Just over a week ago TransGrid management tabled an improved offer with the hope of reaching an in principle agreement.
The improvements included:
9% wage increase - 3% p.a. over three years.
Increases to apply to Field allowance, General Purpose allowance, Sydney special payment, stand-by and on-call allowances.
General Purpose allowance to be extended to the Operator classification. And;
Improvements to job security clauses including consultation, dispute settlement and contracting out clauses - a big backdown by management.
Following feedback from ETU members over the last week there continues to be some concern around the issues of scope, susso and superannuation.
A further meeting was held with management today with officials from all combined unions present except the USU who failed to send a representative.
At todays meeting the ETU indicated that we still have issues with scope, susso and superannuation.
Management have agreed to back away from scope leaving it unchanged, however a planned rollout of the 9-day fortnight that would have applied to all head office staff will no longer be on the table. Only those head office staff that currently get the 9-day fortnight will continue to receive it under the new offer from management.
Staff in other locations and field staff that currently receive the 9-day fortnight will continue to do so, this remains unchanged.
As far as the ETU is concerned this effectively puts the scope issue to bed and protects all ETU members who currently receive the 9-day fortnight and those members who currently sit on levels up to and including level 35.
With regard to susso the company has agreed to take the concerns of ETU members away and consider this. The ETU has asked that susso continue to be subject to ATO determinations and not frozen - we will wait and see what management come back with.
When it comes to Superannuation there is a high level of concern among all unions about the Abbott Government’s plan to abolish future super increases through legislation.
In addition to this the O’Farrell Government are currently taking court action to have any future super increases at Government departments & SOC’s absorbed regardless of what enterprise agreements say.
For these reasons we believe it is a much safer option for members to take the increased wage offer of 3% p.a. in lieu of the recent 0.25% super increase and future increases of 0.5% which Abbott is currently legislating to remove.
We are now waiting on TransGrid management to respond and provide us with an updated document, once this is received I will be personally visiting every depot to provide a further explanation and answer any questions - this is likely to be sometime next week.
In the meantime if you have any questions please feel free to contact me directly.