In two days of extensive meetings this week between union officials, the broader negotiating committee and Ausgrid management, in principle agreement has been reached in three out of the six areas of major contention;
- Consultation Clause; Is almost to the point where the draft wording is agreed on.
- Dispute Settlement Procedure Clause; Is almost to the point where the draft wording is agreed on.
- Contracting Out Clause; Drafting of this clause is yet to be completed but the principles of that clause are agreed on.
While some progress has been made in areas 4. and 5. below, there is still a significant amount of work to do to bring the two positions closer together;
- A post 1 July 2020 “global” redundancy cap which would apply to both voluntary and forced redundancies and a credible mechanism to prevent Ausgrid “stockpiling” redeployees prior to 1 July 2020.
- Career Capability and Remuneration (CCR) scheme. There are issues to be resolved pertaining to future career progression pay rates, consultation provisions for any significant reduction in numbers of each band required within each work group and the consultative mechanism for determining how people would be judged to have “met” or “exceeded” expectations.
- Pay Rise; Ausgrid’s position remains; 2.5% year 1 with 2% in years 2 and 2% in year 3 (contingent on agreeing on CCR). The ETU’s position remains 3% per annum.
In the meantime, an application was today lodged with the Fair Work Commission (FWC) for the right to ballot our members for protected industrial action. Whilst we are hopeful more progress will be made next week in schedule negotiations, members should be under no illusion about our resolve to push ahead with a full scale industrial and political campaign should we not be able to reach agreement on the above issues.