Electricity, Water and Utilities

Electricity, Water and Utilities

ETU Members Win with New ActewAGL Agreement

Paul Lister - Wednesday, May 03, 2017

The ActewAGL Enterprise Agreement was voted on the 27th April with a 90% YES vote. Big thanks go to those dedicated ETU members who participated, particularly Peter Brewer, thanks Pete.

Negotiations commenced in January 2017 and an in-principal agreement was made in early April. The ETU went to ActewAGL with a strongly supported “minimal change” position but with a fair pay outcome, which was ultimately agreed by the Employer.

ETU Delegates provided valuable feedback to members and brought comments and input back to the negotiating team. The quick turnaround our members provided meant the union was able to progress negotiations quickly, we also kept members updated meaning they were on board through the entire process.

There was one hiccup, unintendedly created by management, with a previously rejected career progression scheme being revived during the bargaining process. The scheme had been modified and was a case of good intentions, bad timing.

The changes to the previous agreement agreed to by the ETU and the company updated and corrected the agreement including the model consultation clause that had been added by the Fair Work Commission in 2014.

The agreement is a three year agreement that delivers inflation busting 3% pay increases each year meaning ETU members will be almost 10% better off over the life of the agreement.

The 2014 agreement (won by ETU members and supported by Neville Betts) was already a cracker with 15% Super, redundancy up to potential 96 weeks’ pay and a number of other worker friendly provisions.

Given the unfriendly nature of the distribution industry in recent years we always need to make sure that the “exit” (redundancy) provisions are as good as we can get. The AER has seen distributors mercilessly cut numbers and find new and inventive ways of getting rid of Staff. These provisions need to be strong in any EBA and this agreement delivers a strong outcome for ETU members.

The agreement will now be lodged before the current agreement expires on 1 July 2017, and so will replace the existing EBA. It is listed for hearing on Friday 4 May and will no doubt sail through the process.

Overall, while there is more we would have liked, an overwhelming vote of more than 90% in favour shows how ETU members assessed the EBA.

Mick Koppie - ETU Organiser