After the recent 95% YES vote to take industrial action if required, to keep the action active we now must decide to take protected action within a 30-day window that ends on 9 February 2018. Accordingly, a delegates meeting on Wednesday 31 January will decide whether to proceed to industrial action or not based on the progress of Agreement negotiations to that date. In the meantime, a group of negotiating delegates and myself continues intensive discussions with Ausgrid in a bid to obtain a negotiated outcome. The major outstanding issues are:
CCR: Reform of Ausgrid’s career capability and remuneration scheme to the point where we are satisfied with the following areas:
rates of pay
merit appointment hurdles,
the allocation of skills sets to various classifications bands and how that will be negotiated over the next 12 months prior to implementation.
The nature of “exceeding expectations” as a criterion for skills progression and how that will be negotiated over the next 12 months prior to implementation.
Wage rises: The combined unions demand remains 3% per annum. Averaged over the seven years between the last wage rise and the proposed end of this agreement, this equates to just 1.28% per annum. Our claim is very modest when compared to the average 5.3% pay rise and $50,000 bonuses that Ausgrid executives paid themselves annually over the past four years.
We will report back on the progress of these negotiations next week or early the week after. In the meantime, all delegates should attend the very important meeting to be held on Wednesday 31 January, the time and location of this meeting will be advised in due course. The meeting will discuss one of two things;
An in-principle Agreement package for delegates to authorise the negotiating committee to finalise or
the type and quantity of industrial actions to be taken.
Either way the matter will be brought to a head once and for all.