Electricity, Water and Utilities

Electricity, Water and Utilities

ETU takes Action over Ausgrid Contestable Metering Decision

Paul Lister - Wednesday, July 31, 2013

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.

The Outcome

  • 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.

Redmond Gary EWP Incident

Paul Lister - Monday, July 22, 2013

All members are encouraged to read the Incident Report issues by Redmond Gary.

Endeavour Energy Safety Notice

Paul Lister - Monday, July 22, 2013

All members are encouraged to read the safety notice issued by Endeavour Energy.

Ausgrid Peak Consultative Committee & Contestable Metering

Paul Lister - Friday, July 19, 2013

Please read the Ausgrid Peak Consultative Committee & Contestable Metering notice to members.

Essential Energy EA Update 16 July

Paul Lister - Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Please click here to read the latest ETU Essential Energy EA Update.

Members can also view the draft agreement released by the company and a comparison document to provide members with further information relating to negotiations and the unions log of claim.

Any questions please contact ETU Essential Energy Coordinator, Neville Betts: nevilleb@etunsw.asn.au

 

Stop the Sell Off hits the Airwaves

Paul Lister - Thursday, July 11, 2013

During May/June our Stop the Sell Off campaign rolled out advertising including 11 major billboards located in metro and regional NSW, newspaper ads and a radio ad.

To find out more about the campaign visit the campaign website: www.stoptheselloff.org.au and follow the campaign on Facebook and Twitter.

Listen to our radio ad here.

Sydney Water Health Check Update

Paul Lister - Monday, July 01, 2013

The ETU has made an official complaint with WorkCover after receiving correspondence from Kevin Young. Mr Young’s response to Sydney Water’s legal responsibilities is abhorrent. The Work Health and Safety Regulations place an obligation on Sydney Water to perform health monitoring and keep health monitoring records where employees’ have been exposed to hazardous chemicals, lead and asbestos.

Following Workcovers intervention Sydney Water has committed to any Workers who want to attend a medical examination through Quality Occupational Health at Merrylands can do so. Sydney Water will inform workers how this will occur.

If any worker has concerns about exposure to chemicals they can discuss it with the Doctor at Quality Occupational Health and he/she will determine if any further tests are required.

Sydney Water will be provided with a health report relating to any work related health issues that are determined by the doctor at Quality Occupational Health at Merrylands.

Workers are entitled to a copy of the full health report. It is suggested that you request a copy of the report at the time of the appointment.

In the meantime WorkCover will continue to liaise with Sydney Water in terms of worker exposure and the establishment of health monitoring records.

Convert to Direct Debit, Protect Your Membership

Paul Lister - Thursday, June 27, 2013

The union is aware that Essential Energy, Ausgrid and possibly Endeavour Energy have written to members stating that ETU members must advise the company in writing in order to increase your payroll deductions to reflect 2013/14 membership fees and the inclusion of the levy.

The increases to Union dues were determined in accordance with the rules of our union and were advised to management in the normal manner.

These employers have never had a problem with increasing deductions as advised by the union in the past and we can only assume that their fundamental shift in position has something to do with our so far successful Stop the Sell Off campaign and the union’s effectiveness in representing members employed by these companies.

Put simply the easiest way to circumvent this is for all members to now change from payroll deductions to direct debit.

To switch to direct debit complete the attached direct debit form and return it to the union either by reply paid post or by scanning and emailing it to the union (see details below).

If you wish to remain on payroll deductions please see the attached rates for 2013/14 of which you will need to advise payroll of in writing (an email is acceptable).

However, for those members opting to stay on payroll deductions we can no longer guarantee that you will continue to remain “financial” given that these sorts of games are likely to continue, this may leave you unprotected particularly when it comes to Journey Cover.

I am asking all members to complete the attached direct debit form and return it by reply paid post to: ETU NSW Branch, Reply Paid 67073, Sydney NSW 2000 or scan and email it to etunsw@etunsw.asn.au. No stamp is required when using the reply paid address.

It is reassuring to know that our union is so effective that your bosses want to play silly games, but we also recognise it is an inconvenience, one brought about by your employer – please complete the direct debit form today and make sure you remain protected at work.

 

Essential Energy Vegetation Update June 2013

Paul Lister - Friday, June 21, 2013

Got a letter from Essential Energy today telling the ETU and Members they have completed the outsourcing Consultative Committee discussions.

Basically they are saying to you – “ran the plan past you, heard your concerns & promptly ignored them.

The scenario is this:

Vegetation Staff have diligently been doing their job – finding offending vegetation and getting it removed by contractors.

There have been a number of occasions when Veg Officers have taken the contractor to task for overcharging.

EE Managers got an idea from somewhere that outsourcing scoping would be a great idea. This means the contractor looks at the job, cuts it and sends the bill to EE. Obviously nothing to see here, no chance of corrupt behaviour. Yeh right.

Don’t get us wrong – the guys in tree cutting are just making a living and not a great one at that. If it rains they get sent home on no pay.

The ETU and Veg Delegates went to the Consultative Committee with an open mind and basically said we would like a number of considerations:

  • Training and progression in the Veg structure
  • An audit system which ensured compliance for all involved
  • Some overtime and input to make sure work was completed efficiently

What was considered by EE and granted

  • Nothing
  • Zilch

They have cut, cut, cut. Blown the budget. They find $$$$ for contractors though.

While the Committee was meeting a conspiracy to carry out scoping work was being undertaken between a VOC and a contractor.

It took a number of attempts after it was passed on by your delegates for EE to discover the scheme. We are not saying EE did the wrong thing – just it was well hidden and hard to prove.

The parties concerned have since “resigned”.

Not sure at this stage whether we are dealing with stupidity or arrogance, probably a bit of both.

Thin end of the wedge guys – they only have consultation meetings so they can tell a Commissioner they have consulted.

We are left with a number of options 
    1.  Seek ICAC intervention.
    2. Take our case to Fair Work
    3. Protected Industrial Action
Or all of the above.

Make no mistake, they need a smack, they have been naughty, naughty bosses.

This is an attack on ALL staff, not just the Veg guys.

EE has given away:

  • new construction work
  • retail,
  • have their beady little eyes on Service Line replacement and Streelighting.
  • They want to cut 240 staff out of the EBA and put them on contract

Disappointed ladies and gents, very disappointed.

If you are all game – we need to give them a touch up.

Essential Energy Asbestos Update

Paul Lister - Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Esasential Energy members can read the latest Asbestos Update by clicking here.