General Trade, Mining and Manufacturing

General Trade, Mining and Manufacturing

National Licensing Aborted

Paul Lister - Friday, December 20, 2013

COAG have announced that they have officially aborted the National Licensing model covering electrical and other trade based licenses. 

Following the outcome of extensive State-based consultation, the majority of States decided not to pursue the proposed National Occupational Licensing Scheme reform. Most jurisdictions identified a number of concerns with the proposed NOLS model and potential costs. States instead decided to investigate approaches that would increase labour mobility and deliver net benefits for businesses and governments.
 
To this end, States agreed to work together via the Council for the Australian Federation (CAF) to develop alternative options for minimising licensing impediments to improving labour mobility and to manage the orderly disestablishment of the National Occupation Licensing Authority from early 2014.

Click here to read the full COAG statement.

Click here to read the letter from NSW Fair trading to the ETU NSW.

97.7% Eastern Tree's members support agreement

Paul Lister - Friday, December 13, 2013

The 2013 Eastern Tree Services EBA has now been endorsed by members with an overwhelming majority of ‘Yes’ votes. After the votes were counted 97.7% of those that voted supported the agreement

The Agreement will now got to Fair Work Australia for approval and certification, this process will take approximatly a month. This finalises a process that began in early 2013.

The final agreed outcome is a 3 year deal that delivers,3% in the first year (already paid), 4% at July 1 2014 and 4% at July 1 2015, Income Protection/Top Up insurance, Clarity on Travel Arrangements and an ongoing commitment to Depot based employment.

The fact that the vote was almost unanimous around NSW indicates that it’s a good outcome.

A big thankyou the members and delegates that were involved in the negotiation and provided constructive ideas and comment, particularly those members that were part of the negotiating team.

Also thank you to ETU Organisers for their hard work and persistance including Geoff Prime, Mick Doust and Adam Wardrope.

Eastern Tree Servises EBA Offer

Paul Lister - Friday, November 08, 2013

Yesterday the Union met with Senior ETS management to progress the EBA discussions.

The outcome was an offer of a 3 year agreement with Annual increases of 3% x 4% x 4% compounding each year.

ETS also offered Income Protection for all employees.

This is an offer from the Company that needs to be endorsed by employees following production of a draft document by the Company which is then distributed to employees for a minimum of seven days before it can be voted on.

The ETU will consult with management re the voting process and venues for the vote. This will allow the Union to endeavour to get officials to the various locations in NSW for the vote.

This outcome has been negotiated over a protracted period of time and represents diligent work by your delegates. It is important to remember that more members will equal better outcomes.

Join your union today.

NSW Bushfires

Paul Lister - Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Over the past week many parts of NSW have been engulfed by bushfires with the hardest hit areas being the Blue Mountains, Southern Highlands, parts of the Central Coast and Lake Macquarie and Newcastle around Heatherbrae and Raymond Terrace.

I know many of our members live and work in these areas and I am asking each and every one of us to keep an eye out for fellow ETU members that may have been affected by these fires.

If you know of any ETU members that have been impacted by the fires through loss of property or if you have been impacted yourself, I would like to know so please call the office on 02 9267 4844 and the union will consider what assistance may be available.

I would also like to extend a massive thank you to ETU members that have once again put the community first by responding to this emergency situation to make sure the electricity network, rail corridor and our communities remain safe.  We all know who the real heroes are – people like you, who work within the fire ground protecting the community.

Again, if you are aware of any ETU member that requires assistance following these destructive fires please get in touch. To the rest of you thanks for your hard work, selflessness and community spirit.

Yours in unity
Steve Butler
Secretary

RG EWP Safety Alert

Paul Lister - Thursday, October 03, 2013

ETU Members are advised to read the RG EWP safety alert listed below as issued by Ergon Energy (QLD) in relation to uncontrolled movement of an RG EWP.

Members should read this notice and take any necessary action to ensure workplace safety is maintained.

Redmond Gary MEWP HSE alert.

Public Warning - Infinity Brand Cable

Paul Lister - Thursday, October 03, 2013

On Friday 27 September the Fair Trading Commissioner issued a public warning against all Infinity branded TPS and orange round cable. A copy of the Public Warning press release and the Fair Trading Fact Sheet is attached for your information.

In August 2013, Fair Trading announced the voluntary recall by the company of three batches of Infinity brand TPS. Those were batches numbered INFH 190311, INFH 210912 and INFMEL 081112.

Fair Trading had continued to gather further samples of Infinity electrical cable and conducted further indicative testing of cable samples. The test results concluded there were deficiencies in the manufacturing of the cable and as a result, Fair Trading has concerns regarding the safety of all Infinity branded TPS and orange round cable.

Infinity was recently notified of Fair Trading*s growing concern about all of Infinity*s flat TPS and orange round electrical cable and had discussed the possibility of a wider recall.
However, on 27 September 2013, Fair Trading became aware that the company had initiated action to wind-up the company. In the absence of a formal recall Fair Trading is issuing this public warning to ensure that consumers and electricians are aware of the safety risks of the cables and no further cable is purchased or installed.

Fair Trading's advice to traders and consumers is that unused Infinity cables should be returned to the place of purchase by electricians, where they will be entitled to refunds on any unused cabling they have purchased. We are also advising that consumers should not try to inspect the cable in their homes. Any work on wiring or cable should only be done by licensed electricians.

Further information is available on the Fair Trading website www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au.

Anyone with questions or concerns regarding the Infinity electrical cables can also contact Fair Trading on 13 32 20.

ETU Automated External Defibrillators Report

Bruce Fan - Monday, September 16, 2013

The ETU NSW Branch have had the McKell institute write a report on the need for defibrillators on live electrical worksites (actually worksites in general) also included is a list on commonly asked questions.

The paper was written as a result of our 2013 conference discussion to campaign for Defibs. The ETU believes the report is comprehensive and argues a very strong case for the provision of defibrillators.

The paper is available to download below,

1. Common Questions About Automated External Defibrillators(AEDs)

2. AEDs on Australian worksites

ETU Secure Apprentice Wage Increases

Paul Lister - Monday, August 26, 2013

The ETU was instrumental in the recent decision by Fair Work Australia to award significant increases to apprentice award rates of pay. The decision handed down on Thursday 22 August was the culmination of months of hard work coordinated and run by the ETU National Office.

In summary the key points covering the Electrical Contracting Award include:

  • Junior First year rate with year 12  - increased from 40% to 55% of trade
  • Junior Second year rate with year 12 - 52% to 65% of trade
  • Junior Third and Fourth year rates - unchanged (70% and 82% of trade)
  • Adult First year rate - 80% of trade
  • Adult Second year rate - minimum wage
  • Adult Third & Fourth year rate - the higher of the minimum wage or the junior rate

This decision represents a 37.5% pay rise for first year apprentices with year 12 (the rate is set at 50% of trades for first year apprentices without year 12) and we now have adult apprentices rates permanently and nationally.

Due to the size of these increases, there will be a 2 year phasing in period.

A copy of the full decision is available here.

Electrical Licence Update

Paul Lister - Monday, August 26, 2013

The CEPU has raised serious concerns over proposed changes to electrical licenses with the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd.

After hearing the CEPU's concerns the PM has written to the union and advised that his Government will not agree to any National Occupational Licensing reform that dilutes existing electrical, plumbing, mechanical, refrigeration, or fire protection services licenses that may compromise community safety and consumer protection.

In his letter Prime Minister Rudd goes on to say that the Government will only proceed with there is agreement reached with all stake holders including the CEPU, employer associations and industry skills councils.

You can read the full letter here.

Product Recall - Faulty Electrical Cables

Paul Lister - Monday, August 26, 2013

NSW Fair Trading has negotiated with the Infinity Cable Co Pty Ltd for the recall of three batches of *Infinity* brand insulated electrical cables. The cables are Thermoplastic Sheathed electric cable - commonly known as TPS.

The specific cable is 2.5mm "Polymeric Insulated Electrical Cable which is PVC Sheathed, PVC Insulated, Flat and Flexible Low Voltage Electrical Cable" also commonly known as "TPS 2.5mm Twin and Earth" (ThermoPlastic Sheathed Electrical Cable, active, neutral and earth). The batch numbers being recalled are INFH 190311, INFH 210912 and INFMEL 081112.

The cables that are the subject of the recall have been subjected to laboratory testing commissioned by NSW Fair Trading and conducted by TUV Rheinland in Victoria. The sample submitted for testing by NSW Fair Trading failed the commissioned tests against AS/NZ 5000.2:2006 and relevant parts of AS/NZ 3808. The testing failure indicates that the plastic coating insulation on the cable can become brittle when exposed to high temperatures over time whether through exposure to heat generated by the copper wire itself or through exposure to external heat such as if it is used in the roof of homes in warmer parts of NSW.

Information provided to Fair Trading is that the product has been stocked in NSW for about one year.  NSW Fair Trading has been in contact with electrical safety regulators around Australia and advised them of the concerns regarding this cable. NSW Fair Trading believes that the cable may also be sold in other States and Territories. Fair Trading has no information that any incidents or injuries to people or property has resulted from the cable. However, given the cable batches have failed essential safety tests the recall is needed to prevent possible future problems.  

The company is publishing recall notices in newspapers and writing to everyone they have sold the cable to requesting them to return the recalled batches of cable to the place of sale.The company has agreed to provide information to Fair Trading concerning the importation and sale of the recalled batches of cable and to provide ongoing reports to Fair Trading of the recall and disposal of the affected cables.

Fair Trading will be issuing a media release regarding the recall in addition to the company*s own recall notices. Our advice will of course be that consumers should not try to inspect the cable and that any work on wiring or cable should only be done by licensed electricians. We will also recommend to consumers that if they have recently had building work done, or wiring changed or installed, they should contact the responsible builder or electrician for advice on whether the recalled cable was used. If it was, we will recommend that they talk to the builder or electrician about getting the cable inspected and replaced.

It would be appreciated if you could make your members and stakeholders aware of this recall through your own communication channels and networks. The formal information that you could direct people towards will be on the Fair Trading website www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au.