General Trade, Mining and Manufacturing

General Trade, Mining and Manufacturing

Canberra: Industrial action hits NASA Deep Space Network after negotiations break down with CSIRO management.

Paul Lister - Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Staff at the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex will stop work this afternoon to protest against efforts by CSIRO management to forcibly implement the Australian Government’s restrictive wages policy, which threatens to negatively impacting their wages and conditions.

More than 70 employees at the facility, including operational, engineering and administrative staff, will stop work for an hour from 2.20pm today, delaying the handover of communications responsibilities from the Goldstone deep space complex in California.

The Tidbinbilla facility is one of three deep-space communications facilities that support dozens of interplanetary spacecraft missions as part of the NASA Deep Space Network, the largest and most sensitive scientific telecommunications system on earth. While the centre is managed and operated by the CSIRO, it is entirely funded from NASA's space exploration budget with no financial contribution from the Australian Government.

The industrial action involves members of the Electrical Trades Union, Professionals Australia, and the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union.

ETU Canberra organiser Mick Koppie said negotiations between the unions and the CSIRO had been ongoing for nine months but had bogged down over management’s attempts to impose the Turnbull Government’s controversial wages policy, designed to reduce the pay and conditions of public servants.

“We have an extraordinary situation where workers at a facility that is completely funded by NASA to provide vital space communications are having their wages and conditions attacked as part of the Turnbull Government’s ideological war against the public service,” Mr Koppie said.

“Despite the fact that not one cent of funding for the Tidbinbilla deep space complex comes from the Commonwealth Government, workers have been told by management that they need to be covered by the restrictive wages policy that has already caused extensive industrial unrest across the public service.

“Today’s industrial action has not been taken lightly, but workers feel that delaying the scheduled handover of communications from California is the only way the leadership at NASA will be made fully aware of the mismanagement of this vital facility that is taking place at the behest of the Australian Government.”

Mr Koppie said industrial action was likely to escalate further if CSIRO management refused to budge, potentially causing disruption to NASA’s global deep space tracking and communication capabilities.

“Our members know just how vital their work is for maintaining communications with significant interplanetary research missions, which is why they have endured nine months of failed negotiations before taking this action,” he said.

“Unfortunately, the CSIRO board has dug its heels in and is insisting the Commonwealth’s wages policy be imposed on Tidbinbilla, leaving workers with no choice but to stop work in protest.”

Macarthur Public Forum - Future of Education

Paul Lister - Monday, June 06, 2016

ETU members are invited to attend a public forum on the future of education covering TAFE and university. The forum will be held on Wednesday 15 June at the Campbelltown RSL, 1 Carberry Lane, Cambelltown at 7pm.

Please RSVP to: mstuart@actu.org.au

Save Our Steel Rally - 1 April 2016

Paul Lister - Thursday, March 31, 2016

A Save Our Steel Rally will be held at 8am this Friday outside the North Gate of BlueScope Steel, Springhill Rd Coniston.

The Senate Inquiry into the future of the Australian Steel Industry will commence its hearings in Wollongong on Friday with a tour of the facility followed by hearings on Level 9, Wollongong City Council.

We plan a strong display of solidarity with steelworkers and the other industries dependent on it such as mining, transport, manufacturing and construction and it will provide an opportunity for the broader union movement and Illawarra community to show their support as well for this critical industry and for the right to work in our own country.

Please come along to support Illawarra ETU members.

STOP ChAFTA Town Hall Debates

Paul Lister - Thursday, October 08, 2015

Will the China Free Trade Agreement be good for local jobs?

The Turnbull Liberal Government is intent on forcing the China Free Trade Agreement through the Senate before Christmas.

Australian Unions believe the China Free Trade Agreement will:

  • be BAD for local jobs
  • be BAD for workplace safety
  • be BAD for local communities
  • undercut local rates of pay
  • exploit overseas workers

Come hear both sides and decide for yourself! public debates have been organised for the following locations and we encourage as many ETU members as possible to come along.

GRAFTON

Kevin Hogan MP, Nationals Member for Page is invited to debate Tony Maher, Construction, Foresty, Mining and Energy Union.

When: October 27, 2015 at 6pm - 7pm
Where: South Grafton Ex-Servicemen's Club - 2 Wharf St, South Grafton
Contact: Sharryn Usher - susher@actu.org.au

Download the event flyer

HURSTVILLE

David Coleman MP, Liberal Member for Banks is invited to debate Allen Hicks, Electrical Trades Union.

When: October 27, 2015 at 6pm - 7pm
Where: Club Central Hurstville - 2 Crofts Ave, Hurstville
Contact: Maryanne Stuart - mstuart@actu.org.au

Download the event flyer

CENTRAL COAST

Karen McNamara MP, Liberal Member for Dobell and Lucy Wicks MP, Liberal Member for Robertson are invited to debate Ged Kearney, ACTU President and Jane Calvert, Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union.

When: October 27, 2015 at 6:30pm - 9:30pm
Where: The Entrance Leagues Club - 3 Bay Village Rd, Bateau Bay
Contact: Aarin Moon - amoon@actu.org.au

Download the event flyer

PENRITH

Fiona Scott MP, Liberal Member for Lindsay and Louise Markus MP, Liberal Member for Macquarie are invited to debate Ged Kearney, ACTU President and Jane Calvert, Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union.

When: October 28, 2015 at 6pm - 9pm
Where: Penrith Paceway - 141-147 Station St, Penrith
Contact: Mary Yaager - MYaager@unionsnsw.org.au or Aaron Reynolds - areynolds@actu.org.au

Download the event flyer

QUEANBEYAN

Peter Hendy MP, Liberal Member for Eden-Monaro is invited to debate Michael O'Connor, National Secretary, Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union.

When: October 30, 2015 at 6pm - 8pm
Where: The Royal Hotel - 85 Monaro St, Queanbeyan
Contact: Jeremy Kirkwood - jeremykirkwood@unionsact.org.au

Download the event flyer

BOMADERRY/NOWRA

Ann Sudmalis MP, Liberal Member for Gilmore is invited to debate Jane Calvert, Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union.

When: November 18, 2015 at 6.30pm - 7.30pm
Where: Bomaderry Bowling Club - 154 Meroo Rd, Bomaderry
Contact: Lisa Kremmer - lkremmer@actu.org.au

ETU Canberra Rally to Stop the China Free Trade Agreement

Paul Lister - Wednesday, August 05, 2015

The Abbott Government negotiated the terms of the China Free Trade Agreement in secret because it comes at the cost of local jobs, worker safety, workplace rights and community safety.

Next Monday we're rallying in Canberra to stop the China Free Trade Agreement and demand the Government renegotiate the deal in the interests of the community.

Use your lunch break to join the rally – more information in the attached flyer. RSVP here.

WHEN
August 10, 2015 at 12pm - 1pm

WHERE
Garema Place, Canberra
25 Garema Pl
Canberra, ACT 2600
Australia

The public is overwhelmingly against this deal and making our message heard is crucial to protecting local jobs. Invite your friends and colleagues. See you there.

Save our Steel - Public Meeting, Wollongong

Paul Lister - Tuesday, August 04, 2015

The ETU is supporting a public meeting to be held in Wollongong tomorrow night to "Save our Steel".

For to long now the Illawarra steel industry has been under increasing operational and financial pressure. The ETU along with other unions will be holding a public meeting in Wollongong tomorrow night calling on the Australian Government to guarantee to ongoing operation of the steel works in the region and the protection of hundreds of local jobs.

Show your support and come along!