Electricity, Water and Utilities

Electricity, Water and Utilities

Notice To Member - EBA 2014 Update

Bruce Fan - Monday, October 17, 2016

At our last EBA meeting, held on Thursday 13th Oct 2016, Endeavour Energy tabled a revised “EBA Offer” as a “Package”. An outlined summary copy of this “Package” has been attached for your perusal, consideration and feedback to be provided to your workplace Delegate for a Joint Union FULL Delegates Meeting to be held at the Liverpool Catholic Club on Thursday 27th October 2016.

All feedback from the Delegates will be consolidated and this feedback will be the directions your EBA negotiating team will base a response to Endeavour Energy Management.

Throughout ALL these discussions, your elected ETU Negotiating Team has stood fast on the members endorsed positions, ie;

  1. NO TRADE OFF’s,
  2. JOB SECURITY, AND                                   None has been addressed
  3. A REASONABLE WAGE INCREASE.

Please see the Outline of Endeavour Energy’s Proposal below. EnE are selling it under 3 items; “Efficient Competitor”, “Flexibility & Change” and “Matching Employee Numbers to Work Requirements”.

Efficient Competitor:

1.  3 year agreement expiring on 24 December 2017

2.  2.5% Wage increase effective from the date of a successful vote of the agreement being reached

3.  Freeze ESRA at $120.00

4.  Change ESRA to a flat allowance

5.  Freeze ELA at $32.80

6. Allow the Company to change employees start and finish time within the span of hours set out in the Enterprise Agreement, for up to 4 weeks by giving 1 weeks’ notice to meet customers’ needs

7. Change the overtime travelling allowance clause to only count extra travel distance only where travel required is more than the distance to their depot

8.  Place a salary cap on coverage of the Enterprise Agreement for contract employees (currently

$169,855 including superannuation)


9.  Preserve current conditions for contract employees who now fall under the EBA (and provide them with the 2.5% wage increase) via an appendix to the Agreement.

10. Freeze maturing allowance at its current value for all employees who are eligible.

a.    Employees over 55 will be allowed to cash out the frozen entitlement at any time

b.   Employees under 55 will have their frozen entitlement indexed until they are 55

11. Increase shift allowance for the Contact Centre to align with the payment levels of the Network    Shift Work Agreement

Flexibility and Change:

1.   Revise Consultation clause to:

a.   Require consultation when a decision is made not a proposal floated

b.   Focus on impacted employees and not necessarily require a committee

c.     Have no requirement for an agreement on a consultation plan

2.   Alter disputes clause to remove status quo after 5 working days if dispute not notified to FWC

3.   Revise outsourcing/contracting out clause to align with recommendations of FWC

Matching Employee Number to Work Requirements:

 

1. Voluntary Redundancy – where an employee elects to take a management approved voluntary redundancy or is able to take redundancy as a result of a management approved mix and match process they will receive:

a.    4 or 5 weeks’ notice depending on age and length of service;

b.    8 week redundancy incentive payment;

c.     2 weeks per year of service redundancy payment;

d.   Maturing allowance if applicable; and

e.   Legal entitlements to annual leave and long service leave.

Employees in these circumstances will not transfer to Redeployment before leaving

2.   Where an employee is in a position that is made redundant by the Company and they are in turn transferred to Redeployment the following will apply:

a.  They will be given an extended notice period of 26 weeks which will commence 2 weeks after

the date of the written notice of their transfer to Redeployment;

b.  Where the redeployee elects to leave prior to the end of the 26 week period they will be paid out the remaining balance of their extended notice period;

c.  In addition to any payment of the balance of the extended notice period they will get:

I.          2 weeks per year of service redundancy payment;

II.        2 weeks additional redundancy pay for an employee with less than 5 years’ service;

III.       Maturing allowance if applicable; and

IV.       Legal entitlements to annual leave and long service leave.


d.   The total payment for redundancy and extended notice will be capped 78 weeks’ pay;

e. The extended notice period will be paused where an employee goes on an approved secondment, so that any time a redeployee spends in a funded secondment position will not be counted as part of their extended notice period however, time spent in a meaningful work position, any period of leave or any other time will be counted as part of their extended notice period;

f.  The Company will pay a $2,000 training fund for each person in redeployment;

g.  If a permanent role is not found for the redeployee within their 26 week extended notice period they can be subject to forced redundancy with payment in accordance with 4 (c);

h.   Where an employee has been in redeployment for in excess of 26 weeks at the operative date

of the agreement they will have a notice period of 13 weeks

i.   In each of calendar years 2017, 2018 and 2019 we would set a cap of 20 people from

Redeployment who could be subject to forced redundancy under these arrangements;

j.   There would be no cap on forced redundancies from 1 January 2020 onwards;

k.  Employees currently in Redeployment at the effective date of the agreement will only be eligible for an extended notice period of 13 weeks.

l.   This would be implemented through a revised policy which would be included as an Annexure

to the Agreement.

There will be other variations required to the EBA to comply with the National Employment Standards, Fair Work Act and other minor changes. These have been discussed and relate to the following:

•  Compassionate leave (to include leave for a life threatening illness or injury)

•  Carer’s leave (to include leave for an unexpected emergency)

•  Absence benefit scheme (reference to NES prevailing if more beneficial)

•  Domestic Violence (a slight change to the contact people and their training)

Again, please provide your feedback to your local Delegate for the FULL Delegates Meeting, 27th Oct 2016, at Liverpool Catholic Club…starting at 10:00am. Please be there about 9:30am.

ETU Bans Live Conncetion/Disconnection of Generators Following Incident

Paul Lister - Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Dear Members,

On Monday two of our colleagues at 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. The ETU immediately placed a blanket ban on all Live L.V. Board connections of mobile generators and Endeavour Energy, to their credit, put out a Safety Alert which had the same effect. I have attached Endeavour’s safety alert for your information.

Yesterday Ausgrid Delegate Graeme Paterson and I met with Ausgrid management. Given that there are similar circumstances under which such connections take place on the Ausgrid network, and given the seriousness of the incident we insisted that Ausgrid needed to release a similar safety alert. Ausgrid indicated to us that that they would be putting out their own safety alert to similar effect. That Safety Alert was this afternoon released. Unfortunately, and against the counsel of the ETU the alert in our view is too ambiguous and vague.

As a result 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.

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 or Anthony O’Sullivan (acting Endeavour Organiser) 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

Endeavour Energy Incident Update

Paul Lister - Tuesday, September 06, 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

ETU NSW throws financial support behind sacked CUB workers

Paul Lister - Friday, August 19, 2016

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

CUB Fundraiser - Wednesday 17 August

Paul Lister - Monday, August 15, 2016

ETU NSW Supports Sacked CUB Workers

Paul Lister - Thursday, August 11, 2016

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)

 

Electricity Job Protections Not Guaranteed: Ausgrid

Paul Lister - Monday, July 25, 2016

Dear Colleagues.

Over the past month Ausgrid have written to the ETU on two occasions advising us that in their opinion the 5-year job guarantee’s secured by The Hon Rev Fred Nile are NOT GUARANTEED.

Ausgrid have been quite forceful in pressing their view that the company can in fact introduce forced redundancy if the Fair Work Commission agree and Ausgrid have not ruled out going down this path to push for the introduction of forced redundancy.

Additionally, Ausgrid have advised that the minimum number of employee’s or “appropriate staffing level” set at 3,570 for Ausgrid in the employment guarantee legislation as a number must also take into consideration the number of contractors working for the company and does not exclusively relate to the number of employees directly employed by Ausgrid.

As you can see YOUR MANAGEMENT know no bounds when it comes to attacking you and your working conditions. Members must be aware that the ETU will fight to secure these guarantees as we believe they were intended to be delivered by the NSW Parliament and Rev Fred Nile.

Last week I met with Rev Fred Nile who is furious with the NSW Government and Ausgrid for attempting to avoid what he believes is their obligation to provide 5-year job guarantee’s to all Ausgrid workers.

Rev Nile has given a commitment to the ETU to do whatever he can to ensure the job protections are secured and delivered beyond doubt as was intended by his job protection amendments. To this end Rev Nile has indicated that he will be seeking the government to include a clause in the sale/lease contract prohibiting the use of forced redundancy. In addition to this Rev Nile has indicated that he will seek to amend the job protection legislation to close any potential loop holes and he has also offered to appear in the Fair Work Commission as a witness supporting the ETU should Ausgrid or Endeavour Energy attempt to introduce forced redundancy through this method.

Friends, your management team are determined to sack as many people as possible, which may also result in the widespread use of contractors in place of direct employees.

Your current agreement does not permit the use of forced redundancy and in our view this is one condition that must be protected at all cost during EBA negotiations as this is the last line of protection for Ausgrid workers. Agreement to alter or remove this clause will result in mass redundancy as management, the NSW government and the new foreign owners seek to dramatically reduce employee numbers.

The ETU will continue to work with Rev Fred Nile on securing your 5-year job protections but in the meantime members should be aware that your management have declared war on you, your job security and your conditions.

 In Unity,
 Steve Butler.

P.S. Read the article in today’s Sydney Morning Herald: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/fred-nile-demands-no-forced-redundancies-clause-in-poles-and-wires-sale-contracts-20160724-gqchkn.html

Endeavour Energy Lose Electrical Licensing Allowance Matter

Paul Lister - Friday, June 10, 2016

The Federal Court this morning handed down their decision in relation to Endeavour Energy’s appeal in response to a full bench decision handed down by the Fair Work Commission in October 2015. The Federal Court ruled in favour of the ETU essentially dismissing Endeavour Energy’s appeal and in doing so delivering ETU members a solid victory.

The Full Bench Decision of the Fair Work Commission ruled in favour of the ETU last October meaning that ETU members working at Endeavour Energy would continue to receive the Electrical Licensing Allowance until the process outlined in the Fair Work Decision has been completed – a win massive win ETU members.

In May this year the Federal Court heard an appeal from Endeavour Energy who were attempting to have the previous Fair Work Decision overruled.  In short Endeavour Energy didn’t get past square one when the Federal Court dismissed their application ruling that there were no grounds for the appeal to be heard.

Today’s Federal Court ruling puts this matter beyond doubt and leaves no further avenues for Endeavour Energy to challenge this issue in attempt to steal thousands of dollars each year from hard working ETU members.

In yet another taxpayer funded cash splash Endeavour Energy have wasted tens of thousands of dollars on lawyers’ fees in an attempt to attack their workforce – an approach supported by the NSW Liberal and National Government.

On top of today’s win over Endeavour Energy, ETU members at Essential Energy voted against a management initiated ballot for a new enterprise agreement that would have resulted in hundreds of forced redundancies and the loss of pay and conditions.

In this historic result 93% of the workforce voted and 87% voted NO to managements attack which shows what can be achieved through solidarity. ETU members at Endeavour Energy should take note of this result and be prepared to step up to the plate and reject future management attacks on the same level

Yours in unity
Brad Currey, Organiser.

Electrical Licence Allowance Matter Update

Paul Lister - Tuesday, May 17, 2016

As you would be aware, there has been a long running dispute in relation to the payment of the Electrical Licence Allowance to certain classifications of Electricians.  This matter has spanned over several years and several Fair Work Commission hearings consisting of Conciliation Conferences, Arbitration and an Appeal against the Arbitration Decision.

In addition to the above Fair Work Commission hearings, Endeavour Energy applied to the Federal Court with an application to appeal the Fair Work Appealed Decision which was heard yesterday and today (16th & 17th May 2016) in the Federal Court.

In brief, the submissions put to the court over the past 2 days by Endeavour and the CEPU could be categorised into 2 parts;

  1. The first part went to whether the Federal Court had the jurisdiction to hear the appeal against Fair Work’s Appeal Decision of which Endeavour argued that the Federal Court has jurisdiction and the CEPU argued that it did not and that the appeal application should be overturned.
  2. The second part went to the issues of the appeal case if the Federal Court found in favour of Endeavour in the first part (as above).

In conclusion, the presiding 3 Judges reserved their decision to be provided in due course to the Parties.

Lets hope that the Federal Court finds in favour of the CEPU in the first instance and bats it out of the park altogether.

Watch this space, I’ll keep you posted as issues eventuate.

In Unity
Brad Currey
Organiser

ATO deliver ruling on Endeavour Energy 2016 early retirment scheme

Paul Lister - Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Australian Tax Office has made an income tax ruling in relation to Endeavour Energy's 2016 Early Retirement Scheme. The ETU understands that the ruling provides for a favourable treatment for those participating in the Endeavour Energy Early Retirement Scheme, but as always individuals should seek their own independent financial advice.

Click here to read a full copy of the ATO ruling.