Electricity, Water and Utilities

Electricity, Water and Utilities

Ballot Result: Ausgrid Agreement Vote

Paul Lister - Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Three Mass meetings were held at Newcastle, Canterbury and the Masonic Centre in Sydney on 5/4/13 and 6/4/13. All meetings were well attended and ballots were conducted at each meeting.

Mick Shields OAM (Ex Commission)scrutineered the entire ballot process, was present at each meeting and oversaw the count. Also present at the count were Union Officials from ETU, USU, PSA and Ausgrid Management.

The Outcome
91.49% Voted in favour of accepting the Agreement.

Next Steps
The parties will now lodge the relevant paper work with Fair Work Commission for certification. Once this process is finalised Ausgrid will apply the new rates and back pay will be processed.

We would like to thank the Delegates, particularly those who participated in the negotiations. Your efforts and contributions throughout the process ensured members employment conditions have been maintained and improved.

Ausgrid Delegates Endorse EA Offer

Paul Lister - Wednesday, May 29, 2013

ETU Delegates met and were taken through the latest Ausgrid offer and a final draft Ausgrid Enterprise Agreement 2012. After discussion and consideration the Delegates endorsed the offer and document to go to Mass Meetings for a vote.

The Offer

1. A wage increase of 2.7% to apply from 19 December 2012 and a further wage increase of 2.7% on 18 December 2013.

2. Back pay to 19 December 2012

3. New & Improved Clauses
     a. Re negotiations Clause to commence six months but no later than 4 months before the expiry of agreement
     b. Dispute Resolution Procedure
     c. Consultation Clause
     d. Outsourcing / Contracting Out Clause
     e. Domestic Violence Clause
     f. Redundancy, Redeployment and Salary maintenance Policies Clause.
     g. Choice of Superannuation Fund Clause.

4. Removal of Salary Point 54 Overtime Restriction

5. Local Workplace Flexibility Agreement Clause to remain unchanged.

6. Superannuation - Any increase to the Commonwealth Government Superannuation Guarantee (SCG) that occurs during the nominal term of this Agreement will be absorbed.

7. Electrical Safety Rules Allowance will remain an all purpose rate. The Rate to be frozen at $129.89 for the nominal term of the Agreement.

Ausgrid are distributing the Ausgrid Enterprise Agreement 2012 document for employees to consider over the next week.

Mass Meetings

The following Mass Meetings have been organised for the employees to vote on the document.

Broadmeadow Racecourse
Newcastle, Hunter and Central Coast Employees
10.00am Wednesday 5 June 2013

Canterbury Racecourse
Sydney based employees (other than HOB and Roden Cutler)
9.30am Thursday 6 June 2013

Masonic Centre, Sydney
HOB and Roden Cutler based employees
2.30pm Thursday 6 June 2013

Ausgrid will inform employees of transport arrangements for employees when they are confirmed.

Distribution Industry Hazard Alert

Paul Lister - Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Please read the Hazard Alert issued by Energex listed below.

ETU Social Media

Paul Lister - Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Be sure to visit out the ETU on FacebookTwitter and YouTube for regular updates while you are there check out some of our photos and videos.

Distribution Industry Hazard Alert

Paul Lister - Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Please read the Hazard Alerts issued by Endeavour Energy listed below.

Biennial Conference, New Website & Scholarships

Paul Lister - Friday, May 24, 2013

Earlier this week our union held its biennial conference in Wollongong where a number of important matters were discussed. 120 delegates from across NSW and the ACT had the opportunity to raise issues, debate matters and adopt policy positions that impact on CEPU/ETU members.

A more comprehensive conference report will appear in the next LiveWire but some of the items covered at conference included:

  • Superannuation.
  • OH&S matters including safety committees, cross industry safety matters, communication, asbestos safety, changes to Workers Compensation and the possible provision of defibrillators in some industries.
  • Industrial and legal matters including how ETU members can access the services of NEW Law when making a workers compensation claim.
  • National Licensing and the national apprentice wage case.
  • Improvements to union communications including social media and the launch of a new & improved website; and
  • Improvements to ETU membership such as Journey Cover Insurance.

These items were discussed over a period of three days and the input from delegates was very much appreciated. It is the effort of our delegates that often goes un-noticed and without thanks, so I would like to say a big thank you to those members that take on the role of delegate in order to represent your colleagues, without you our union would not be as strong as it is.


As mentioned the union has launched a new website. Our last website was launched in 2009 and was in need of an overhaul. The union had four objectives in this overhaul including – introducing the ability for new members to join the union and pay online, simplify the layout and navigation, provide relevant and real time information and incorporate our social media accounts with the website.

Members will also now be able to request an electronic copy of their agreement through the website and access news, updates and notices relevant to your workplace and industry through the new industry groupings on the home page.

I encourage all members to have a look at the new website (www.etunsw.com.au) and we will continue to look at ways to improve interaction with members online.


One of the benefits of ETU membership is access to our annual education scholarships for members, their children and grandchildren. Nominations for this year close at the end of June so I encourage all members, your children or grandchildren that are studying at diploma level or high to submit an application.

We will be awarding six scholarships each worth $2,000 to assist with education expenses. You can read more about the ETU Education Scholarships here.

Ausgrid Delegates EBA Meeting

Paul Lister - Thursday, May 23, 2013

ETU Delegates Meeting

Date: Tuesday 28-05-13
Time: 9:30am – 11:30am
Venue: Hornsby RSL

Agenda: Enterprise Agreement

Note: Ausgrid has approved Delegates paid release.

Ausgrid EA Negotiations + Code of Conduct Dispute

Angela Lordan - Friday, May 17, 2013

Today the negotiating team met with Ausgrid. A lot of work has gone into drafting a new Enterprise Agreement document by the parties and the negotiating group was taken through that draft and had input into it. The negotiations are close to being finalised. However, there are two outstanding issues -

  • Local Workplace Flexibility Agreements- The ETU’s claim was to have the LWFA’s form part of the Enterprise Agreement. Ausgrid are saying they will not enter into any new LWFA’s and they want to review the existing LWFA’s throughout the life of the new agreement. The parties are still apart on this issue and further discussion are to take place.

  • ESRA- it is agreed ESRA will remain an all purpose allowance. Ausgrid are adamant they need to freeze the amount to fund an overall package worth 2.7% p.a. The freezing of ESRA has not been agreed and further discussions are to take place.

Code of Conduct Dispute The ETU and USU met with Ausgrid again on the 16-05-13. Ausgrid have agreed that the status quo shall prevail and Ausgrid will only use the old Code of Conduct in any disciplinary meetings.

The ETU and USU maintain that Ausgrid has not followed their obligations under consultation have asked Ausgrid to provide in writing what impacts the new Code of Conduct will have on employees and to provide all the Policies that underpin the Code of Conduct. The Unions pointed out a number of area’s in the new Code that go further than the existing Policies.

The Unions also again reminded Ausgrid that they need to consult with all affected employees on these changes, not just a target group selected by Management.

If any members is being disciplined contact your Delegate, myself or Mark  Buttigieg and we will ensure Ausgrid only use the old Code of Conduct. Every member has the right and should use Union representation in any workplace matter.

Essential Energy Asbestos & Negoatiations

Paul Lister - Friday, April 19, 2013


David Nardi & Maria Doherty have publically stated to a meeting of ETU delegates that NO work is to be conducted on asbestos contained boards etc until members have had face to face training. Nardi & Doherty have further stated that the training that is required will have to be agreed by the ETU.

Nardi & Doherty committed to the following;

  • No work to be done on asbestos boards until properly trained to a ETU agreed standard.
  • Asbestos awareness training is NOT training for work on asbestos boards or materials.
  • Nardi  & Doherty committed that after a member is properly trained that the member can refuse to work on asbestos contained boards / equipment & if any manager threatens them for refusal the manager will be disciplined.

Boss’s two week Singapore Junket

The ETU has become aware that the CEO Vince Graham has rewarded  two senior managers from Essential Energy, Ausgrid & Endeavour with a two week all expenses trip to Singapore.

When the ETU questioned the junket we were informed that they are attending a safety conference where they will learn new & valuable information to create a safer workplace.

Sounds impressive! but I cant work out how attending an aviation safety conference will improve safety in the electricity supply industry!  & who were the lucky EE senior managers who got the trip ? no other than David Nardi & Maria Doherty.

Beware, Smiling Assassins Bearing Gifts

Meanwhile management threaten to force some lesser managers onto individual contracts against their will.

Don’t be surprised if the management EBA reps who are joyfully taking great delight in attempting to reduce workers conditions & career opportunities don’t get rewarded for their attacks on the working men & women of EE.

The two managers (Peter Smith & Bericura) who are pushing to strip over 200 workers of the protection of the EBA, attack potential leading hand entitlements & generally attack the hard fought for conditions are in the opinion of many a disgrace & no more than traitors to the loyal & hard working members.

If their plot to remove over 200 workers from the EBA is not a set up to rip off conditions & rights from these people, why are the questions & answers from all concerned effected workers published for all to see? It’s not rocket science, they don’t want any poor bugger who has swallowed the crap from the snake oil salesmen that a contract is a good deal, to read & contemplate their workmates concerns!

Next thing you know they will have a role in the new structure, cheap pay off for selling out your fellow workers, Vince must be sitting back rubbing his hands in glee.

ETU Provides Journey Cover Insurance for Members

Angela Lordan - Monday, April 15, 2013

The ETU now provides Journey Cover Insurance for all financial members in NSW and the ACT.

This means that you are covered by ETU insurance if you are injured or have an accident travelling to or from work.

The union introduced Journey Cover Insurance in February after savage cuts to workers compensation left members exposed.

Last year the O’Farrell Government abolished journey cover for most NSW workers.

That is why the ETU has stepped up. We must ensure our members are protected from potentially catastrophic health and financial damage. We are now one of just a few unions to offer journey cover to all financial members as an automatic right at no extra cost.

Any member injured while travelling to or from work after 11 February 2013 is now covered and the benefits are generous.

  • Eligible injured members will receive 100 percent of wages up to $2,000 per week for the period they are unable to work due to injury.
  • Cover is available starting 14 days after the accident or injury.

To make a claim contact the ETU. The union will give you a claim number. for further details about this new benefit visit our Industrial Support Pages.