Almost all combined union members at Ausgrid who participated in the Protected Action Ballot have voted ‘YES’ to authorise all listed industrial actions.
The Australian Electoral Commission declared the result this afternoon. A strong turnout produced almost 95 per cent support for all three sets of industrial action. The clock is now ticking for Ausgrid management to improve the current EBA offer or face widespread industrial action.
The vote opens a 30-day window for union members at Ausgrid to take protected industrial action, which if taken may be used until an outcome is secured. If management fails to make an acceptable offer, combined delegates will meet on Wednesday 31 January to decide specific actions.
The major obstacles to agreement are:
Employees have rejected Ausgrid’s proposed Capability and Remuneration scheme (CCR) because, unless modified, the CCR severely limits career paths with future employees set to receive lower rates of pay.
Inadequate wage rises – Ausgrid’s offer remains: Year 1, 2.5% plus one-off $1,000 sign-on bonus; Year 2, 2.5%; Year 3, 2%. Years 2 and 3 are contingent on agreement to implement the CCR. The combined unions position remains a modest 3% annual pay increase. While workers’ wages have been frozen for four years, Ausgrid executives enjoyed average bonuses exceeding $50,000 each in 2014, 2015 and 2016 on top of annual pay increases averaging 5.3%.
Congratulations to all union members for your strong stand in this protected action ballot. Management must now respond, or they will face an escalated employee campaign.
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