The AER has today released their final determination outlining the amount of revenue the transmission and distribution networks can recover from their regulated asset base over the period 2014-2019.
Members will recall that management from some network companies decided to tie the AER determination to your future wages and the number of employees at Ausgrid, Endeavour Energy, Essential Energy, ActewAGL and TransGrid.
Neither of these matters – wages and employee numbers – is determined by the AER. This is a decision by your management to connect the two.
The AER determination sets out the amount that can be recovered by the network businesses from their “regulated asset base” among other matters. The AER determination does not limit the amount of income these businesses can generate from other sources including area’s such as contestable work.
The ETU commissioned experts to compile our own submissions to the AER outlining our concerns around the draft determination – a copy of our submissions can be found on the ETU website.
The AER has this morning released their final determination delivering cuts to revenue as follows:
Ausgrid – 33% less than that sought by the company
Endeavour Energy – 28% less than that sought by the company
Essential Energy – 31% less than that sought by the company
TransGrid – 25% less than that sought by the company
ActewAGL – 32% less than that sought by the company
The AER claim this determination will result in lower power prices however there is NO GUARANTEE OF LOWER PRICES given that the NSW Government deregulated retail electricity pricing in July 2014 meaning that and reduction will rely on the good will of electricity retailers.
THE ETU WILL STAND UP FOR OUR MEMBERS AND FIGHT AGAINST ANY JOB LOSSES AS A RESULT OF GOVERNMENT OR MANAGEMENT DECISIONS. WE WILL ALSO CONTINUE NEGOTIAITIONS FOR IMPROVED JOB PROTECTIONS IN YOUR AGREEMENTS IN LIGHT OF THE THREAT OF JOB LOSSES.
The ETU believes there are alternatives to mass sackings and we believe that the approach taken by management is an excuse to, among other things, get rid of thousands of workers ahead of the NSW Government’s planned privatisation.
Following today’s AER determination management is already circulating notices about potential job losses. This should serve as a stark reminder of the importance of securing improved job protections, including no forced redundancies, in all future agreements.
Under existing agreements your employer cannot force anyone to take a redundancy and although Ausgrid and Endeavour Energy agreements have expired they continue to apply until a new agreement is struck.
To say we are disappointed with this outcome is a massive understatement. We are committed to identifying alternatives to job cuts including re-entry to contestable work, elimination of the executive bonus scheme, possible opportunities around the National Broadband Network, voluntary redundancy and early retirement schemes and retraining/redeployment for any displaced employee.
We also hold particular concerns for current and future apprentices and their ability to secure full time ongoing employment. The ETU will fight to deliver a positive outcome on this front where ever possible.
The ETU will work with all stakeholders to minimise impacts on our members as we move forward. If you have any questions please contact your workplace delegate or ETU organiser.