Electrical Contracting, Service Industry and Equipment Technicians

Members and supporters,

Your EBA negotiating committee met with FXA management on Monday 18th July 2016 in a bid to further progress the EBA claim. Some more progress was made but not enough to get an Agreement completed prior to the expiry of our right to take protected industrial action in accordance with our successful protected action ballot (PAB) which expires on the 30th of this month.

Areas of progress on outstanding issues.

GPS Tracking: The company has agreed to drop their claim for tracking employees. Instead the proposal is that a volunteer group of employees would participate in a pilot / trial program which would assist FXA in developing a model proposal to be put to employees with a view to subsequent implementation being subject to employee acceptance of the model. The ETU noted this progress with the company but made the point that we required some more firm parameters around how the trial would proceed and on what basis subsequent acceptance, if any, would be deemed legitimate.

Travelling Time: The Company has proposed that payment of excess travelling time be paid only after travelling occurs over 35km outside the Technicians nominated district. The proposal is subject to FXA conducting cost / benefit analysis. The ETU made the point that this proposal, notwithstanding the fact that FXA are yet to make a firm offer until they have conducted the cost benefit analysis, is problematic given the dimensions of the Sydney Metropolitan Area and the density of traffic, so such a radius would rarely result in compensation for excess travelling time.

Lack of progress on outstanding issues.

Pay Rise: The company have offered a $2,00 pay rise in years 1 and 2 of the Agreement and $2,300 for years 3 and 4.

Dispute Settlement Procedure (DSP): FXA wish to retain the current DSP which has no provision for invoking of status quo. The ETU, at FXA’s request provided some limiting parameters around which Status Quo would apply but the company still refuses to consider this provision. The ETU maintained our position that without Status Quo the company simply proceeds through a “tick the box” consultative process then implements decisions which have major impact on our members. Subsequent disputes then have less effect because the changes have already been implemented.

As a result of this remaining impasse we made it clear to FXA that we would be forced to activate member’s right to take protected action in accordance with the successful PBA before that right expires on 30th July. As a result a 2hr legal industrial action stoppage of work will occur between the hours of 8:30am and 10:30am tomorrow 28th July 2016. During this time members should attend a stop work meeting to be held at Rosehill Bowling Club, Hassall St, Rosehill. Members should proceed to their allocated job for an 8:30 start as normal then proceed to the above location for the meeting. I have attached the FXA offer in detail for members to consider, the offer will form the basis of discussion at the meeting during which time direction from members will be sought as to whether or not further actions are required. Your attendance at the meeting is critical.

In Unity,

Mark Buttigieg.

"We couldn't have done it without the ETU" – Chris Walker

Electrical contracting company VMH based in Shellharbour went broke while working on a Lend Lease site at Darling Harbour Live. They were also contracted across major sites with state and federal government funding in Sydney. 

Five ETU members were paid zero superanuation for up to a year and also had their wages, accruals and redundancy payments ripped off. The ETU pursued the issue with primary contractor Johnson Controls and Lend Lease Building to ensure that all ETU members recovered their superannuation and other entitlements which amounted to over $60,000.

The ETU became aware of the situation when one of our members, Chris Walker, enquired about his redundancy entitlements after being let go by the company in April. Initially, Chris wanted to know how much redundancy he was entitled to after working there for several years. However, Chris was unaware that the boss tricked him into reducing his wages to 'help the company'. The boss told him he would have to resign from the company first to make it legal to reduce his wages. In fact what the boss did was to steal his notice period and redundancy payments for the years he had worked. It was another example of wages theft!

ETU organisers Stewart Edward, Fred Barbin and Mick Hopper pursued the matter vigorously to ensure all monies owed were paid.

"This example of a company going broke or not paying correct entitlements on major construction sites is now common.” Said ETU organiser Stewart Edward.

“It is important that all workers check the name of the company they are working for and that it is written on their wage slip. Furthermore, it is essential that workers check that their superannuation is actually being paid into their accounts not just written on their wage slips.” Stewart said.

“Non payment of superannuation is an early indicator that your boss may be winding up the company you work for so it is important for workers to be vigilant." Stewart said.

The ETU understands that the individual involved in running this company may also have been involve in seething up another company with different directors to continue tendering on the same construction sites and with the same builders. The ETU will be keeping an eye on the situation in order to protect members.

If you have any concerns about your wages and entitlements you should contact the ETU on 9267 4844 .

 

As many of you would be aware, on behalf of ETU members at Fuji Xerox around the country the ETU filed an application with the Fair Work Commission for a ballot to take protected industrial action in accordance with the Fair Work Act.

On 30th June 2016 the ballot was declared. The ballot resulted in a 73% participation rate with an overwhelming majority of members voting in favour of all 17 proposed forms of industrial action. The highest yes vote being 99% of participating voters and the lowest being 86%. There is little doubt from this result that members are more than willing to take protected action if necessary. We have 30 days from the declaration to exercise our right to take protected industrial action after which time any actions not taken will lapse and require another ballot.

During the ballot the ETU has continued negotiations with FXA management with some movement but not nearly enough. The last meeting took place on 15 June 2016 and resulted in the following outcomes;

 

EA/Reps and Bargaining Reps

Items

FXA’s position

$3K increase

Pay increase

$2K increase

Yes

Mark B to provide clarification/wording.

Travel Time 30minutes start & finish

Clarification on travel time Clause 38.16.2

No/To review drafted rewording of clause 38.16.2

Yes

Status quo DSP

Agreed on to review clause 40 of the current agreement

No Change

Redundancy

12 Month’s as per FXA corporate policy for new starters

 

EA/Reps and Bargaining Reps

Items

FXA’s position

12.5K

Walking allowance

Agreed

Same as current agreement

Vehicle Allowance

Agreed

No restrictions

Vehicle Allowance Vs Co. Car

No more than 50% of field opp’s employees to have car allowance.

Increase of $2K for the term of the agreement

TS Allowance

Proposed an increase of $1K  for year 1 and year 2, an additional $1K on year 3 and 4 ($2k total over 4 yrs)

GC 45K/ OSG 40K

Minimum pay

Agreed

4 Year

Duration

Agreed

Work Day (Yes)

Drop Point is working time

It is optional and flexible for employees. Can opt out or FXA review removal if not working

Clarification on Working

Clarification on WA travel time for training Clause  25.2

Agreed on proposed wording for WA

 

In terms of GPS tracking, FXA maintain their position that they require this implemented. Our constant feedback from members and the position that we have consistently maintained in the negotiating committees is that members are adamantly opposed to the use of this invasive technology tracking their every move.

Negotiations will continue on Monday 18th July. We will then report back on the progress of those negotiations and ask for feedback from you on whether we then proceed to exercise our right to take industrial action prior to the 30 day expiry date of 30 July. Clearly we are at a fork in the road and the ball is now squarely in the court of Fuji Xerox. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact either myself or your workplace delegate.

In Unity,
 
MARK BUTTIGIEG 
0417 208 447 / markb@etunsw.asn.au