad.
Apologies for the late update, we have been waiting for Bluescope to finalise and confirm their offer which has continually changed since Friday.
Following 2 days in The Fair Work Commission last week the following is a Summary of The Company’s Current Position:
7.5% over 3 years or 9.5% over 4 years is NOT ACCEPTABLE given the sacrifices made by members.
Penalty Rates on weekend Sick Leave HAS NOT been addressed. What the company is offering will only benefit a few people over the life of the agreement.
The $4000 would normally be paid in September but is being brought forward to buy your vote.
One agreement for both sites with no real benefit to members.
The following mass meetings will be held at the North Gate Visitors Centre
Steelworks Mass Meeting (off shift) – Thursday 12th July 6am & 6pm
Springhill Mass Meeting (off shift) – Friday 13th July 6am & 6pm
The ETU will be asking members to Reject this offer and we will be discussing our Next Steps.
EBA (off shift) MASS MEETINGS
Purpose: Discuss Next Steps and Reject the Company proposal
When: Steelworks – Thursday 12th July, 6am & 6pm
Springhill – Friday 13th July, 6am & 6pm
Where: North Gate Visitors Centre
(Please note these are not paid meetings, members should select either 6am or 6pm depending on your Roster)
Come and join us on Thursday 14 June for pizza and beer and to talk about issues affecting electrical apprentices in the work place.
Come along and meet Tara Koot, the ETU's apprentice officer, have your say and meet other like minded electrical apprentices.
As previously reported, the Unions have lodged a “Bargaining dispute” with The Fair Work Commission in an attempt to bridge the gaps over our outstanding claims.
Today we had a brief phone conference with Deputy President Dean of the Fair Work Commission to set dates for the Bargaining Dispute.
On 4 June 2018 at 12:00pm we will be having our first meeting at the Fair Work Commission, with the 28 & 29 June 2018 also scheduled if required.
Why have the Unions lodged A Bargaining Dispute?
The Unions feel that negotiations have stalled, progress is not being made in relation to our key claims of:
% increases; penalty rates on personal leave; bonus system; two separate enterprise agreements; and the trade / staff operators.
With our enterprise agreements expiring on 23 July 2018 we could either continue discussions and hope progress is made to avoid protected action or seek assistance from the Fair Work Commission to help facilitate discussions between the parties on the issues.
As this is the Unions’ application to the Fair Work Commission, if we feel that the Bargaining Dispute is not helping to resolve our differences we can withdraw at any time.
The next negotiation meeting will be held on 24 May 2018.
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- Help the ETU stop dangerous unlicensed electrical work
- Bluescope workers vote to reject EBA offer & escalate action
- New leadership team at ETU NSW
- Bluescope reportback following Fair Work Commission
- ETU members launch wage justice campaign at Bluescope
- Launch of ETU Active for ETU Honoarary Members
- Bluescope EBA Update - 5 July
- ETU Youth Meeting - June 14
- Bluescope EBA Update - 23 May
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