Electricity, Water and Utilities
Electricity, Water and Utilities
This basic right was confirmed yesterday after the ETU sought an injunction in the Federal Court.
ETU officials had been excluded from the first employee interviews in SafeWork’s investigation into the fatal accident on Ausgrid’s network last week. A 39-year-old father, an ETU member, died.
The union’s legal action saw SafeWork NSW agree to three points guaranteeing the rights of ETU members:
1. ETU members have the right to two representatives at such interviews
2. An ETU representative will be at investigation interviews whenever requested by an ETU member
3. Employees must be given 24 hours notice of interviews with the right to nominate representatives in advance.
ETU NSW Assistant Secretary Ben Lister said the outcome ‘protects union members from coercion and bullying during SafeWork investigations’.
‘These investigations are extremely serious matters. Our members need the combination of industrial relations and electrical safety expertise that only the ETU can bring.
‘It is fair and right that our members will be represented by their union on request,’ said Ben
The Use of Annual Leave/ RDO’s for Stand Down Periods
It has come to the attention of the ETU that members are being asked to use their personal
leave or RDO’s prior to and following planned overtime night work rather than being paid the 10 hr stand down period in alignment with unplanned overtime or out of hours call out as per
the Ausgrid Agreement 2018.
The ETU’s position is that Personal leave and RDO’s are not to be used for Ausgrid to accommodate stand down periods following out of hours planned overtime. They are as the name would suggest to be used as personal leave to be taken for personal use.
Feedback from members indicates that this happens consistently throughout the regions and can be easily remedied by work groups being united across all depots refusing to use their personal leave or RDO’s for Stand Down Periods.
Ausgrid should rethink the scheduling and programming of out of hours overtime and you should get to use your personal leave for what it was intended.
Should you have any further questions or comments regarding this matter please speak to your local delegate or feel free to contact me directly.
(Acting ETU Organiser)
M: 0447 784 572
It has come to the attention of the ETU that members are being asked to perform limited operating duties such as replacing LV fuses without Ausgrid being able to confirm their 2B limited operating competency in accordance with the Electrical Safety Rules. Such instances have resulted in disciplinary outcomes which members have been subjected to and which the ETU have represent them in.
The ETU have requested of Ausgrid a list of all people who have competency in accordance with the ERS’s but Ausgrid management at Ourimbah have as yet been unable to provide this list. Furthermore, a safety alert has been submitted by a member associated with this issue which Ausgrid have failed to publicise or produce. It appears Ausgrid do not even know who has competency and who has not and may have failed to keep people up to date in accordance with the Ausgrid Safety Rules.
Members should be aware of the following requirements of Ausgrid’s Electrical Safety Rules;
Branch Managers must make sure that restricted operators (other than a limited Class 1) use their skills at least four times a year (i.e. once per quarter) to maintain competency. Employees with a limited Class 1 operating authority must use their skills at least ten times a year to maintain competency.
The ETU recommends that all members with Limited Operating qualifications not participate in any limited operating duties unless members have documented evidence from Ausgrid that they have satisfied the above criteria. This safety precaution should remain in place until members are advised by Ausgrid of their verified competency and / or Ausgrid ensures that the competency criteria are satisfied for the individual.
Rory Fletcher Acting Organiser;
Organiser Mark Buttigieg will be on special duties running the ETU’s anti-privatisation campaign. I will be acting Ausgrid Organiser in his absence.
Acting ETU organiser
0402 919 537 firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark Buttigieg, ETU organiser
The ETU is aware of the tragic death of Hossam Ibrahim after an incident on the Ausgrid network on Saturday night.
Our thoughts are with Hossam’s family, friends and community. We also acknowledge the ETU members who attended the scene.
Today ETU officials met with Ausgrid to try and further our understanding of the incident at Punchbowl. We raised concerns in relation to current processes at the company.
Ausgrid has undertaken to get back to the union on a number of questions and issues. We will keep members informed as more information becomes available.
The ETU will always advocate for safety to be paramount across the electricity industry for the protection of the public and employees.
ETU NSW Secretary
WHERE TO FROM HERE
The company’s current proposal fails to address a number of concerns being raised by our members, delegates and officials, including:
• Lack of detail around rehabilitation programs for people who find themselves caught up in a failed test result for drugs and/or alcohol. This issue needs to be addressed regardless of whether the proposed changes proceed
• Lack of a draft policy to review
• Lack of detail around privacy when conducting a test at work
• Lack of detail around self-testing equipment and process
• Lack of focus in genuinely dealing with suicide prevention & mental health issues that potentially interact with drugs and alcohol
• Lack of information surrounding the cost of the proposed changes and how that will affect AER funding arrangements
• Lack of education and training around drugs & alcohol.
The safety and well-being of our members is and will always be paramount for the ETU.
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 email@example.com
08 November 2018
AUSGRID RELEASE OF “NON-NEGOTIABLES” PRIOR TO COMPLETION OF CONSULTATION
It has come to my attention that Ausgrid yesterday released a set of 8 so called “non-negotiable” safety points which they had been talking to the union about and which we were not yet satisfied with.
The 8 points which are not finalised were rolled out in Oatley Depot yesterday and distributed via the Wire as a safety scoop throughout Ausgrid. The safety scoop was dated October 2018 and included a version of the non-negotiables which the union had not yet approved. The fact that Ausgrid would release a document dated last month knowing full well that this version was not agreed speaks volumes for their intentions.
Whilst at the very end of the document it does state; “Next steps
We are currently consulting on the non-negotiables. Following the consultation, your manager will take you through them and what they mean for you”.
The ETU is concerned that the non-negotiables were still rolled out at Oatley Depot with managers there already “taking employees through them” clearly pre-empting the outcome of consultation.
To be clear the ETU does not accept the Non-Negotiables in their current form and members should take no notice of the currently circulated version of non-negotiables until further notice.
The ETU always takes safety very seriously, but these points have been prematurely released in a form that would be used as a tool to target and punish our members. This is totally unacceptable. We will ensure that the document is not implemented until we are satisfied that it fairly and genuinely addresses safety issues across the whole of Ausgrid.
Mark Buttigieg - ETU organiser
- ETU FORCES SAFEWORK TO RECOGNISE MEMBERS’ RIGHT TO UNION REP AT INTERVIEWS
- Notice to Member - The Use of Annual Leave/ RDO’s for Stand Down Periods
- National Safety Alert 21 March 2019
- Notice to Ausgrid members: Limited Operating Currency Requirements & Disciplinary Outcomes
- Notice to Ausgrid members: vehicles, safety and load restraints
- Notice to Ausgrid members regarding fatality
- Proposed changes to Essential Energy Drug & Alcohol testing policy
- AUSGRID POLICY ON NOTIFICATION OF PERSONAL LEAVE
- New leadership team at ETU NSW
- AUSGRID RELEASE OF “NON-NEGOTIABLES” PRIOR TO COMPLETION OF CONSULTATION
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