General Trade, Mining and Manufacturing

General Trade, Mining and Manufacturing

Bluescope EBA Update - 12 March

Paul Lister - Monday, March 12, 2018

Following last week’s meeting, the unions sought feedback from members regarding the offer tabled by BlueScope management. The offer was rejected by 99.28% of the membership.

Members indicated they were angered by the offer. Members consistently felt the offer was well short of their expectations and didn’t deal with the claims the unions have been pursuing.

The Unions tabled draft clauses on the following claims:

  1. Casual Labour (employed by Bluescope)
  2. Conversion from casual positions to permanent positions after 6 months
  3. Measures ensuring that Labour Hire and Contractors are paid no less than employees engaged under the agreement.
  4. Fixed Term Employees should be employed for a maximum 12 months, after which time they become permanent.
  5. Disputes Resolution Procedure – to allow all matters to be covered under the Disputes Procedure. Status Quo provisions would also be put in place to ensure that the situation that existed prior to the dispute arising will be maintained.

Discussions were also held around updating departmental agreements, classification structure review, deduction of Union fees and two separate agreements.

Bluescope have expressed concerns over clauses relating to casuals, contactors, labour hire and disputes procedures and are continuing to push for one agreement for both sites.

We are pushing for two separate agreements.

We are agitating around the issues above relating to casuals, contractors, labour hire and enhanced disputes procedure as these are vital protections which are key within any future agreement.

The Offer You've Been Waiting 3 Years For!

Paul Lister - Monday, March 05, 2018

The offer you’ve been waiting 3 years for!

  • BlueScope proposed Introduction of Change Clause
  • BlueScope proposed Retention of Rate Clause
  • BlueScope proposed Part-Time Clause
  • Changes to Individual Flexibility Clause to support Job Share and Transition to Retirement
  • Additional 1% bonus if absenteeism drops below 4%
  • 4-year Agreement with 2% pay rise per year
  • One EA to cover Steelworks and Springhill

The AWU, AMWU and ETU ended the meeting when this offer was put forward.

Whilst we appreciate this is only the first offer made by BlueScope, the offer does nothing to address your claims!

2% is by no means a fair and reasonable pay rise given the sacrifices members have made.

A 1% possible bonus increase is way off the mark when compared to the bonuses Bluescope management receive. You should note that no concern was raised over the cost of relining the Blast Furnace when management bonuses were paid.

Part-Time provisions – We are having enough problems currently with Labour Hire and Fixed Term Employment.

You will receive another message shortly which will allow you to reject this subpar offer and send us back to negotiations next week to refocus the company on your claims.

In Unity,
Brad Currey
ETU Organiser
- 0431 838 852 /

Bluescope EBA Update - 23 Feb

Paul Lister - Friday, March 02, 2018

Following on from previous week’s discussions, Bluescope has tabled draft clauses on Retention of Rate and Consultation/Introduction of Change. The AWU legal team is currently reviewing these clauses to provide the company feedback at the next meeting.

Further discussions were had about the current bonus systems. Bluescope provided data on how the existing staff bonus system could be applied to members. The AWU, AMWU and ETU have put forward a claim of increasing our current bonus system, as our current bonus system is proving more beneficial.

The company also tabled a proposal on their claim of flexibility. The proposal included the provisions for Part-Time work, job share/Transition to Retirement and the removal of Demarcation between departments. The AWU, AMWU and ETU have stridently opposed part-time work. The AWU, AMWU and ETU have informed the company that we are prepared to further explore how Transition to Retirement might look so long as it provides a benefit to members.

Continued discussions over Penalty Rates on Personal Leave took place. The position of the unions is that penalty rates on personal leave should apply to all members both at the Steelworks and Springhill.

Our claim for two separate agreements at the Steelworks and Springhill is yet to be addressed. We have informed the company that if there is going to be a benefit to members for having one agreement then the company should put those benefits on the table now, otherwise the unions will initiate Fair Work proceedings to ensure 2 agreements are maintained. The company have committed to responding to the Unions by Wednesday 28 February 2018 on the issue of two agreements.

Finally, discussions were held on our claim for 3 x 30-minute crib breaks as standard, unions put a clear position that with issues relating to restructuring of areas, fatigue management and heat stress, the current agreement provision of 2 x 20-minute breaks for 12-hour shift workers is inadequate.

In Unity,
Brad Currey
- 0431 838 852

Bluescope Combined Union EBA Update

Paul Lister - Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Talks with BlueScope management continued this week. 

Discussions were held regarding the introduction of change/consultation clauses. Discussions were focused around the ‘interest’-based approach taken recently, as opposed to the “Letter 1, Letter 2” approach detailed in the current agreement.

The ‘interest’- based approach will be discussed in more detail at the next meeting.

BlueScope management provided further information on the staff bonus (profit share plan) for consideration. This information will be reviewed in future meetings.

Discussions were also held on our claim for penalty rates on personal leave. The Negotiating Committee put forward a strong and forthright stance on this issue, reflecting our membership’s firmly-held desire for these rates. Penalty rates on personal leave will continued to be discussed.

BlueScope management continue to hold concerns surrounding absenteeism levels.

The Next Meeting

Discussion will continue on the matters mentioned above, along with our claim of Trade operator/ staff operator removal/boundaries and our claim for a Classification Structure review.

In Unity,
Brach Currey - ETU Organiser / 0431 838 852

APPLY NOW - ETU 2017 Education Scholarships

Paul Lister - Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The ETU offer six general scholarships every single year with each scholarship valued at $2,000. These scholarships are available to ETU members, their children and their grandchildren. To qualify, you must be enrolled in studies in an approved course at a registered training organisation at diploma level or higher.

To apply for one of six annual general scholarships download the application form. Conditions apply (see application form). Applications are being accepted for 2017 and close at 4.30pm Friday 30 June, 2017. Successful applicants to be notified by 31 July, 2017.

ETU Footy Tipping Comp 2017 - Win a week away at the ETU Holiday Cabins

Paul Lister - Thursday, March 02, 2017

With the footy season gearing up the ETU Footy Tipping Comp is now open for people to join. Try your hand a tipping your weekly favourites and get you workmates to join in the fun.

We will again be giving away periodical prizes through the season based on weekly results while the overall competition winner will receive one free week accommodation at the ETU Holiday Cabins at Nambucca Heads on the NSW Mid-North Coast.


The competition password is: Electric

In order to be awarded a prize participants must be financial members of the ETU NSW and ACT Branch.

In Unity,

Dave McKinley - Secretary

National Fight Back Rally - 9 March

Paul Lister - Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Working in Heat

Paul Lister - Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Weather forecasters are predicting that temperatures will be in excess of 38*C across NSW while the ACT is expected to reach temperatures exceeding 33*C.

All members should be aware of the dangers of heat stress please follow the links below for further information from SafeWork NSW on working in heat.




ETU members should take appropriate action depending on your individual health and work situation, including but not limited to taking regular breaks, conducting individual (personal) risk assessment and/or ceasing work completely.

Members should exercise extreme care as temperatures rise. If you have any questions about working in heat please contact your workplace delegate or ETU organiser.

In unity,

Dave McKinley - Deputy Secretary



Unions NSW Workers Comp Rally - Friday 4 November

Paul Lister - Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Unions NSW will be holding a lunchtime Workers Compensation rally outside NSW Parliament on 4 November 2016 at 12:30pm

The rally coincides with public hearings for the first review of the 2012 workers compensation changes.

Unions NSW has made an extensive submission to the Law and Justice Committee painting a horrifying picture of the scale of the devastation wreaked by the changes to workers compensation: from suicides to soup kitchens and everything in between.

At the rally on 4 November 2016 we will be hearing from injured workers and highlighting the harsh impact of the 2012 changes on the injured workers of NSW and their families.

There will also be regional events:

Wollongong - 31 October 2016
Orange - 2 November 2016
Newcastle - 3 November; and
A date for an event in Lismore is being finalised.

By keeping the pressure on the Government about workers comp we have won significant changes including more than doubling the medical cap and reducing the threshold for lifetime cover among other changes. This rally is an important part of our plan to keep winning improvements to the scheme.

Sydney Event Details:
Outside NSW Parliament, Macquarie St Sydney
12:30pm on Friday 4 November 2016

CUB Fundraiser - Wednesday 17 August

Paul Lister - Monday, August 15, 2016