Electricity, Water and Utilities

Electricity, Water and Utilities

Friable asbestos found at Hornsby depot

Peter Moss - Tuesday, May 22, 2018
On Friday 18th May the presence of friable Asbestos was identified in Building #3 at Hornsby Depot. We were notified by our workplace delegate David Learoyd. As a result, the ETU placed an immediate ban on all access to Building 3 until further notice.
Ausgrid have since contacted the union and are moving to put measures in place to deal with the asbestos material in the building as well as ascertain the nature of potential exposure of employees to the asbestos and what measures can be taken to deal with this exposure.
After having several discussions with our depot delegate as well as contact from Ausgrid managers, this afternoon I wrote to Ausgrid with an initial view on what the union expects as a result. Below in blue is the text of that correspondence;
My understanding is that there are significant amounts of asbestos containing material throughout Building 3 at Hornsby. It is also my understanding that falling dust from the ceiling has been an ongoing problem identified by staff in that building for many years without concrete action to rectify.
The fact that there has now been a positive identification of friable asbestos debris and significant amounts of asbestos in the building and that such a known hazard has been allowed to persist for so long is of great concern to the ETU. Following are our initial requirements;
1. Please write to us with a detailed plan of what Ausgrid proposes to do to with respect to;

a) The methodology used to identify all employees and their families who have been exposed to the substance.
b) The screening of those employees and their families of exposure and the possible ingestion of asbestos fibres.
c) De contamination of associated equipment, vehicles and clothes.
d) Medical assessment of the likely impact of potential exposure if that ingestion of asbestos is unascertainable.
e) Counselling for staff who require it.
f) Compensation to staff for exposure.

2. Removal of all asbestos from Building 3 prior to any staff being allowed entry or demolition of Building 3 in accordance with the “hierarchy of controls” contained Ausgrid’s hazard assessment and removal protocol i.e. 1. “engineering out the hazard”.
3. Steps taken to identify asbestos which may exist in other parts of Hornsby Depot and the rest of Ausgrid’s infrastructure and their contemporary state.
4. Site lead delegate Dave Learoyd to be present at all management meetings concerning this issue.

Monday 28th May. Hornsby Depot.
9am-10am;
Meeting between myself Dave Learoyd, Stephen Lillis and Craig Hersant and others involved to update us on the progress of the issue in the context of the above points and other points Ausgrid may have considered.

10am-11am;
Meeting between myself and all Hornsby based employees and other employees that may have been exposed to report back on progress.


It is our view that Ausgrid have dropped the ball with respect to asbestos management and that the Memorandum of Understanding from a few years back regarding the resourcing of the Asbestos Management Unit has not been adhered to. As a result, we will be redoubling our efforts to ensure that asbestos is escalated as a priority for Ausgrid and that the memorandum document is adhered to.

​In the meantime, if members have any information regarding asbestos hazards which the organisation is not aware of please contact me with the details.

In Unity,

MARK BUTTIGIEG
0417208447

CEPU Financial Accounts 2017

Paul Lister - Thursday, May 17, 2018

In accordance with the requirements of the Fair Work Registered Organisation Act 2009 the CEPU Electrical Division, NSW Branch (the Branch) has made available to members the complete financial report and associated documents for 2017.

By law the Branch must provide a copy of their financial report to members, this can be downloaded from the members area after logging in.

Click here to access the CEPU 2017 financial report.

Formal CCR consultation kicks off — 31 May deadline for review under skills-based system

Peter Moss - Tuesday, May 15, 2018
On Tues 8th May lead CCR delegates met with Ausgrid management and myself to open formal consultation on the detail to be contained in CCR as previously outlined during the recent EBA negotiations. The following areas of the CCR were discussed with Ausgrid presenting their starting position;

  • Recruitment and Selection Policy (refreshed Merit Appointment Policy)
  • Work Level Standards (policy document detailing the complexity of work within bands)
  • Performance Development Policy (the way performance is assessed against the performance standards)
  • Performance Standards (what is meeting and exceeding expectations)

The delegates listed on the following page who were elected at the Delegates meeting on 12th April will meet on Wed 16th May to discuss the matter and provide feedback to Ausgrid. These delegates will then liaise and update with delegates in all the depots from each work group. This process will carry through until CCR is finalised.

In the meantime, all members should be aware that the cut-off date for submissions of skills assessments under the current system is 31st May 2018. Both during the agreement negotiations and since, Ausgrid have consistently undertaken to take a flexible approach to applications for skills assessments under the current system given the impending freeze to take place on 31st May.

I encourage all members who think that they may be eligible for an assessment to submit these applications before the cut off. If members experience any difficulty with local management regarding acceptance and processing of such applications, they should in the first instance contact their local work place delegate who will take the matter up and escalate as necessary.

In Unity,
MARK BUTTIGIEG



CCR LEAD DELEGATES Consultative Structure

DAVID COSTELLO; HOMEBUSH; ENG OFFICER-NET TEST
DCOSTELLO@AUSGRID.COM.AU
0408461534

GEOFFREY METZNER ZETLAND ELEC TECH PROTECTION
GMETZNER@AUSGRID.COM.AU
0404189081

KRAMEL PETER; DEE WHY ENGINEERING OFFICER
PKRAMEL@AUSGRID.COM.AU
0422570060

GUERRERA GINO; ZETLAND; ADMIN OFFICER
GINOGUERRERA@AUSGRID.COM.AU;
0414192101

RUSSELL SEAN OATLEY; ELEC TECH PROTECTION;
SEAN.RUSSELL@AUSGRID.COM.AU;
0422994968

PAGE TIMOTHY; Asset Access Zetland
PAGETIM7166@YAHOO.COM.AU;
0434398192

JARMAN HUW; CONTROL ROOM SYDNEY; SYSTEM OPERATOR
HJARMAN@AUSGRID.COM.AU;
0419011955

DOOLAN PETER; NEWCASTLE CONTROL ROOM; AREA OPERATOR
PMDOOLAN@AUSGRID.COM.AU;
0468300299

LINHART GEOFF; OURIMBAH; DISTRICT OPERATOR
GLINHART@AUSGRID.COM.AU;
0408681277

WHITTON, MICHAEL; HOMEBUSH ELEC TECH ELEC SERV
MWHITTON@AUSGRID.COM.AU;
0415549487

CLARK STEPHEN; OURIMBAH; EMSO
STEPHEN.CLARK@AUSGRID.COM.AU;
0400682320

COOK BENJAMIN; WALLSEND ADMIN; ENGINEERING OFFICER;
BCOOK@AUSGRID.COM.AU;
0490075511

ESO AQUEOUS WASTESMITH RUSSELL; THORNTON/HOMEBUSH;
RLSMITH@AUSGRID.COM.AU;
0407944568

MCGOWAN GARY; WALLSEND; CABLE JOINTER
GMCGOWAN@AUSGRID.COM.AU;
0400675487

MORAN SIMON; POTTS HILL
SMORAN@AUSGRID.COM.AU;
0439481425

GREEN TRENT; WALLSEND; ELEC TECH SUBSTATION
TGREEN1@AUSGRID.COM.AU
0490070974

MURPHY TIMOTHY; SILVERWATER; TRAINING ADVISOR
TMURPHY@AUSGRID.COM.AU;
0419185967

HERRERA RAYMOND; HOMEBUSH; WORKSHOPS
RHERRERA@AUSGRID.COM.AU
0449264776

YOUNG SIMON; MENAI; ELECT TECH METERING
SIMON.YOUNG@PLUSES.COM.AU

ETU State of the Union Meetings

Paul Lister - Thursday, May 10, 2018

ETU Secretary Dave McKinley is travelling across NSW and the ACT over the coming months to meet ETU members. Dave will report back on recent industrial matters and provide you with an update on the major Change the Rules campaign that the ETU in NSW is playing a leading role.

The State of the Union meetings will kick off with the following four meetings, additional dates and locations covering the rest of the state will be provided as they are confirmed:

  • Wednesday 23 May - Sydney West - Revesby Workers Club, 2b Brett St Revesby
  • Thursday 24 May - Sydney East - Randwick Labour Club, 135 Alison Rd Randwick
  • Wednesday 30 May - Central Coast - Erina Leagues Club,
  • Thursday 31 May - Newcastle - Hunter Workers, Level 3 / 406-408 King St Newcastle

All members are invited to attend and must RSVP for catering purposes, finger food and drinks will be provided from 7pm. Please email your name, mobile number and event location/date to joannet@etunsw.com.au or call 02 9267 4844 and ask for Joanne.

We look forward to seeing you at your local State of the Union meeting.

Clarifying What is Electrical Wiring Work

Paul Lister - Friday, March 09, 2018

As a follow on from yesterday’s notice regarding unlicensed electrical work the definition of what is “electrical wiring work” is defined in the Home Building Act 1989 and Electricity (Consumer Safety) Act 2004.

It is clearly defined as the actual physical work of installing, repairing, altering, removing or adding to an electrical installation or the supervising of that work.

For the purposes of work that is undertaken by Endeavour this means that removing the neutral in a consumer’s board to undertake a polarity test must be carried out by a licenced electrician.

In unity,
Dave McKinley
Secretary

Unlicensed Electrical Work

Paul Lister - Thursday, March 08, 2018

It is of great concern to the ETU that Endeavour Energy are advising employees that Powerline Workers are exempt from qualification requirements to complete electrical wiring work on customer installations.

The Electricity (Consumer Safety) Act 2004 and the Electricity (Consumer Safety) Regulation 2006 state that “electrical wiring work” and “electrical installation work” which are not part of the distribution network, need to be carried out by a licensed electrician and safety and compliance checks need to be undertaken in the form of a CCEW (Certificate Compliance Electrical Work).

On top of that the Electricity Supply Amendment (Advanced Meters) Bill 2016 removes the responsibility for electricity meters from distribution businesses. This clearly means that meter installations no longer form part of the distributor’s network connection assets. This was reinforced by The Hon. Rick Colless (Parliamentary Secretary) in Parliament.

The exemption that Endeavour continually quote does not allow powerline workers to undertake electrical wiring and electrical installation work on customer installations. This includes diagnosing faulty meters, removing meter tails and bridging out or bypassing meters all of which require an electrical licence and compliance check on completion. The safety and compliance test requirements also fall under the Regulations and require the person conducting the test to be qualified.

Further to that the Regulations state that a licenced electrician must advise the consumer of any “electrical wiring work” performed on the customer’s installation and a licenced electrician must document the tests and provide the owner of the installation with advice of the tests together with the results of the tests.

I must make it clear this is not about the skills and ability of lineworkers, this notice is to ensure that members are not put in a position where they are breaching legislative requirements simply because Endeavour has directed them to undertake the work. Our biggest concern is that should there be some form of incident resulting from this work, members may be held to be liable a court of law for breaching legislative requirements.

In unity,
Dave McKinley
Secretary

Strong majority of Ausgrid members vote in favour of offer.

Paul Lister - Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Yesterday afternoon the Ausgrid EBA ballot was counted with almost three quarters of the workforce voting to accept the offer which delivers an immediate $1,600 cash payment and an immediate 2.75% pay increase to all ETU members.

The agreement, which will now be registered, includes pay increases totalling 7.5% over three years, no forced redundancy with caps in place post 2020, a $1,600 cash payment equivalent to an additional 1%-2% depending on each individual’s salary.

The official result of today’s ballot was:

YES  73%
NO    27%

ETU members should be proud of their colleagues on the negotiating committee who secured what remains one of the best industrial agreements in the country that furthers the interests of ETU members in the workplace.

The following items remain as important features of the agreement;

  • No forced redundancies with strict caps in place beyond 30 June 2020 in a post privatisation environment.
  • The agreement retains some of the best pay rates and conditions in the country.
  • 15% superannuation which interstate ETU distribution agreements - both private and public - can only dream of.
  • $1,600 up-front payment on top of 7.5% wage increases over the next three years.

Distribution agreements struck by other states under friendly Labor Governments have only been able to achieve annual increases of 3% with no cash payment. When it comes to 15% superannuation, a 20 year old NSW ETU member at Ausgrid will be more than $300,000 better off in retirement than if they worked for a distributor in any other state.

The overwhelming feedback from members has been that they are happy negotiations are over and they are looking forward to an immediate pay rise.

The ETU has always said that we support the democratic process which gave all members the opportunity to have their say while carefully considering the facts. The ETU has always said that if members rejected the offer we would escalate the campaign to secure additional benefits.

Some members may be disappointed with some elements of the outcome however this agreement will present a solid platform from which to build in 2021 and still delivers superior outcomes from other agreements around the country.

Following privatisation in other states the electricity distribution workforce was decimated with thousands of workers losing their jobs, we have dodged this bullet through strict caps.

Our job now, with the support of ETU members is to ensure that the detail of CCR scheme and its operation is fair and that employees have an opportunity for decent future career progression.

Personally, I would like to thank every single ETU member for your patience and understanding in what has been a long and very difficult negotiation. Our delegates deserve particular mention, in particular your negotiating delegates who worked tirelessly and forcefully to secure an agreement that three quarters of the workforce support.

As always I am available to answer any questions you may have.

In unity,
Mark Buttigieg

Ausgrid EBA Voting Update

Bruce Fan - Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Please find the latest Ausgrid video update from ETU organiser Mark Buttigieg reporting on Ausgrid EBA voting results.

Any questions please call Mark Buttigieg on 0417 208 447.

 

Payment of Entitlements by Formway

Paul Lister - Monday, March 05, 2018

The ETU has been made aware that Formway Group may have fallen behind on the payment of various entitlements including superannuation payments.

Your current agreement requires Formway to pay $115 per week into MERT redundancy trust. All members are also entitled to 9.5% superannuation – by law this must be paid into your chosen super fund on a monthly basis.

It is concerning that a company the size of Formway has chosen to fall behind in the payment of compulsory entitlements, particularly given these items must be paid by law and in accordance with the current enterprise agreement.

The ETU is advising all members to immediately contact both MERT redundancy trust and your chosen superannuation fund to find out when the last payment was made into your account and if your entitlements are up to date.

MERT REDUNDANCY TRUST: 1800 023 692

Once you have spoken to MERT and your super fund, if there are any underpayments please contact ETU Assistant Secretary Justin Page on 0414 877 301 or justinp@etunsw.com.au

There are also a number of employees at Formway that have not yet joined the ETU – with EBA negotiations due to begin it is imperative that we have maximum membership to ensure that we keep all current entitlements AND win a decent wage increase.

With potential major redundancy and super underpayments and looming EBA negotiations, there has never been a more important time to be an ETU member.

CLICK HERE TO JOIN THE ETU ONLINE TODAY!

In Unity
Dave McKinley
Secretary

SAFETY ALERT - TAKATA AIRBAGS

Paul Lister - Friday, March 02, 2018

Dear ETU Members.

Product Safety Australia, a division of the Commonwealth Governments Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, this week issued a product recall relating to Takata Airbags. This recall is compulsory due to significant safety risks and affects a large number of car makes and models and a small number of motor cycles.

THE ETU IS ADVISING ALL MEMBERS TO REVIEW THE LIST OF VEHICLE MAKES AND MODELS AFFECTED BY THIS PRODUCT SAFETY RECALL AND TO TAKE APPROPRIATE STEPS, UP TO AND INCLUDING REFUSAL TO DRIVE AFFECTED VEHICLES, UNTIL NECESSARY REPAIRS HAVE BEEN COMPLETED.

If your employer has any of the affected vehicles in their fleet you should first contact your supervisor to find out if the mandatory recall work has been completed or to report that your vehicle is impacted by the product recall.

The ACCC has advised the following:

It is critical that owners of cars with alpha airbags installed take immediate steps to have the airbags replaced because of the significant risk of injury or death involved in using cars with these airbags. All other consumers whose vehicles are on the full recall list are urged to arrange for the replacement of Takata airbags in their vehicles as soon as possible due to the safety risks involved in the use of these vehicles.

If you have any issues arising in the workplace relating to the operation of affected vehicles please immediately contact your workplace delegate or ETU organiser.

In Unity,
Dave McKinley
Secretary