Last week Ausgrid announced it had made a decision to investigate Market Interest in the Sale of Contestable Metering Business. The ETU and affected employees took exception to the manner in which Ausgrid notified employees and Unions and the media of its decision. The ETU questioned Ausgrid’s commitment to the new Consultation provisions in the new Agreement.
The ETU lodged a dispute in the Fair Work Commission and the matter was heard today before SDP Hamberger. The ETU argued that Ausgrid had not followed the proper consultative mechanisms within the agreement and believe Ausgrid has already made a decision to sell off Contestable Metering.
Ausgrid maintained a “final decision” to sell Contestable Metering has not been made.
The parties agreed that the protocols around raising items for consultation can be improved.
Ausgrid committed to consult on all 4 options around Contestable Metering
Maintain Status Quo
Grow the Business
Exit the Business via wind down (non-renewal of contracts)
Investigate market interest in potential sale
The Peak Consultative Committee (PCC) is the forum to deal with this issue.
The next PCC will deal with the process of consultation, the timetable for consultation, employee representatives to be involved, taking into account the circumstances and complexities of the issue.
Ausgrid committed to outline those employees that are directly affected by this issue.
SDP Hamberger’s comments included that a cost benefit could be undertaken for all 4 option so employees and the Unions could understand the decision making process of Ausgrid once a final decision is made.
The ETU will be working with the Metering Delegates, members and other Unions to identify all the issues, elect representatives to be involved in the consultative process and provide feedback to members throughout this process.