Electricity, Water and Utilities

Electricity, Water and Utilities

Endeavour Update: NO means NO!

Paul Lister - Friday, March 24, 2017

It’s little surprise that Endeavour Energy members voted overwhelmingly to reject Rod Howards and Managements “generous offer” to slash your conditions in the EBA vote this week. We always knew that this offer would go down in a ball of flames and management should not be surprised.

I want to recognise the efforts of your delegates, among the most committed ETU members, who without their contribution and dedication this EBA negotiation would be so much more difficult. I also want to congratulate all ETU members for taking a stand against these attacks on your working conditions by a CEO and management team who hold nothing but total disregard for fairness.

Yesterday’s result should send a clear message to Rod Howard and management that the offer they put on the table, an offer that would strip away your legislated protections, is just not good enough. This should also stand as a message to the new CEO of Endeavour Energy, whoever that might be once the company is sold, that they should not waste any more time or money in putting forward so called “offers” that leave workers worse off, unless of cause they too want a bloody nose like your current management team.

The ETU, on behalf of our membership, remain committed to securing a fair outcome and will continue to negotiate towards an offer that delivers on our three bargaining principles – no forced redundancy, no loss of conditions and a fair pay increase. I am hopeful that the new CEO and new owners will be more pragmatic when it comes to reaching an agreement.

As you are aware the negotiating committee will meet on 30 March and it now appears highly unlikely that a fair offer will be put before the Liberals privatisation transaction is complete, none the less we will keep you informed of any developments.

Again, congratulations to all ETU members for standing together in protecting our rights and for rejecting a disgraceful offer from a disgraceful management team lead by Rod Howard. If you look at Essential Enegry and Ausgrid, both company’s moved to dump their CEO’s and clean out management that presided over failed EBA negotiations, one can only guess the same will apply at Endeavour Energy.

Oh and by the way, I have included an interesting snapshot that appeared in yesterday’s paper outlining just how well Endeavour Energy are doing despite the AER’s ruling with the company posting higher than expected and very healthy profits.

In Unity,
Dave McKinley
Secretary

Ausgrid Update - LV Incident & EBA

Paul Lister - Friday, March 24, 2017

Live L.V. Jointing accident.

On Monday 20th March at about 3am one of our members Jake Archer suffered a serious electric shock while performing Live L.V. underground jointing in a pit in the Sydney CBD. It is with great relief that I can report Jake is now recovering in hospital and is in a stable condition. If not for the diligence and training of his fellow ETU members who performed CPR until the ambulance arrived, this could have quite easily resulted in a fatality. Our thoughts are with Jake and his family and we wish him a speedy recovery.

Live jointing is something that the union has raised concerns about in the past and the fact is that it results in far too many accidents. There is something seriously wrong with a system of work when it has to be done alive in preference to properly organizing and planning jobs in a way so that interruptions to supply have to occur and people can work safely on mains and apparatus in an isolated and de-energised state. To their credit and in consultation with the ETU, Ausgrid has today placed a suspension on all Live L.V. work – that includes suburban and Sydney CBD work. I have attached a copy of that suspension notice from Ausgrid. The union fully supports this suspension and will work with Ausgrid to understand the cause of this and other related accidents in a bid to develop better work processes around L.V. jointing. In the meantime I ask that everyone observes this suspension to the letter.

CLICK HERE FOR THE AUSGRID SAFETY NOTICE.

Ausgrid Agreement Negotiations.

Your negotiating team met with Ausgrid management yesterday in what was the third meeting under the new owners - Ausgrid Management Pty Ltd. Several matters were discussed including the following headline issues;

Redeployment / Redundancy; The combined unions have consistently made it clear that the employment security provisions of the legislation governing the recent lease transaction are non-negotiable. In a nutshell that means that there cannot be any forced redundancies prior to June 2020 when those job security provisions expire. For your information please see the attached resolution from the executive of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) which underwrites this position with support from the whole union movement. Ausgrid appear to be sympathetic to this point of view but have expressed concern as to how they will deal with surplus employees in the redeployee pool which they say will only grow in size over the life of the agreement.

Consultation / Dispute Settlement; Ausgrid have expressed concern over the time that consultation and disputes take and also raised an issue with the status quo provision of the disputes settlement procedure. The combined unions made it clear that the status quo provisions were not up for negotiation. In terms of the mechanics of the consultation clause, our view is that consultation can be made more efficient and expedited if consultation is both up front and genuine in nature i.e. not consultation on how a predetermined managerial decision is arrived at but consultation on ideas the organisation may be considering with opportunity for genuine input from our members. The point was also made that members and their workplace delegates needed to be given more autonomy, recognition and authority to negotiate early on during the process.

Classification structures and allowances; Discussion related to a more simplified and rationalised system of classifications and allowances which would involve multiskilling and the incorporation of allowances in to the classification hourly rates.

Smaller working groups have been formed off the main negotiating committee to formulate more detailed proposals from the unions in each of these areas. The delegates forming these groups are listed on the following page. I encourage all members who may have a contribution to make to feed this through their respective delegates up to these negotiating committee representatives. This is your Agreement and if you have input you should provide us with that so we can consider it as part of our position during the negotiations.

All proposals will be ultimately be brought back to the full negotiating team for approval before being tabled in the negotiations with Ausgrid. Please be aware that all negotiating positions are ultimately subject to the approval of further full delegates meetings should we begin to reach a negotiated outcome with Ausgrid.

On that note, I have to say that our experience with Ausgrid Management Pty Ltd at this early stage of the negotiations has been far more encouraging than the experience we had when the former (State Government) owners were on a mission to strip the company of cash and attack unions - prior to the sell off.

There is now genuine dialogue and a will on both sides to try and reach agreement on a number of keys issues. Whether this goodwill will be enough to transform in to proposals that will give effect to both parties’ interests remains to be seen, but we are much more positive about that prospect than we have had reason to be over the past 3 years.

CLICK HERE FOR A FULL COPY OF THIS NOTICE.

Endeavour Energy to go to Ballot

Paul Lister - Monday, March 13, 2017

Dear Members,

On Thursday 2 March, at the EBA Negotiating meeting, your EBA Bargaining Team informed EnE of the outcome of the feedback sessions held with the members and the Joint Union delegates meeting.

Prior to us informing EnE of the outcome, as above, EnE had already made its decision of which “Option” they would choose to include into the proposed EBA to go to vote, and presented it to the bargaining team.  True to form, your employer chose the absolute worst option for the employees of the 2 options.

On Friday 10th March 2017, Endeavour Energy will be making available the EBA that they want for the required access period prior to the voting period which is from the 21st to 23rd March 2017.

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

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

Their offer doesn’t tick the box for any of our above principles… Click here to read the full notice about the ballot and what it means for ETU members.

In Unity

Brad Currey - Organiser - 0431 838 852 / bradc@etunsw.asn.au

Footy Tipping Comp 2017 - Win a week at the ETU Holiday Cabins

Paul Lister - Thursday, March 02, 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

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

DELEGATES MEETING JANUARY 31st 10am Silverwater Training Centre

Bruce Fan - Friday, January 13, 2017

As a result of representations made by the ETU Ausgrid have agreed to a paid combined unions delegates meeting to be held on on Tuesday 31st January 2017 10am at Silverwater Training Centre, 48-50 Holker Street, Silverwater.

 

The meeting will be addressed by outgoing ETU Secretary Steve Butler and incoming Secretary Dave McKinley. Ausgrid Pty Ltd CEO Richard Gross has also accepted an invitation to address the meeting.

 

By way of background the meeting will recap the EBA negotiations that occurred under the old Ausgrid owners and discuss the logistics of re-commencing EBA negotiations under the new owners - Ausgrid Management Pty Ltd.

 

Ausgrid Management Pty Ltd have made it clear that whilst they understand that the subject matter of EBA negotiations will arise during our part of the meeting, they are not in a position to discuss the company’s EBA negotiating position as bargaining would not have yet formally commenced.

 

It is important that all delegates attend this meeting as it will set the scene for the recommenced EBA negotiating round, under the new owners.


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