Electricity, Water and Utilities

Electricity, Water and Utilities

Electrical Licence Update

Paul Lister - Monday, August 26, 2013

The CEPU has raised serious concerns over proposed changes to electrical licenses with the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd.

After hearing the CEPU's concerns the PM has written to the union and advised that his Government will not agree to any National Occupational Licensing reform that dilutes existing electrical, plumbing, mechanical, refrigeration, or fire protection services licenses that may compromise community safety and consumer protection.

In his letter Prime Minister Rudd goes on to say that the Government will only proceed with there is agreement reached with all stake holders including the CEPU, employer associations and industry skills councils.

You can read the full letter here.

Product Recall - Faulty Electrical Cables

Paul Lister - Monday, August 26, 2013

NSW Fair Trading has negotiated with the Infinity Cable Co Pty Ltd for the recall of three batches of *Infinity* brand insulated electrical cables. The cables are Thermoplastic Sheathed electric cable - commonly known as TPS.

The specific cable is 2.5mm "Polymeric Insulated Electrical Cable which is PVC Sheathed, PVC Insulated, Flat and Flexible Low Voltage Electrical Cable" also commonly known as "TPS 2.5mm Twin and Earth" (ThermoPlastic Sheathed Electrical Cable, active, neutral and earth). The batch numbers being recalled are INFH 190311, INFH 210912 and INFMEL 081112.

The cables that are the subject of the recall have been subjected to laboratory testing commissioned by NSW Fair Trading and conducted by TUV Rheinland in Victoria. The sample submitted for testing by NSW Fair Trading failed the commissioned tests against AS/NZ 5000.2:2006 and relevant parts of AS/NZ 3808. The testing failure indicates that the plastic coating insulation on the cable can become brittle when exposed to high temperatures over time whether through exposure to heat generated by the copper wire itself or through exposure to external heat such as if it is used in the roof of homes in warmer parts of NSW.

Information provided to Fair Trading is that the product has been stocked in NSW for about one year.  NSW Fair Trading has been in contact with electrical safety regulators around Australia and advised them of the concerns regarding this cable. NSW Fair Trading believes that the cable may also be sold in other States and Territories. Fair Trading has no information that any incidents or injuries to people or property has resulted from the cable. However, given the cable batches have failed essential safety tests the recall is needed to prevent possible future problems.  

The company is publishing recall notices in newspapers and writing to everyone they have sold the cable to requesting them to return the recalled batches of cable to the place of sale.The company has agreed to provide information to Fair Trading concerning the importation and sale of the recalled batches of cable and to provide ongoing reports to Fair Trading of the recall and disposal of the affected cables.

Fair Trading will be issuing a media release regarding the recall in addition to the company*s own recall notices. Our advice will of course be that consumers should not try to inspect the cable and that any work on wiring or cable should only be done by licensed electricians. We will also recommend to consumers that if they have recently had building work done, or wiring changed or installed, they should contact the responsible builder or electrician for advice on whether the recalled cable was used. If it was, we will recommend that they talk to the builder or electrician about getting the cable inspected and replaced.

It would be appreciated if you could make your members and stakeholders aware of this recall through your own communication channels and networks. The formal information that you could direct people towards will be on the Fair Trading website www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au.

Eastern Tree Service EA Talks to Commence

Paul Lister - Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Negotiations for the Eastern Tree Service EBA will kick off next Friday 16th August at Murwillumbah. Updates posted on the ETU website after the meeting.

All enquiries please call ETU Organiser Geoff Prime 0416 060 955.

ETU takes Action over Ausgrid Contestable Metering Decision

Paul Lister - Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Last week Ausgrid announced it had made a decision to investigate Market Interest in the Sale of Contestable Metering Business. The ETU and affected employees took exception to the manner in which Ausgrid notified employees and Unions and the media of its decision. The ETU questioned Ausgrid’s commitment to the new Consultation provisions in the new Agreement.

The ETU lodged a dispute in the Fair Work Commission and the matter was heard today before SDP Hamberger. The ETU argued that Ausgrid had not followed the proper consultative mechanisms within the agreement and believe Ausgrid has already made a decision to sell off Contestable Metering.

The Outcome

  • Ausgrid maintained a “final decision” to sell Contestable Metering has not been made.
  • The parties agreed that the protocols around raising items for consultation can be improved.
  • Ausgrid committed to consult on all 4 options around Contestable Metering
      Maintain Status Quo
      Grow the Business
      Exit the Business via wind down (non-renewal of contracts)
      Investigate market interest in potential sale
  • The Peak Consultative Committee (PCC) is the forum to deal with this issue.
  • The next PCC will deal with the process of consultation, the timetable for consultation, employee representatives to be involved, taking into account the circumstances and complexities of the issue.
  • Ausgrid committed to outline those employees that are directly affected by this issue.

SDP Hamberger’s comments included that a cost benefit could be undertaken for all 4 option so employees and the Unions could understand the decision making process of Ausgrid once a final decision is made.

The ETU will be working with the Metering Delegates,  members and other Unions to identify all the issues, elect representatives to be involved  in the consultative process and provide feedback to members throughout this process.

Redmond Gary EWP Incident

Paul Lister - Monday, July 22, 2013

All members are encouraged to read the Incident Report issues by Redmond Gary.

Endeavour Energy Safety Notice

Paul Lister - Monday, July 22, 2013

All members are encouraged to read the safety notice issued by Endeavour Energy.

Ausgrid Peak Consultative Committee & Contestable Metering

Paul Lister - Friday, July 19, 2013

Please read the Ausgrid Peak Consultative Committee & Contestable Metering notice to members.

Essential Energy EA Update 16 July

Paul Lister - Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Please click here to read the latest ETU Essential Energy EA Update.

Members can also view the draft agreement released by the company and a comparison document to provide members with further information relating to negotiations and the unions log of claim.

Any questions please contact ETU Essential Energy Coordinator, Neville Betts: nevilleb@etunsw.asn.au


Stop the Sell Off hits the Airwaves

Paul Lister - Thursday, July 11, 2013

During May/June our Stop the Sell Off campaign rolled out advertising including 11 major billboards located in metro and regional NSW, newspaper ads and a radio ad.

To find out more about the campaign visit the campaign website: www.stoptheselloff.org.au and follow the campaign on Facebook and Twitter.

Listen to our radio ad here.

Sydney Water Health Check Update

Paul Lister - Monday, July 01, 2013

The ETU has made an official complaint with WorkCover after receiving correspondence from Kevin Young. Mr Young’s response to Sydney Water’s legal responsibilities is abhorrent. The Work Health and Safety Regulations place an obligation on Sydney Water to perform health monitoring and keep health monitoring records where employees’ have been exposed to hazardous chemicals, lead and asbestos.

Following Workcovers intervention Sydney Water has committed to any Workers who want to attend a medical examination through Quality Occupational Health at Merrylands can do so. Sydney Water will inform workers how this will occur.

If any worker has concerns about exposure to chemicals they can discuss it with the Doctor at Quality Occupational Health and he/she will determine if any further tests are required.

Sydney Water will be provided with a health report relating to any work related health issues that are determined by the doctor at Quality Occupational Health at Merrylands.

Workers are entitled to a copy of the full health report. It is suggested that you request a copy of the report at the time of the appointment.

In the meantime WorkCover will continue to liaise with Sydney Water in terms of worker exposure and the establishment of health monitoring records.