Electricity, Water and Utilities

Electricity, Water and Utilities

Ausgrid Redundancies Process update

Bruce Fan - Thursday, July 04, 2019

ETU to lodge dispute over Essential Energy redundancy

Bruce Fan - Wednesday, July 03, 2019


Notice to Ausgrid Members

Bruce Fan - Thursday, June 27, 2019

SAFETY ALERT NSW ELECTRICITY DISTRIBUTION

Peter Moss - Wednesday, May 29, 2019

ETU FORCES SAFEWORK TO RECOGNISE MEMBERS’ RIGHT TO UNION REP AT INTERVIEWS

Peter Moss - Thursday, April 11, 2019
ETU members have the right to be represented by their union at interviews during SafeWork NSW investigations.

This basic right was confirmed yesterday after the ETU sought an injunction in the Federal Court.


ETU officials had been excluded from the first employee interviews in SafeWork’s investigation into the fatal accident on Ausgrid’s network last week. A 39-year-old father, an ETU member, died.

The union’s legal action saw SafeWork NSW agree to three points guaranteeing the rights of ETU members:

1. ETU members have the right to two representatives at such interviews

2. An ETU representative will be at investigation interviews whenever requested by an ETU member

3. Employees must be given 24 hours notice of interviews with the right to nominate representatives in advance.


ETU NSW Assistant Secretary Ben Lister said the outcome ‘protects union members from coercion and bullying during SafeWork investigations’.

‘These investigations are extremely serious matters. Our members need the combination of industrial relations and electrical safety expertise that only the ETU can bring.

‘It is fair and right that our members will be represented by their union on request,’ said Ben

Notice to Member - The Use of Annual Leave/ RDO’s for Stand Down Periods

Bruce Fan - Friday, March 29, 2019

The Use of Annual Leave/ RDO’s for Stand Down Periods

It has come to the attention of the ETU that members are being asked to use their personal

leave or RDO’s prior to and following planned overtime night work rather than being paid the 10 hr stand down period in alignment with unplanned overtime or out of hours call out as per

the Ausgrid Agreement 2018.

The ETU’s position is that Personal leave and RDO’s are not to be used for Ausgrid to accommodate stand down periods following out of hours planned overtime. They are as the name would suggest to be used as personal leave to be taken for personal use.

Feedback from members indicates that this happens consistently throughout the regions and can be easily remedied by work groups being united across all depots refusing to use their personal leave or RDO’s for Stand Down Periods.

 Ausgrid should rethink the scheduling and programming of out of hours overtime and you should get to use your personal leave for what it was intended.

Should you have any further questions or comments regarding this matter please speak to your local delegate or feel free to contact me directly.

Darran Miller

(Acting ETU Organiser)

M: 0447 784 572   

E:Darranm@etunsw.com.au


National Safety Alert 21 March 2019

Peter Moss - Thursday, March 21, 2019

Notice to Ausgrid members: Limited Operating Currency Requirements & Disciplinary Outcomes

Peter Moss - Tuesday, February 12, 2019
12 February 2019

It has come to the attention of the ETU that members are being asked to perform limited operating duties such as replacing LV fuses without Ausgrid being able to confirm their 2B limited operating competency in accordance with the Electrical Safety Rules. Such instances have resulted in disciplinary outcomes which members have been subjected to and which the ETU have represent them in.

The ETU have requested of Ausgrid a list of all people who have competency in accordance with the ERS’s but Ausgrid management at Ourimbah have as yet been unable to provide this list. Furthermore, a safety alert has been submitted by a member associated with this issue which Ausgrid have failed to publicise or produce. It appears Ausgrid do not even know who has competency and who has not and may have failed to keep people up to date in accordance with the Ausgrid Safety Rules.

Members should be aware of the following requirements of Ausgrid’s Electrical Safety Rules;

Branch Managers must make sure that restricted operators (other than a limited Class 1) use their skills at least four times a year (i.e. once per quarter) to maintain competency. Employees with a limited Class 1 operating authority must use their skills at least ten times a year to maintain competency.

The ETU recommends that all members with Limited Operating qualifications not participate in any limited operating duties unless members have documented evidence from Ausgrid that they have satisfied the above criteria. This safety precaution should remain in place until members are advised by Ausgrid of their verified competency and / or Ausgrid ensures that the competency criteria are satisfied for the individual.

Rory Fletcher Acting Organiser;
Organiser Mark Buttigieg will be on special duties running the ETU’s anti-privatisation campaign. I will be acting Ausgrid Organiser in his absence.


In unity

Rory Fletcher
Acting ETU organiser
0402 919 537 roryf@etunsw.com.au

Notice to Ausgrid members: vehicles, safety and load restraints

Peter Moss - Wednesday, January 23, 2019
23 January 2019
Dear Members,
The ETU has been notified by several members and delegates that there has been a focus by Ausgrid regarding safety issues associated with their fleet and in particular the securing of loads. Some of this focus has led to disciplinary matters which we believe is unfair given the lack of training and cultural awareness surrounding the focus.
The ETU advises all members when driving an Ausgrid vehicle to comply with the RMS laws and to follow all safety practices to the letter. If you haven't received adequate training or are unsure of the requirements then let your supervisor or manager know before proceeding.
When vehicles are carrying materials for jobs, all loads must be secured in accordance with correct procedures. If load restraining devices are required, please follow Ausgrid's training when using them to restrain a load. Our advice is to only use load restraints that you have been adequately trained on so that you do not breach safety requirements in any way. If you have not been trained don't do it until you have.
Our understanding is that all depots should now have scales to weigh vehicles before use. There is a hefty fine for you as a driver should you drive on an RMS road with an overweight vehicle. Our advice is to use these scales so that you always know that you are leaving the depot with a vehicle that is compliant with RMS requirements. Always weigh the vehicle before departing the depot.
Safety is always paramount for the ETU and its members. A clean and safely secure vehicle is a big part of our safety focus every day. It is important to take the time to comply with all Ausgrid and RMS requirements. Don’t rush to a job and risk an accident which you may be disciplined for because you have not taken all the necessary precautions.
Should you have any questions please call Delegates Jamie Baker 0412 841 645 or Rory Fletcher 0402 919 537.
Regards

Mark Buttigieg, ETU organiser

Notice to Ausgrid members regarding fatality

Peter Moss - Monday, January 07, 2019
Dear member

The ETU is aware of the tragic death of Hossam Ibrahim after an incident on the Ausgrid network on Saturday night.

Our thoughts are with Hossam’s family, friends and community. We also acknowledge the ETU members who attended the scene.

Today ETU officials met with Ausgrid to try and further our understanding of the incident at Punchbowl. We raised concerns in relation to current processes at the company.

Ausgrid has undertaken to get back to the union on a number of questions and issues. We will keep members informed as more information becomes available.

The ETU will always advocate for safety to be paramount across the electricity industry for the protection of the public and employees.

In unity
Justin Page
ETU NSW Secretary