Electricity, Water and Utilities

Electricity, Water and Utilities

National Fight Back Rally - 9 March

Paul Lister - Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Endeavour Energy Combined Union Delegates Motion

Bruce Fan - Friday, February 24, 2017

 23/2/2017

“This Joint Union Delegates meeting reject “Both Options”, as presented by Endeavour Energy.  Therefore neither option is preferred.  The unions are committed to continue the negotiations in good faith and re-affirm our 3 key principles of;

1. Job security;

2. Maintain conditions of employment; and

3. Reasonable wage increase.

Carried unanimously

Ausgrid Agreement Overtime provision claims

Bruce Fan - Monday, February 20, 2017
It has come to the union’s attention that Ausgrid Management Pty Ltd are misleading employees regarding the Agreement provisions in respect of stand down after working overtime. The attached documents and variations of them are being used by various managers across the supply area to subvert the stand down provisions of the Agreement. The Ausgrid Agreement is very clear on stand down provisions. I have included the relevant clauses below;

15.5 Rest period after Overtime
15.5.1 Where overtime is necessary, whenever possible it shall be organised so that employees shall have at least ten (10) consecutive hours off duty. If so much overtime is worked that an employee cannot take a ten (10) consecutive hour break before the normal commencement time, they shall be entitled to time off without loss of normal pay until they have had a ten (10) consecutive hour break. If a ten (10) hour break is not given then the employee is paid double time for all hours worked until a ten (10) consecutive hour break is taken.
This means that after working overtime – any overtime – you take a 10 hr break or you get paid double time until a ten hour break is taken. This is irrespective of how long a break you might have had prior to the overtime. The attached document implies that if you have had a 10hr break prior to working the overtime then you do not have to take a 10hr break after. This is a misapplication of the Agreement. The clause clearly refers to Rest period after Overtime.
15.5.2 If a day worker is recalled to work overtime between the time determined by extending the employee’s usual ceasing time on the previous day by eight (8) hours and 0400 hours, the employee’s normal starting time the next day shall be put back by the number of hours worked between those times or paid at double time for the number of hours worked between those times.
This means that if you are recalled to work overtime between the hours of; finish time + 8hrs and 0400hrs, you only get stood down with pay for the number of hours you worked between those times or you get paid double time until that duration of a break is taken. For example if your start time is 0700 and your finish time is 15:30 and you get called in at midnight and work from midnight to 0400 then you would not start work until 11am the following day or get paid double time until that 4hr break is taken. Anything outside the span of hours above is simply reverts to the 10hr break rule.
Management has been using the attached flow charts, which are a breach of the Ausgrid Agreement. As a result of this it is apparent that many of you will actually be entitled to payment at double time when such breaks described above were not taken. I encourage all of you in this situation to make the relevant claims you are entitled to under the Agreement. This will involve consulting your own records and / or requesting time sheet records from your area management. If there are any issues with you getting this information please contact your local delegate who will assist with the process.


Ausgrid EBA Update - 8 Feb

Paul Lister - Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Dear Colleague,

The combined union delegates met on Tuesday 31st January 2017 at Ausgrid Silverwater Training Centre. The meeting was addressed by outgoing ETU Secretary Steve Butler, incoming Secretary Dave McKinley and Ausgrid Management Pty Ltd CEO, Richard Gross. Mr. Gross gave a summary of the challenges and opportunities he sees for the organisation going forward and was questioned at length by our delegates.

Mr.Gross was not prepared to give a commitment on the issue of forced redundancies one way or another but did say that he views the EBA bargaining process as a complete reset and was looking at every aspect of the business in the context of the upcoming EBA negotiations. He also stated that he wanted to see the organisation become competitive and pursue contestable markets. In terms of commitments Mr. Gross gave an undertaking that representation rights letters would be mailed to all employees within two weeks of the meeting and that he expected the first EBA meeting would take place before the end of February.

Steve Butler gave an industry report focusing on the Essential Energy negotiations and the associated legal actions which led to arbitration on the Essential Agreement. The incoming Secretary Dave McKinley thanked Steve and noted that given this was effectively Steve’s last day on the job, it was fitting that he address Ausgrid delegates. All delegates gave Steve a long round of applause in thanks for his huge effort over many years as both the organizer for Ausgrid and Secretary of the union.

The meeting proceeded and elected the following EBA negotiating committee representatives;

The meeting discussed our negotiating position with respect to the EBA and it was agreed that the consistently maintained principles of;

  1. Job security.
  2. No trade off in conditions
  3. A reasonable wage outcome.

- Continue to be the guiding principles in the negotiations.

To that end the following log of claims was unanimously endorsed by the meeting;

  • No forced redundancies.
  • 3% per annum wage rise with an effective backdate to 1 Dec 2016.
  • Nominal expiry date of 1 Dec 2020.
  • An improved contracting out clause.

Other possible claims were discussed at length but the overwhelming position of the meeting was that the claims should be kept to a minimum, be simple and directly address the three principles specified above. If members have any concerns or suggestions they should feed these back through their workplace delegates and in turn through the negotiating representatives in the list above. These will then be discussed and considered by the negotiating committee. I will today write to Ausgrid advising them of the outcomes of the meeting including the nominated representatives and the claims.

Members should expect to see representational rights letters in the mail from Ausgrid within the next week. I remind all members that if you do not respond to these letters then your default bargaining agent will be the ETU. It is important that all non-members understand that their interests will not be represented at the negotiating meetings and that they are not permitted to take part in any subsequent industrial campaign / action that the union may engage in.

I encourage all non-members to share the load with your workmates and join the union to get full representation. Members and delegates should be actively encouraging this.

Given the comments to date by the new CEO and the stance of the new owners in general, particularly in respect of engaging the union, I do believe that there is some room for cautious optimism and that we should approach the negotiations in that way. We should view this as a fresh start and hopefully an end to the war that was being waged against Ausgrid workers under government ownership. Having said that Ausgrid Management Pty Ltd and their owners should be under no illusion that we will not take a backward step on the core principles we have specified above and if we have to fight to defend those principles we have a long track record of doing so and will continue to do so.

Thank you to all members for their ongoing patience and support for your colleagues.

In Unity,
Mark Buttigieg
markb@etunsw.asn.au / 0417 208 447

Impact of Endeavour Energy’s EBA Offer 02/02/17 - Don’t be fooled

Paul Lister - Monday, February 06, 2017

Dear Members

On Thursday last week your EBA Negotiating Team met with the Company Reps (meeting #50+) where the Company tabled an EBA offer which they intend to put out for the employees to vote upon in early March 2017.

Their offer was broken up into 2 parts, their “Core Proposal” (which is substantially unchanged from their offer of October 2016) and an additional 2 Options Proposal which relate to:

  1. Duration of the Proposed Agreement
  2. Wage Increases
  3. Payment of ESRA
  4. Redundancies
  5. Redundancy Payment for Redeployees; and
  6. Increase to the Proposed Training Fund for employees who find themselves in Redeployment from $2000.00 (as per previous offer) to $3000.00.

Remember our 3 key principles, which has been repeatedly endorsed as an outcome to an acceptable EBA, which are:

  1. Job security, and
  2. Maintain Conditions of Employment, and
  3. A reasonable wage increase.

Their offer doesn’t tick the box for any of our above principles…

In brief, please see below for the proper interpretation and impact of Endeavour Energy’s recent EBA Offer (2nd Feb 2017).

Endeavour Energy's “Core Proposal”

Job Security & Conditions of Employment still under attack.

  • Attacks on consultation clauses - NO more consultation just “Presentation and Implementing”. This will eliminate your right to “Procedural Fairness” and having an input and say into your future…
  • Inability to dispute decisions of the Company if their Consultation Clause is agreed to.
  • Dispute Resolution Procedure - Massive reduction to your rights to fight for what is reasonable and fair with the proposed changes.
  • Substantially weaker Contracting Out/Labour Hire Clause – taking into account the impact of the above 3 dot points. You will see more and more of your work being either contracted out or outsourced altogether without any input from you.
  • You will no longer get the hours component on “Travelling on OT”.
  • Uncertainty around your shift start and finish times – Company can change with a weeks’ notice.
  • Attack on the Long Serving Loyal Employees (employed before 1996 with more than 20 years of service) who are entitle to the “Maturing Allowance”
    • Freeze the entitlement to all (approx. 25% of EBA staff), and:
      • If you are over 55 years of age, then your frozen amount will not increase in value by CPI, unlike someone under 55 years of age – but they could request to have it cashed out, and taxed at the marginal rate…
      • If you are under 55 years of age, you have NO ability to cash out, but the frozen amount will increase by CPI until you reach 55 years of age…

BLATANT DISCRIMINATION AGAINST EMPLOYEES WHO HAVE BEEN LOYAL AND LONG SERVING.

• CIC Shift Allowance - this should have been adjusted/rectified in the Agreement before the current EBA (As Per “Network Shiftwork Arrangements”).

Endeavour Energy's Optional Proposals

 

BE ADVISED:

  • A “YES” vote for any EBA with these Redundancy Provisions in it WILL take you out of the legal Employee Protections of NO Forced Redundancy within the Transitional Sale Act.
  • This will affect EVERYONE – office and field workers alike. 

Make no mistake – this is a serious threat to your way of life:

  • If you have family responsibilities - YOU SHOULD BE CONCERNED!
  • If you have career responsibilities - YOU SHOULD BE CONCERNED!
  • If you value financial stability in your day to day life - YOU SHOULD BE CONCERNED!

Endeavour are trying to buy your rights to Job & Financial Security, Workplace Stability and Procedural Fairness!

YOUR RIGHTS ARE NOT FOR SALE!

Yours In Unity
Brad Currey
Organiser