Wednesday (20th November) saw two meetings regarding the EBA. The first meeting was a meeting of the combined unions negotiating group. The second meeting was a meeting of ETU delegates drawn from geographical locations across the state. Essential Energy management limited the number of delegates that they would release. There were a number of issues with cancelled flights that resulted in two delegates being unable to attend.
Union negotiating delegates meeting.
The first meeting discussions were assisted by retired Deputy President John Greyson. After discussion we then had EE COO Humphries & cronies discuss the matter with the negotiating committee. The negotiating delegates discussed all the facts, & after detailed & open discussion determined to recommend an agreement to the delegates attending the second meeting.
The negotiating delegates determined that mandatory elements of any agreement is to be based on three fundamental principles being;
No trade offs
As reported above, EE management restricted the number of delegates that they were willing to release & transport to Sydney was an issue for some. The Secretary determined that I then provide a shortened list of delegates for the meeting. I then identified delegates from various locations in an attempt to provide representation spread over the state.
32 delegates met & discussed the current position. We then invited Humphries to address the meeting. I was extremely proud of the delegates who made the feelings of the membership crystal clear to Humphries in a full & frank exchange.
Following Humphries & his cronies leaving the meeting delegates discussed & debated all matters at hand.
After detailed discussions & debate , the delegates determined that an agreement based on the following to be recommended to members;
That the matter of the scope argument be dealt with by arbitration (set to be heard on the 16th & 17th December) with the decision of Senior Deputy President Hamburger to be the determined scope with all parties bound by the decision with no appeal.
That the proposed agreement be based on the current (2011 Agreement).
That new clauses sought by the unions be included:
These clauses are clauses that are from Endeavour or Ausgrid. The negotiating delegates identified these as improvements to the current agreement. This clearly is narrowing the differences between supply authorities in NSW & works towards or objectives of common EBA’s.
The inclusion of redundancy in the EBA. This will be in the form of a clause that refers to a policy as of yesterdays date and will remain the policy for the full term of the agreement. We argued for an increase in the entitlement, that has been rejected. Delegates determined that as we have no provision in the agreement & that by having this in the agreement it gives us opportunity to try to increase in the future. There is to also be a commitment to no forced redundancies that will assist in the identified objective of job security.
That members retain the right to choose payment option for those working away from home.
The increases be 2.7% from 1 July 2013 & 1 July 2014 & that should the federal government not provide a SGL superannuation increase in 2014 that the full 2.7 be paid.
That all allowances be increased by the wage increase %’s with the exclusion of ESRA & meal allowance during the day. The meal allowance during the day to be increased in accordance with the ATO determined figure.
Essential Energy write to unions to confirm their agreement to the matters above.
That a new draft agreement be written by EE to reflect the items above.
That The DRAFT agreement be completed by the decision of SDP Hamburger.
Clearly there is still some water to go under the bridge. Delegates determined that they felt the proposal, when reflected in a new draft agreement, should be recommended to members.
Obviously for any agreement to be finalised it will require a vote of employees.
This would take place following the resolution of the Scope arbitration which will determine the scope clause for any new agreement.
We also sought that The Union and EE agree to a general timetable of events so it can be communicated to members.
Delegates will receive a text for a hook up early next week.
In Unity, Neville Betts.