Electricity, Water and Utilities

Electricity, Water and Utilities

Endeavour Energy Safety Bulletin

Paul Lister - Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Endeavour Energy have issued Safety Bulletins relating to "Ladder Safety Checks" and "Asbestos in Henley Fuses".

All ETU members are advised to read Endeavour Energy's safety bulletins and take the necessary action.

If ETU members working in other transmission and distribution company's hold any concerns these should be raised with your employer through the normal safety reporting processes.

10-14 Safety Bulletin - Ladder Safety Checks

07-14 SEN Asbestos in Henley Fuses

Free Online Asbestos trainging Package

Paul Lister - Monday, June 16, 2014

With the support of WorkCover NSW, the ETU and other industry representatives, have developed a free asbestos e‐learning package for electrical workers providing important information on:

  • What is asbestos
  • The health risks associated with exposure to airborne asbestos
  • Where asbestos containing materials may be found in the electrical industry
  • The safety controls that minimise the risk of asbestos exposure
  • Examples of real life electrical work situations involving asbestos

To complete the online training simply CLICK HERE

 

 

Member Information Nights

Paul Lister - Thursday, May 22, 2014

The ETU in partnership with EISSNEW Law and RT Health are hosting a number of member information nights across the state commencing in June.

The first four information evenings will be held in NEWCASTLE, the CENTRAL COAST, SYDNEY and WOLLONGONG with a further eighteen meetings scheduled across the state.

ALL members from all industry sectors are invited to come along and hear from your leadership team about the challenges we face including industrial matters, campaigns and the latest developments in Superannuation.

Full details for the meetings in Newcastle, Central Coast, Sydney and Wollongong including times, dates and venues can be found HERE.

A full list of regional locations and dates can be found HERE. Once times and venues have been finalised for these locations we will notify members.

Food and drink will be served. If you wish to attend please RSVP to Joanne Crowder on 02 9267 4844 or joannec@etunsw.asn.au

TransGrid EA Update: ETU Members Stand United & Win

Paul Lister - Friday, May 02, 2014

CONGRATULATIONS to one and all!

As a result of your determination and solidarity ETU members have secured a good agreement that delivers to all employees even beyond areas of ETU coverage.

After a meeting with management yesterday your bargaining reps were able to agree in principle to an offer that secures a 9 day fortnight for ALL STAFF, expansion of allowances and the highest pay increases in the distribution & transmission sector.

After final discussions agreement in principle has been reached on the following offer from management:

  • An increase of 2.5% (+ 0.25% super) from 1/12/13.
  • An additional increase of 0.3% effective following a yes vote.
  • An increase of 2.85% from 1/12/14.
  • An increase of 2.90% from 1/12/15.
  • 9 day fortnight for all award staff.
  • Scope remains at SP35.
  • General Purpose, Sydney Office, On-Call and Stand-By allowances to increase by the above percentages.
  • General Purpose Allowance to apply to operators.
  • On-Call/Stand-By bonus of an additional weeks allowance for those who work more than 50% of a month on-call/stand-by.
  • Superannuation to remain 15% for life of the agreement.
  • Improved consultation, contracting out, job security and dispute settlement clauses.
  • Susso at the ATO rate.
  • Inclusion of a clause to permit the accumulation of a minimum of 6 weeks annual leave.
  • Fixed term contracts to be extended to 24 and 36 months.
  • Ability for the company to use labour hire for a 12 month period.

The process to be followed now will involve TransGrid circulating a draft agreement for the consideration of all members - this should happen in the next week.

Following this representatives from the unions and management will be visiting all locations to go through the draft agreement and answer any final questions.

This will be followed by a ballot to be conducted in the week commencing 12 May.

ETU members can stand proud knowing that through your actions and preparedness to stand up in support of your colleagues you have been able to secure improvements to the pay and conditions for ALL TransGrid employees.

Remember what I told you at the commencement of negotiations - stand together and you will win, divided you will beg. Again congratulations and well done to all ETU members.

The ETU will be recommending members vote YES to the new agreement. As always I am available to answer any questions you may have.

Yours in Unity,
Paul Sinclair
Assistant Secretary.

TransGrid EA Update: Management Agree to 9 Day Fortnight

Paul Lister - Thursday, April 17, 2014

When I spoke to members last week it was clear that ETU members across Transgrid wanted to commence protected industrial action.

After management became aware of our intention to apply for protected industrial action they decided to again review their offer and to address the ETU’s concerns.

A new offer has now been made by management which now includes an unconditional 9 day fortnight for all award staff and while the new offer does not reinstate the 3% p.a. from February it does go very close.

In light of this improved offer which addresses in full the ETU’s claim for an unconditional 9 day fortnight for all, I will not be making application for protected industrial action until ETU members have had the opportunity to consider this offer.

Managements offer is:

  • An increase of 2.5% (+ 0.25% super) from 1/12/13.
  • An increase of 0.3% effective following a yes vote.
  • An increase of 2.85% from 1/12/14.
  • An increase of 209% from 1/12/15.
  • 9 day fortnight for all award staff.
  • Scope remains at SP35.
  • General Purpose, Sydney Office, On-Call and Stand-By allowances to increase by the above percentages.
  • General Purpose Allowance to apply to operators.
  • On-Call/Stand-By bonus of an additional weeks allowance for those who work more than 50% of a month on-call/stand-by.
  • Superannuation to be 15% for life of the agreement.
  • Improved consultation, contracting out, job security and dispute settlement clauses.
  • Susso at the ATO rate.
  • Inclusion of a clause to permit the accumulation of a minimum of 6 weeks annual leave.
  • Fixed term contracts to be extended to 24 and 36 months.
  • Ability for the company to use labour hire for a 12 month period.

I am asking delegates to hold depot meetings today to discuss the latest offer and advise if this is acceptable.

While the quantum falls short of the 3% that we were asking for the difference between what is on offer and what we wanted is less than $100 per year or about $1.90 per week.

On the face of things this offer is better than any offer secured at the distributors. We have been able to achieve significant items including the expansion of allowances and a guaranteed unconditional 9 day fortnight for all.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me on 02 9267 4844.

Yours in Unity,
 
 Paul Sinclair
 Assistant Secretary.

TransGrid EA: Why the ETU Says NO to latest offer

Paul Lister - Wednesday, April 02, 2014

After visiting every depot and hearing directly from members, it was clear to me what the ETU membership overwhelmingly want as an outcome.

ETU members voted to support the February 3% offer with the issue of Scope and Susso being addressed. This remains the position of the ETU.

Senior Executive Managers shadowed me across the depots and heard for themselves what you the members want.

But rather than put an acceptable offer on the table and reach agreement those same senior executive managers chose to produce another sub-standard offer.

Managements current offer is:

  • 2.8% year 1 / 2.9% year 2 / 3% year 3.
  • General Purpose, Sydney Office, On-Call and Stand-By allowances to increase by the above percentages.
  • General Purpose Allowance to apply to operators.
  • On-Call/Stand-By bonus of an additional weeks allowance for those who work more than 50% of a month on-call/stand-by.
  • Superannuation to be 15% for life of the agreement with the current and future planned increases banked into the wage offer.
  • Consultation, contracting out, job security and dispute settlement clauses.
  • Susso at the ATO rate.
  • Inclusion of a clause to permit the accumulation of a minimum of 6 weeks annual leave.
  • Fixed term contracts to be extended to 24 and 36 months.
  • Ability for the company to use labour hire for a 12 month period.

When it comes to Scope and the 9 day fortnight the senior executive management have offered one of the following:

  • 10 day fortnight for all vacancies in head office & SP35 scope, or
  • 9 day fortnight for all & reduced SP32 scope.

The ETU also sought to have the on-call allowance increased by $50 however the company rejected this outright.

Having bargained in good faith for more than 8 months we are no closer to resolving the issues and the ETU will not be recommending the current offer.

The ETU’s main claim is to achieve a 9 day fortnight for all without the need for trade offs and we will continue to pursue this for ALL award employees at TransGrid.

I will be consulting with the ETU delegates next week to discuss what our next move is.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me on 02 9267 4844.

Yours in Unity,
 
Paul Sinclair
Assistant Secretary.

For a stronger voice click here to Join the ETU

TransGrid EA: Members Determine Way Forward

Paul Lister - Monday, March 17, 2014

Last week I had the opportunity to visit and hear from ETU members across every TransGrid depot. I was happy to see that ETU members are united across the entire network in how they would like to see negotiations proceed.

I made it clear at last weeks meetings that the ETU will not support managements latest downgraded offer and you made it clear that you want to see management return to the previous 3% p.a. offer with improvements in a couple of areas.

As determined by you, the ETU will be seeking the following from management:

  • A 3 year agreement.
  • A 3% p.a. wage increase.
  • General Purpose, Sydney Office, On-Call and Stand-By allowances to increase by 3% p.a.
  • Increase the On-Call/Stand-By allowance by $50 per week.
  • General Purpose Allowance to apply to operators.
  • A 9 day fortnight for all award staff including Sydney Head Office.
  • Status Quo for Scope, contract positions to start at SP35 and above.
  • Sustenance payments to be linked to ATO rates.
  • Superannuation to be 15% for life of the agreement with the current and future planned increases banked into the wage offer.
  • Inclusion of the improved consultation, contracting out, job security and dispute settlement clauses.
  • Inclusion of a clause to permit the accumulation of a minimum of 6 weeks annual leave.
  • A 12 hour shift roster for Operators.

I will now make contact with management and advise them of the ETU’s united position.

I will be doing all I can in order to achieve an outcome that is acceptable to ETU members - this will include meeting with management to try and nut out an offer that meets our members claims.

Should we arrive at a position where our claims are met  I will again be visiting your depot to outline what has been achieved and provide you with a recommendation should a proposal proceed to a vote.

Members are now up to date on exactly where the negotiations are at and you have provided me with a very clear set of expectations - I will be doing what ever I can to deliver for ETU members.

In the meantime if you have any further questions please feel free to get in contact with me.

Yours in Unity,
Paul Sinclair
Deputy Secretary.

TransGrid ETU Meetings This Week

Paul Lister - Monday, March 10, 2014

Dear ETU members.

I met with management at their request last Thursday following their latest reduced offer to hear what they had to say.

Nothing tangible came out of the meeting but I did tell management in no uncertain terms that the ETU does not support their reduced offer and that I will be visiting depots this week to seek direction from ETU members.

I advised management that if they are committed to reaching an agreement they must revise their offer upwards, put 3% p.a. back on the table and address the ETU’s concerns around scope issues and the 9-day fortnight for all employees covered by the agreement up to level 35.

I have now confirmed the following meetings for ETU members at the following locations:

Wednesday 12 March

  • Wallgrove Depot :           12.30pm
  • Sydney Office:                  Time TBA

Thursday 13 March

  • Newcastle Depot:            8.00am
  • Tamworth Depot:            12.00 noon
  • Orange Depot:                  3.30pm

Friday 14 March

  • Wagga Wagga Depot:     8.00am
  • Yass Depot:                       12.00noon

I remain hopeful that we can reach agreement and the ETU remains committed to securing a fair outcome for our members.

In unity

Paul Sinclair - Deputy Secretary

TransGrid EA: Management Backtrack on Offer

Paul Lister - Wednesday, March 05, 2014

In my last notice I advised members that management had put forward an improved offer.

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.
  • A 9-Day fortnight for all award staff. and;
  • Improvements to job security clauses including consultation, dispute settlement and contracting out clauses.

At a subsequent meeting some unions raised concerns over Scope, 9 Day Fortnight v Flex Time and Superannuation - I addressed these matters in my last notice.

On the balance of things the ETU did not consider the last offer to be bad or too far from where it needed to be, it simply need a few minor changes like Susso.

However, yesterday we received further correspondence from the company advising that due to the requested changes  by other unions around flex time and scope  that TransGrid have now reduced their wage offer.

Click here to read the company's new offer as of yesterday for your review.

While I may have been prepared to recommend support for the previous 3% p.a. offer had the necessary changes been made by management, I am in no position to recommend the latest offer to ETU members.

The Company’s latest offer is now worse than the pre-Christmas non union endorsed ballot where management suffered a massive defeat.

After undertaking preparations to visit depots later this week I received a last ditch call from management today seeking one final meeting on Thursday to see if the ETU’s concerns around Scope, Susso & 9-Day Fortnight for all award staff can be resolved.

Should management not be willing to reinstate the 3% p.a. wage offer and address the ETU’s concerns around Scope, Susso & 9-Day Fortnight I intend to visit all TransGrid locations next week to discuss our options.

I will circulate my schedule should a visit be necessary but I have pencilled in Wallgrove on Wednesday 11 March. Newcastle, Tamworth & Orange on Thursday 13 March & Wagga and Yass on Friday 14 March.

These meetings will be for ETU members only. I will discuss managements latest offer and I will be seeking your direction on where we go from here.

I believe that we must now consider what other options are available to us in order to achieve a resolution.

In the meantime if you have any questions please contact me.

Paul Sinclair - Deputy Secretary

TransGrid EA: Update Following Feedback

Paul Lister - Tuesday, February 25, 2014

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.

Paul Sinclair
Deputy Secretary.