By now you would be very much aware of exactly what the company you work for thinks of you and your workmates, there have been varied response’s from, Ausgrid, Endeavour Energy and Essential Energy in relation to changes the company’s want to make to redundancy policies.
Essential Energy have put the Unions in dispute for allegedly not consulting over the replacement redundancy policy that Essential Energy has produced (the same policy as Endeavour and Ausgrid) that includes a FORCED REDUNDANCY PROVISIONS.
The ETU have continued to participate in consultation in accordance with the consultative provisions of the current EBA. The ETU along with the other unions recognise that there needs to be an AGREED consultation plan created. What Essential Energy management have done is to predetermine what is in the consultation plan and then dictate that the consultation plan must be about delivering management’s proposed Managing Excess Employee (MEE) policy.
The ETU & other unions believe that the actions of management are not in accordance with the consultation provisions of the EBA (clause 1.12.1). The ETU has not declined to consult and have requested that the consultative process for a replacement redundancy policy take place in line with the provisions of the enterprise agreement.
The ETU have made clear that the redundancy policy is linked to the Enterprise Agreement and that is where the discussion should take place. In fact, all unions have raised the redundancy provisions as matters on the union’s log of claims & as such they are already subject to EBA negotiations.
Essential Energy is arguing that they can change the redundancy policy without agreement and that the unions have failed to consult, we believe this to be incorrect.
Earlier today we received notification that Essential Energy has now listed a dispute with the Fair Work Commission that is scheduled to be heard on Thursday 16 July in the Fair Work Commission.
This does not mean that Essential Energy will not try to initiate a forced redundancy policy on employees outside of agreement negotiations, it is possible that management will table an unpalatable DRAFT enterprise agreement and put that agreement to the vote at Essential Energy with the likely result being that the agreement would be rejected, they would then attempt to have Fair Work arbitrate in relation to redundancy provisions or to have the entire enterprise agreement reviewed.
The ETU is extremely concerned about jobs in all of the distribution companies and look to Transgrid who advise that they are not seeking any forced redundancies and that they hope to increase their market share and grow their business, an approach the ETU supports.
Members should be aware that the ETU has constantly requested that Essential Energy explore every possible avenue including growth and expansion in order to protect as many regional jobs as possible, however this approach has been rejected by both Vince Graham and the Premier Mike Baird.
It is clear, in the ETU’s opinion, that Vince Graham & his attack team have little to no respect of the hard working men and women at the organisations & has little intention to treat employees with any dignity.
The present position of the companies is not agreed by the ETU and the union has requested meetings with members to go through the unions concerns on how the companies are proceeding.
I can assure you that the ETU will not be taking a backward step in relation to these hostile proposals and will do everything in our power to protect our member’s interests.
I am also acutely aware of the impact that matters such as this can have on members anxiety levels and your personal life, particular on top of the hostile approach management have taken over recent years. I ask all members to look out for each other during this time and if you see someone that may need support please extend a helping hand.
In the meantime any questions can be directed to your relevant organiser.
In Unity - Steve Butler, Secretary