Electricity, Water and Utilities

Electricity, Water and Utilities

ETU Youth Meeting - June 14

Paul Lister - Monday, June 04, 2018

Come and join us on Thursday 14 June for pizza and beer and to talk about issues affecting electrical apprentices in the work place.

Come along and meet Tara Koot, the ETU's apprentice officer, have your say and meet other like minded electrical apprentices.

ETU State of the Union Meetings

Paul Lister - Thursday, May 10, 2018

ETU Secretary Dave McKinley is travelling across NSW and the ACT over the coming months to meet ETU members. Dave will report back on recent industrial matters and provide you with an update on the major Change the Rules campaign that the ETU in NSW is playing a leading role.

The State of the Union meetings will kick off with the following four meetings, additional dates and locations covering the rest of the state will be provided as they are confirmed:

  • Wednesday 23 May - Sydney West - Revesby Workers Club, 2b Brett St Revesby
  • Thursday 24 May - Sydney East - Randwick Labour Club, 135 Alison Rd Randwick
  • Wednesday 30 May - Central Coast - Erina Leagues Club,
  • Thursday 31 May - Newcastle - Hunter Workers, Level 3 / 406-408 King St Newcastle

All members are invited to attend and must RSVP for catering purposes, finger food and drinks will be provided from 7pm. Please email your name, mobile number and event location/date to joannet@etunsw.com.au or call 02 9267 4844 and ask for Joanne.

We look forward to seeing you at your local State of the Union meeting.

Clarifying What is Electrical Wiring Work

Paul Lister - Friday, March 09, 2018

As a follow on from yesterday’s notice regarding unlicensed electrical work the definition of what is “electrical wiring work” is defined in the Home Building Act 1989 and Electricity (Consumer Safety) Act 2004.

It is clearly defined as the actual physical work of installing, repairing, altering, removing or adding to an electrical installation or the supervising of that work.

For the purposes of work that is undertaken by Endeavour this means that removing the neutral in a consumer’s board to undertake a polarity test must be carried out by a licenced electrician.

In unity,
Dave McKinley
Secretary

Unlicensed Electrical Work

Paul Lister - Thursday, March 08, 2018

It is of great concern to the ETU that Endeavour Energy are advising employees that Powerline Workers are exempt from qualification requirements to complete electrical wiring work on customer installations.

The Electricity (Consumer Safety) Act 2004 and the Electricity (Consumer Safety) Regulation 2006 state that “electrical wiring work” and “electrical installation work” which are not part of the distribution network, need to be carried out by a licensed electrician and safety and compliance checks need to be undertaken in the form of a CCEW (Certificate Compliance Electrical Work).

On top of that the Electricity Supply Amendment (Advanced Meters) Bill 2016 removes the responsibility for electricity meters from distribution businesses. This clearly means that meter installations no longer form part of the distributor’s network connection assets. This was reinforced by The Hon. Rick Colless (Parliamentary Secretary) in Parliament.

The exemption that Endeavour continually quote does not allow powerline workers to undertake electrical wiring and electrical installation work on customer installations. This includes diagnosing faulty meters, removing meter tails and bridging out or bypassing meters all of which require an electrical licence and compliance check on completion. The safety and compliance test requirements also fall under the Regulations and require the person conducting the test to be qualified.

Further to that the Regulations state that a licenced electrician must advise the consumer of any “electrical wiring work” performed on the customer’s installation and a licenced electrician must document the tests and provide the owner of the installation with advice of the tests together with the results of the tests.

I must make it clear this is not about the skills and ability of lineworkers, this notice is to ensure that members are not put in a position where they are breaching legislative requirements simply because Endeavour has directed them to undertake the work. Our biggest concern is that should there be some form of incident resulting from this work, members may be held to be liable a court of law for breaching legislative requirements.

In unity,
Dave McKinley
Secretary

SAFETY ALERT - TAKATA AIRBAGS

Paul Lister - Friday, March 02, 2018

Dear ETU Members.

Product Safety Australia, a division of the Commonwealth Governments Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, this week issued a product recall relating to Takata Airbags. This recall is compulsory due to significant safety risks and affects a large number of car makes and models and a small number of motor cycles.

THE ETU IS ADVISING ALL MEMBERS TO REVIEW THE LIST OF VEHICLE MAKES AND MODELS AFFECTED BY THIS PRODUCT SAFETY RECALL AND TO TAKE APPROPRIATE STEPS, UP TO AND INCLUDING REFUSAL TO DRIVE AFFECTED VEHICLES, UNTIL NECESSARY REPAIRS HAVE BEEN COMPLETED.

If your employer has any of the affected vehicles in their fleet you should first contact your supervisor to find out if the mandatory recall work has been completed or to report that your vehicle is impacted by the product recall.

The ACCC has advised the following:

It is critical that owners of cars with alpha airbags installed take immediate steps to have the airbags replaced because of the significant risk of injury or death involved in using cars with these airbags. All other consumers whose vehicles are on the full recall list are urged to arrange for the replacement of Takata airbags in their vehicles as soon as possible due to the safety risks involved in the use of these vehicles.

If you have any issues arising in the workplace relating to the operation of affected vehicles please immediately contact your workplace delegate or ETU organiser.

In Unity,
Dave McKinley
Secretary

Change the Rules Rally - 16 November

Paul Lister - Monday, November 13, 2017

Join us 11.30am Thursday 16 November - Belmore Park, Sydney (near Central Station).

Long Service Leave Accrual Dispute - We Won!

Paul Lister - Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The ETU has secured a big win for Endeavour Energy members relating to Long Service Leave accruals and how they are paid after ETU Member Nick McWhirter (Snr) stood up with the support of the union against Endeavour Energy.

The dispute centered around Long Service Leave entitlements and accruals where employee's change their working hours - ie moving from a 36hr/wk to 40hr/wk in Nick's case.

This dispute commenced in May last year and was subject to a number of meetings with the Company, Fair Work Commission Conciliation conferences, Fair Work Commission Arbitration Hearing (where the decision went against Nick & the ETU) and a Fair Work Commission Appeal before a Full Bench of 3 Commissioners…where Nick and the ETU team were successful. This is a big win and a precedent setting decision as a result of ETU action.

The dispute centered around the members Long Service Leave entitlement being identified and recorded in “Hours” which didn’t equate to his entitlement of “Weeks” he had accrued in accordance with the EBA for his “Years of Service”.  This meant the member was being short changed his Long Service Leave entitlement worth approximately $9,500.00.

The Company has recorded the LSL entitlement the member had accrued while working a 36hr/wk arrangement, recorded in “Hours” not “Weeks”, and never adjusted the accrual for this period to accord with the remainder of his current “Years of Service” under a 40hr/wk arrangement.

In practical terms this meant that the member would be paid for taking his Long Service based on his current 40hr/wk wage (which is appropriate), however, because the LSL entitlement was being recorded in “Hours” not “Weeks”, and was never adjusted for his current 40hr/wk working arrangements, meant his recorded LSL would run out before his LSL entitlement accrual in “Weeks” was used (or paid out if he had left the Company) thus short changing his entitlement.

In short, in the Appeal we were able to demonstrate an error of the Commission’s Arbitration Decision regarding the interpretation of the Long Service Leave provisions in the EBA.

The Fair Work Commission Full Bench ordered (or words to the effect)

  1. The Appeal be upheld.
  2. The previous Arbitration decision be quashed, and
  3. The payment for the 36hr/wk period is to be paid at the current applicable weekly rate of pay (this being a 40 hour week).

Check your LSL Accrued Entitlement

To all members who have changed their ordinary hours of work/week you might want to check your LSL entitlement.  This can be done by dividing the LSL “Hours” recorded on your pay slip by your ordinary hours of work each week. This will identify your recorded LSL entitlement in “Weeks”. Then establish your actual LSL entitlement in “Weeks” from Clause 15 of the EBA and see if they are the same (if you have taken any Long Service Leave remember to deduct that amount).

If there is a difference, then you may wish to discuss this with your local Delegate, contact the ETU, or myself, to assist in resolving the anomaly.

In Unity
Brad Currey
Organiser

Endeavour Energy Team Ready to Bargain

Peter Moss - Monday, October 16, 2017
Negotiations for a new enterprise agreement covering 1,200 Endeavour Energy workers are off and running.

ETU members aim to:
* Boost job security
* Maintain existing employment conditions
* Achieve reasonable wage rises.



Our mighty Negotiating Team includes: Chris Tyrrell, Noel Mahon, Jareth Woosley, Nathan Gale, Brad Rossitor, Nick McWhirter, Ellen McNally, Dave Campbell, Tony McCarthy and Troy Fewings.

Go team!

Endeavour Energy New EBA Negotiations Update

Paul Lister - Friday, September 08, 2017

Dear Members,

Yesterday the ETU and other Unions conducted a joint full delegates meeting at the Liverpool Catholic Club, Hoxton Park in preparation for the new round of EBA negotiations which will be commencing next Thursday 14th Sept 2017.

The purpose of this delegates meeting was to endorse our negotiating team and discuss/debate and endorse the new claims that your negotiating team will be focused on throughout these negotiations to achieve a satisfactory outcome for all members to vote on…(hopefully). 

We will be discussing the new claims at the meeting next week with the Company’s new negotiating team.  If you wish to discuss these claims please talk to your local delegate who attended yesterday’s delegates meeting.  The claims will be distributed post our meeting next week.

Your elected ETU Bargaining reps for these negotiations are;

  • Noel Mahon, Technologist - Glendenning Depot
  • Ellen McNally, Call Centre - Springhill Depot
  • Nick McWhirter (Snr), Project/Contract Inspector - Huntingwood
  • Brad Rossitter, Live Linesmen - Shellharbour Depot
  • Chris Tyrrell, Transmission - Narellan Depot
  • Jareth Woosley, EFM - Bowenfels Depot
  • Tony McCarthy, EMSO - Penrith Depot
  • Troy Fewings, Manager/Specialist - Springhill Depot
  • David J Campbell, Ops Manager - Hoxton Park Depot
  • Nathan Gale, Systems Operation - Huntingwood

and the ETU.

Further updates will be forthcoming as information comes to light or the situation demands it.

Remember, your safety is paramount to you, your family and your work colleagues…DON’T cut corners…it’s not worth it !

Yours in unity,
Brad Currey
Organiser

APPLY NOW - ETU 2017 Education Scholarships

Paul Lister - Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The ETU offer six general scholarships every single year with each scholarship valued at $2,000. These scholarships are available to ETU members, their children and their grandchildren. To qualify, you must be enrolled in studies in an approved course at a registered training organisation at diploma level or higher.

To apply for one of six annual general scholarships download the application form. Conditions apply (see application form). Applications are being accepted for 2017 and close at 4.30pm Friday 30 June, 2017. Successful applicants to be notified by 31 July, 2017.