Electricity, Water and Utilities
Electricity, Water and Utilities
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.
Attention of members is drawn to a Safety Alert issued by Energex in relation to ABB Ring Main Unit (RMU).
The ETU advises that the RMU needs to be used with caution.
Many ETU members are currently facing an uncertain future as a result of significant change in their workplace. The ETU will continue to represent members and fight to protect jobs right across NSW and the ACT by taking all possible action.
We also recognise that this is a difficult time for members and their family. It is important that we all keep an eye out for each other – look out for your work mates and reach out if you think someone may be facing difficulties.
If you or someone you know is struggling please make use of all available resources. We have provided details below for a number of professional organisations that may be able to assist. If you would prefer to call the union please do so and we can put you on contact with trained professionals to assist you and your family.
Professional Support Services
LIFELINE: 13 11 14 / www.lifeline.org.au
BEYOND BLUE: 1300 224 636 / www.beyondblue.org.au
SANE AUSTRALIA: 1800 187 263 / www.sane.org
HEADSPACE YOUTH SERVICES: 1800 650 890 / www.headspace.org.au
The ETU has commissioned expert economist Thomas Devlin to appear before the Australian Competition Tribunal today to put the union’s case against the recent AER determination. The ETU believes the AER’s determination cuts too hard and too deep and will result in an unsafe electricity network.
Thomas Devlin conducted an extensive technical review of the AER’s benchmark data, this research formed the basis of the ETU’s written submission ahead of the AER’s determination. In his research, Thomas found serious flaws in the AER’s modelling and assumptions including:
The use of customer density instead of line length.
Failure to breakdown opex into subcomponents, meaning the AER cannot credibly identify any drivers of inefficiency, and there is no transparency on what items are included/excluded for example metering, debt and insurance should all be excluded.
Over emphasis on labour costs, based on the findings from questionable Deloitte research.
Simplistic approach to asset life in their comparison of networks.
Inconsistencies in data definitions across national Network Service Providers.
General failures in relying on benchmarking rather than a “bottom up” approach considering process and structure.
The ETU is determined to fight the AER determination in order to deliver a safe, reliable and affordable electricity network across NSW and the ACT. The ETU is also determined to minimise andypotential job losses affecting members working across NSW and the ACT.
Your union has engaged a technical expert to appear before the Australian Competition Tribunal – the court responsible for reviewing the AER determination – in order to provide the strongest possible representation for ETU members.
The outcome of the AER appeal is not expected to be known until later in the year and we will keep members up to date on any developments.
The Abbott Government negotiated the terms of the China Free Trade Agreement in secret because it comes at the cost of local jobs, worker safety, workplace rights and community safety.
Next Monday we're rallying in Canberra to stop the China Free Trade Agreement and demand the Government renegotiate the deal in the interests of the community.
Use your lunch break to join the rally – more information in the attached flyer. RSVP here.
August 10, 2015 at 12pm - 1pm
Garema Place, Canberra
25 Garema Pl
Canberra, ACT 2600
The public is overwhelmingly against this deal and making our message heard is crucial to protecting local jobs. Invite your friends and colleagues. See you there.
The ETU is supporting national rally's in all capital cities against Tony Abbott's China Free Trade Agreement that will see aussie workers worse off.
The China FTA allows Chinese companies investing more than A$150 million to import temporary workers without testing if local workers are available, and allows Chinese companies to sue our government for damages if changes to our laws have a negative impact on them.
A Parliamentary Committee is taking evidence about the China FTA over the next month. The ETU want to make your voice heard, by bringing our flags, banners and members together to send a message to the Australian Parliament that we do not support Abbott's China Free Trade Agreement.
MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD: Rally outside the Sydney Committee hearing, Friday 31 July, 12 noon, meet outside NSW Parliament House, Macquarie St, Sydney and bring a friend.
You may have heard that just a few weeks ago Prime Minister Tony Abbott signed off on the China Free Trade Agreement that will allow Chinese based companies to import their own labour.
Abbott's free trade agreement also removes the requirement for mandatory skills assessment for ten occupations including: Electrician (General), Electrician (Special Class), Automotive Electrician. ALL OTHER occupations will be reviewed within two years with the aim of reducing or eliminating the need for skills assessments.
The ETU is fighting to STOP THE CHINA FREE TRADE AGREEMENT by raising this as a public issue before two parliamentary committee's consider the issues. In order to come into effect these parliamentary committees must sign off on it.
TAKE ACTION TODAY - visit the Australian Unions website and email your MP
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