Electricity, Water and Utilities

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

Working in Heat

Posted on 13-12-2016

Weather forecasters are predicting that temperatures will be in excess of 38*C across NSW while the ACT is expected to reach temperatures exceeding 33*C.

All members should be aware of the dangers of heat stress please follow the links below for further information from SafeWork NSW on working in heat.

SAFEWORK NSW HEAT RELATED ILLNESS

SAFEWORK NSW HOT & COLD ENVIRONMENTS

SAFEWORK NSW MANAGING THE WORK ENVIRONMENT CODE OF PRACTICE

ETU members should take appropriate action depending on your individual health and work situation, including but not limited to taking regular breaks, conducting individual (personal) risk assessment and/or ceasing work completely.

Members should exercise extreme care as temperatures rise. If you have any questions about working in heat please contact your workplace delegate or ETU organiser.

In unity,

Dave McKinley - Deputy Secretary

 

There has been an incident in South Australia involving injuries to an employee that occurred as a result of a failure of an EWP.
 
A knuckle on an 18M GMJ EWP failed while the employee was aloft. The employee suffered a broken leg and other injuries.

The EWP was at working height (9m) when the top knuckle pin dislodged, the bucket fell back to its rest position (about 2.5m) with the worker and tools in the bucket. This bucket is 8 years old and had not undergone major rebuilds. 

The pin retaining device appears to have failed. The fulcrum on GMJ EWPS are covered by a shroud and cannot be seen during start up inspections. 

SA Safe Work is investigating and all similar EWPs have been removed from service.

All similar EWPs should be removed from service until such times as members can be assured of their safe operation.

Specifically, and in addition to all other prestart checks, members are to physically check fulcrum pins and pin retaining devices on all similar EWPs prior to any use.

Endeavour Energy Incident Update

Posted on 06-9-2016

Yesterday two of our colleagues from Endeavour Energy were injured, one of them very seriously in an electrical accident at Aird. The accident occurred during an attempted disconnection of a mobile generator at a kiosk type substation. Initial enquiries indicate that the accident relates to the process involved in connecting and disconnecting generators on to LIVE Low Voltage Boards at substations.

This is an extremely serious safety matter and as a result of the accident the ETU is placing a blanket ban on all connection and disconnection of mobile generators to LIVE Low Voltage boards. Until further notice, any such procedures must only be carried out with the Low Voltage Board de-energised – no exceptions.  All members are expected to observe this important safety precaution.

The ETU has been in discussions with Endeavour Energy management who have advised that the company will be putting out a safety alert to similar effect.

In the meantime I speak for all members and say that our thoughts and well wishes go out to our injured colleagues and we hope they make a full and speedy recovery. At this time all members are reminded to always take the most conservative approach when it comes to safety – if in doubt, don’t do it until there is no doubt.

We will keep you informed of developments as they occur. In the meantime if you have any questions please call either myself of Anthony O’Sullivan (acting for Brad Currey) on the contact details below.

In Unity,
 
MARK BUTTIGIEG   
0417 208 447 / markb@etunsw.asn.au

ANTHONY O’SULLIVAN
0467 565 902 / anthonyo@etunsw.asn.au

The NSW Branch of the ETU/CEP has donated $10,000 towards the fighting fund to support the 55 sacked CUB workers in Melbourne who are members of the ETU and the AMWU.

On top of this NSW construction industry members chipped in a further $2,000 out of their own pocket while an AMWU/ETU fundraiser last Wednesday night saw another $5,000 raised bringing the total to almost $20,000.

ETU Secretary Steve Butler said that the actions of CUB were un-Australian which is a far reach from a company that trades so heavily on what it is to be an Australian.

“As an act of solidarity these funds will be provided to help support the effected workers and assist their campaign for full re-instatement” said NSW Secretary Steve Butler.

“This is what being union is all about, standing united and supporting each other in times of need.”

“I have personally visited the picket line in Melbourne and I have meet these workers and understand what they are going through as a result of this bastard act from their employer.”

“I am proud of our membership in NSW for stepping up to the plate to support our brothers and sisters in Victoria during this dispute.” said Steve.

“I encourage all members, their families and friends to consider supporting other brands when next visiting the local bottle shop.” Steve said

The ETU NSW Branch has swung their support behind our Victorian brothers in their fight against Carlton & United Breweries after CUB contracted out the jobs of 54 electricians and fitters and offered the workers to reapply for their old jobs on 65% less pay.

The ETU NSW, AMWU and Unions NSW are hitting the streets tomorrow to raise awareness of this bastard act with members of the public. WE ARE ASKING ALL ETU MEMBERS TO ATTEND ONE OF THE ACTIONS OCCURING TOMORROW IN SYDNEY CBD, PARRAMATTA AND PENRITH.

We will be handing out flyer asking members of the public to boycott CUB products including VB. Details for each event can be found below - please click on the link for each event for full details.

SYDNEY CBD - CLICK HERE (Pitt St Mall, 12noon - 1pm Friday 12 August outside Myer handing out flyers. Contact Salim Babar: 0417 286 482)

PARRAMATTA - CLICK HERE (Pitt St Mall, 12noon - 2pm Friday 12 August outside Myer handing out flyers. Contact Iris Knight 0429 464 064)

PENRITH - CLICK HERE (Penrith Plaza - Riley St 12noon - 2pm outside Westfield entry/exit handing out flyers. Contact Mary Yaager 0408 931 899)

 

Last Friday the Australian Competition Tribunal (ACT) handed down their decision in relation to the AER determination, which was appealed by the network companies.

What this means we do not exactly know but in our press release issued last Friday we called on the network businesses to suspend all job losses at least until the AER can review their determination and “remake” it. This process alone is likely to take many months – most likely more than 6 months.

Below are some brief dot points below about the ACT ruling…

  • The AER determination is made up of two elements – Capital Expenditure (Capex) and Operating Expenditure (Opex).
  • The Network companies ONLY APPEALED THE OPEX element of the determination that the AER made last April.
  • The way the AER made their Opex determination was through a “bench marking” model where they compare the “efficiency” of network companies to a bench mark (usually a lower cost network company).
  • The Competition Tribunal essential pointed out two major issues:
    • That there were deficiencies in the AER bench marking data used.
    • That as a result of the bench marking deficiencies that the subsequent AER determination also contained deficiencies.
  • The Ruling from the Competition Tribunal is that the AER must now consider the deficiency issues around their bench marking model and remake their determination for Ausgrid, Essential Energy, Endeavour Energy and ActewAGL using a broader range of modelling and benchmarking using Australian businesses and a “bottom up” review.

What does this mean for ETU members?

As a result, the Competition Tribunal ruled the AER determination delivered in April last year must be “set aside” – it is unclear what this setting aside means in the interim.

If the network businesses are awarded higher revenues for their opex component in the re-making of the AER determination then theoretically this increase in revenue should directly result in less jobs being lost. Why? because the whole basis for the current round of job losses proposed by the network companies was that they are “unfunded positions as a result of the AER determination”. If revenues increase, we would expect job losses to decrease.

Given that we will not know how big an increase the network companies will be awarded, if any at all, we cannot quantify the outcome for ETU members at this stage. We will however continue to monitor the AER review process and represent members when and where it is beneficial.

Click here to read a copy of the Australian Competition Tribunal summary.

 

Attention of members is drawn to a Safety Alert issued by Energex in relation to ABB Ring Main Unit (RMU).

Click here to view a copy of the safety notice.

The ETU advises that the RMU needs to be used with caution.