Coronavirus Updates

Coronavirus Updates

ETU OFFICES OPEN: WE’RE COVID SAFE

Peter Moss - Tuesday, June 16, 2020

ETU OFFICES OPEN: WE’RE COVID SAFE

ETU offices in Sydney, Canberra and Newcastle are open and operating safely under strict COVID-19 guidelines.

Members can visit the union’s offices but are encouraged to contact the ETU by phone or email wherever possible: (02) 9267 4844 etunsw@etunsw.com.au



CONTACT ETU IMMEDIATELY IF YOUR BOSS MOVES TO VARY YOUR EBA

Peter Moss - Monday, April 20, 2020
FED GOVT ALLOWS EMPLOYERS TO FORCE VOTE WITH JUST 24 HOURS NOTICE

CONTACT ETU IMMEDIATELY IF YOUR BOSS MOVES TO VARY YOUR EBA


ETU members should contact the union immediately if an employer moves to vary your enterprise agreement.

Regulations enacted by the Federal Government on Friday 17 April mean employers need give just 24-hours notice before calling a vote to vary EBA conditions. Previously at least 7 days notice was required.

ETU NSW & ACT Secretary Justin Page said electrical workers should ensure that they get expert union advice before voting on any proposed change.

‘Some employers may use the pandemic as an excuse to cut pay and conditions. Don’t accept any change without getting the full facts from your union.

‘The employer cannot vary the EBA without worker approval. Remember that any change to EBA conditions will apply for the life of the agreement, not just the next few months.’

ETU NSW & ACT Branch members: call your organiser for support and information http://etunsw.asn.au/corona-virus/full-contact-details-for-etu-nsw-act-organiser-phone-numbers
Or email for referral to the official best-placed to help: etunsw@etunsw.com.au

ETU APPRENTICE BRIEFING

Bruce Fan - Monday, March 30, 2020
The Electrical Trades Union is here to support our apprentice members throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Please read on for essential information on apprentice rights, training contracts and the range of government and social security support that may be available.


Please help the ETU NSW & ACT Branch stay in touch by monitoring your email, including your junk folder, following our Facebook and Instagram, and visiting www.etunsw.com.au. A full list of ETU organiser contacts is below for your convenience.

ETU NSW & ACT Organiser Contact details 
Anthony O'Sullivan 0429 429 234 anthonyo@etunsw.com.au 
Antony Stegic 0414 877 943 antonys@etunsw.com.au 
Ben Lister 0400 264 007 benl@etunsw.com.au 
Brad Currey 0431 838 852 bradc@etunsw.com.au 
Brad McDougall 0438 777 653 bradm@etunsw.com.au 
Darran Miller 0447 784 572 darranm@etunsw.com.au 
Fred Barbin 0437 031 840 fredb@etunsw.com.au 
James Darton-Turner 0467 607 698 jamesd@etunsw.com.au 
Lawrence Duff 0400 749 008 lawrenced@etunsw.com.au 
Matt McCann 0416 236 646 matt.mcann@etunsw.com.au 
Nick Bligh 0475 284 234 nickb@etunsw.com.au 
Steve Bankes 0414 877 553 steveb@etunsw.com.au 
Steve Magann 0487 298 010 stevem@etunsw.com.au 
Steve Robinson 0414 877 581 stever@etunsw.com.au 
Stewart Edward 0419 210 442 stewarte@etunsw.com.au 
Stuart Elliott 0458 911 414 stuarte@etunsw.com.au 
Tara Koot 0488 931 108 tarak@etunsw.com.au

Construction ‘essential’: sites stay open, safety paramount, ETU & NECA industry leadership

Peter Moss - Thursday, March 26, 2020

Dear Construction/Contracting Member

 

Major Sydney construction sites are open and working after both the Federal and NSW Governments confirmed that construction is classified as an ‘essential’ industry.

 

The ETU is pursuing all options to ensure our members can work safely, and to protect your jobs and incomes.

 

We are working closely and cooperatively with NECA, the peak body representing electrical contractors, to provide industry leadership throughout the pandemic.

 

All union services continue to be available to members. All construction organisers are out working with and for members.

 

Our joint work with NECA helped convince governments that Sydney construction, including government-funded infrastructure projects, is an essential sector.

In a letter to the construction sector, the NSW Treasurer said the ‘infrastructure pipeline will continue to sustain tens of thousands of jobs over the coming months’.

But sustaining jobs and income must be balanced with the absolute need to protect members’ health and safety. That’s why the ETU has initiated measures including staggered start times, much more cleaning, and physical separation at work and during meals.

 

The union issued a warning to any builder or contractor who fails to adhere to the strict safety regime: fully protect your workers or we will report you and call for you to be shut down. 

 

The pandemic will require us to change aspects of the way we work. In our discussions with NECA, we are agreed that flexibility is required – equally, from employers and from workers.

 

Should any employer attempt to implement a stand down or redundancies, the ETU will ensure that members’ rights and entitlements are protected and delivered.

 

Attached with this email is a fact sheet covering key issues including redundancy rights, social security and superannuation. Please keep this for reference.

 

Should you need assistance or advice on any workplace issue, please contact your ETU organiser

Fred Barbin 0437 031 840

Antony Stegic 0414 877 943

Lawrie Duff 0400 749 008

Nick Bligh 0475 284 234

Steve Bankes 0414 877 553

Stewart Edward 0419 210 442.

 

For other inquiries, email the unionetunsw@etunsw.com.au

 

In unity

 

Justin Page

Secretary, ETU NSW & ACT

COVID-19 Redundancy & Rights Fact Sheet

Peter Moss - Thursday, March 26, 2020

Treasurer: NSW Government committed to vital infrastructure program

Peter Moss - Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Letter from NSW Treasurer to the construction and engineering sectors of NSW 

 

NSW Government committed to vital infrastructure program 

 

As governments and communities around the world grapple with the health and economic challenges posed by the COVID-19 outbreak, I want to assure the construction and engineering sectors in NSW that our Government is resolved to continue delivery of its infrastructure program. 

 

The NSW Government will always act on the advice of NSW health officials to ensure the community remains safe while where practical continuing the vital work of building for the future. 

 

The NSW Government announced a major $2.3 billion Health Boost and Economic Stimulus package to protect the community and help protect jobs in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak over the next six months. 

 

This package has two key components: $700 million in extra health funding and $1.6 billion in tax cuts to support jobs. 

 

This package will support our formidable program of work that has been the backbone of our State’s economy for a number of years. And with many sectors now facing unprecedented challenges, our record infrastructure pipeline will continue to sustain tens of thousands of jobs over the coming months. 

 

It will also continue to have critical downstream economic benefits, driving demand for materials and equipment from local and national manufacturers, and f or goods and services in supporting sectors. The continuation of this vital economic contribution will be a lifeline for many in the months ahead. 

 

Continuity challenges 

 

We recognise the sector will face its own operational challenges, and Infrastructure NSW will work with the construction industry and line agencies to closely monitor emerging difficulties, such as supply chain related delays or temporary shutdowns, during this challenging time. 

 

There are encouraging signs of production resuming in China and other countries hit in the early stages of the pandemic, however some disruptions are to be expected over the coming period. 

 

Furthermore, we recognise the importance of the sector taking steps to implement social distancing, travel restrictions and hygiene measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The sector has extensive experience in dealing with work, health and safety matters and I have full confidence the necessary measures will be implemented in the course of hazard and risk assessment for projects and sites. 

 

We will work flexibly with contractors 

 

In cases where the delivery of projects are affected by these and other matters relating to COVID-19, the NSW Government will ensure all agencies work collaboratively with contractors where issues arise to keep projects on schedule to the greatest extent possible. I urge all operators within the industry to adopt the same approach whether dealing with Government and other organisations. 

 

Our 10-Point Commitment to the Construction Industry sets out the collaborative approach we expect from all parties. The Government’s Construction Leadership Group will monitor developments over the coming months, and Infrastructure NSW will facilitate industry-wide discussions over this period. 

 

Together we can keep NSW moving forward 

 

I encourage all contractors to speak with their client agencies as soon as they become aware of any potential issues so we can keep NSW’s critical infrastructure program moving ahead. 

 

This is a time for the Government and industry to work together to sustain our state and nation during this difficult time. Your continued contribution will be vital, and I look forward to engaging further with you as we rise to meet the challenges ahead. 

 

Yours sincerely 

Dominic Perrottet MP 

Treasurer 

 

Full contact details for ETU NSW & ACT & organiser phone numbers

Peter Moss - Monday, March 23, 2020

The ETU continues to provide the full range of member services throughout the Coronavirus  pandemic.

 

How to contact the ETU:

1. Contact your ETU organiser directly by email or phone. Please see the  organiser contact list below.
2. Email etunsw@etunsw.com.au – your message will be directed to the staff member best placed to assist you. This is the preferred and most efficient method of contacting the ETU admin office.
3. Call the Sydney office number (02) 9267 4844. Only call this number if urgent or you are unable to contact your organiser or email the office.

 

ETU NSW & ACT Organiser Contact details

 

Anthony O'Sullivan               0429 429 234

Antony Stegic                        0414 877 943

Ben Lister                              0400 264 007

Brad Currey                           0431 838 852

Brad McDougall                    0438 777 653

Darran Miller                         0447 784 572

Fred Barbin                            0437 031 840

James Darton-Turner             0467 607 698

Lawrence Duff                       0400 749 008

Matt McCann                         0416 236 646

Nick Bligh                             0475 284 234

Steve Bankes                         0414 877 553

Steve Magann                        0487 298 010

Steve Robinson                      0414 877 581

Stewart Edward                      0419 210 442

Stuart Elliott                           0458 911 414

Tara Koot                                0488 931 108

UNIONS WARN OF LEGAL ACTION OVER SHUTDOWNS

Peter Moss - Friday, March 20, 2020

AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW REPORTS: Major construction unions and employer groups are calling on infrastructure projects to be kept open in the face of pressure over the coronavirus, arguing the health risks from the virus can be managed.

The Electrical Trades Union and the National Electrical and Communications Association have united in urging governments to re-commit to billion-dollar infrastructure projects and threatened to take legal action for payment if sites are shut down without advice from the chief medical officer.

ETU National Secretary Allen Hicks said infrastructure projects were vital to keeping people employed and avoiding a long-term economic contraction and urged federal and state minister to even bring forward further shovel-ready projects as part of a stimulus plan.

Suggested safety measures to contain the virus include staggered shift starts and finishes, extra cleaning and separation of meal breaks and work groups to achieve maximum personal space.

NECA NSW executive director Oliver Judd backed the union's position and said it would seek to hold builders to account on behalf of subcontractors.

“At this stage, our understanding is that government ordered shutdowns on the advice or directive of state or federal chief medical officers are the only rationale for site shutdowns. We expect builders to adhere to this and will be challenging any that do not."

NECA NSW and ETU NSW Branch collaborate to keep sites open, support jobs and businesses and secure government support for the electrical industry

Peter Moss - Friday, March 20, 2020

NECA NSW and ETU NSW Branch collaborate to keep sites open, support jobs and businesses and secure government support for the electrical industry

19 March 2020

The National Electrical and Communications Association NSW and Electrical Trade Union NSW Branch today announced they would be working together to keep worksites open while it is safe to do so, and to support electrical industry jobs and businesses in the current COVID 19 crisis.

Crucially, they will be engaging government and building firms to ensure sites stay open for as long as it is safe to do so with the Health and Safety of the workers and the community being the first priority. 

Only government ordered shutdowns on the advice or directive of state or federal Chief Medical Officers are currently seen as a justification to close a site.  Any contaminated site should be cleaned immediately so it can be reopened as soon as possible.

NECA NSW is also developing a set of proposals for government stimulus to support the contracting industry and the wider business community.  Potential measures being considered by NECA NSW include government investment to expedite electrical repair and maintenance, energy efficiency upgrades, especially in government buildings that are unoccupied or have limited occupancy.  NECA NSW will be seeking support from unions and other industry bodies for such measures.

Oliver Judd, Executive Director of NECA NSW, said:

“These are unprecedented times and NECA is committed to working tirelessly on behalf of members to keep businesses running.  We will be supporting members to hold builders to account and keep sites open while it is safe to do so. 

“At this stage, our understanding is that government ordered shutdowns on the advice or directive of state or federal Chief Medical Officers are the only rationale for site shutdowns. We expect builders to adhere to this and will be challenging any that do not.

“We are working closely with government and will be developing broader proposals for spending that will help the electrical contracting industry during the crisis.   We must work together to support jobs and businesses.”

Justin Page from the ETU said:

“The best way to navigate through this crisis is by collaborating.  By doing this we hope to limit the damage to the electrical contracting industry and jobs.

“The ETU NSW Branch believes that it is not in the interest of the industry and its workforce for sites to be closed down partially or fully due to COVID-19, although we must all maintain public and private health standards for everyone in the community by putting appropriate safety controls in place.”

ETU working to support members throughout the coronavirus challenge

Bruce Fan - Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Due to the Coronavirus, we are facing unprecedented circumstances. Our daily lives are changing to fight this pandemic and the disruption will only keep increasing before things return to normal.

Through these uncertain times, the ETU is here to support you throughout the difficult period Australia now faces.

This is a time when we must all stay calm, get the facts, and listen and respond to the advice of government and health experts.

To ensure the ETU functions at full capacity, we have revised our office working arrangements, effective immediately.

Our aim is to provide members with a constant range of services, while implementing sensible social distancing as advised by health authorities.

All ETU officials, organisers and staff will continue to perform their duties throughout this event.  If you are concerned about your rights at work regarding the coronavirus pandemic, please refer to our previous email or click here for more information.

All ETU organisers continue to work full-time and are available to members. Our legal, communications, membership and administrative staff are all available and remain on deck working for members.

How to contact the ETU

  1. Contact your ETU organiser directly by email or phone. Please see the attached organiser contact list.
  2. Email etunsw@etunsw.com.au – your message will be directed to the staff member best placed to assist you. This is the preferred and most efficient method of contacting the ETU admin office.
  3. Call the Sydney office number (02) 9267 4844. Only call this number if urgent or you are unable to contact your organiser or email the office.

This number will be answered, and your message taken and directed to the staff member best placed to assist you. If the line is engaged or rings out, we ask that you are patient and either email us or leave a message.

The impacts of the coronavirus pandemic are challenging and still developing day-by-day.

There are many questions still to be answered about how this event affects ETU members, our industries and our work sites.

The ETU will inform members of relevant developments as new information becomes available. Stay tuned and please use the above methods to contact the union if needed.


ETU NSW & ACT Organiser Contact details

Anthony O'Sullivan               0429 429 234

Antony Stegic                         0414 877 943

Ben Lister                                0400 264 007

Brad Currey                            0431 838 852

Brad McDougall                    0438 777 653

Darran Miller                          0447 784 572

Fred Barbin                             0437 031 840

James Darton-Turner             0467 607 698

Lawrence Duff                        0400 749 008

Matt McCann                         0416 236 646

Nick Bligh                                0475 284 234

Steve Bankes                          0414 877 553

Steve Magann                        0487 298 010

Steve Robinson                      0414 877 581

Stewart Edward                      0419 210 442

Stuart Elliott                           0458 911 414

Tara Koot                                0488 931 108