Electricity, Water and Utilities

Electricity, Water and Utilities

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.

CEPU/ETU 2012 Financial Accounts

Paul Lister - Tuesday, June 18, 2013

In accordance with the requirements of the Fair Work Registered Organisation Act 2009 and the Industrial Relations Act 1996 the CEPU NSW Branch and ETU NSW Branch has made available to members the complete financial reports and associated documents for 2012.

By law the CEPU must provide a copy of their financial report free of charge to members, this can be downloaded here.

Essential Energy EA Update

Paul Lister - Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Essential Energy members can read the latest EA Update by clicking here.

Free Training for ETU Members

Paul Lister - Thursday, June 13, 2013

ETU members are invited to participate in the following training courses and events, open to all members and free of charge. We hope you find something of interest.

Public Speaking: Saturday 15th June 
Learn techniques that will give you confidence when introducing yourself or delivering a persuasive speech. Register online

Public Sector Workers: Tuesday 18th June
Join the community unions network to meet other workers confronted with the same challenges and discuss ideas for combined union activities. Details

Workers Comp Day:
Wednesday 19th June
‘Fair Go for Workers Compensation Day’ to highlight the NSW Government’s attack on injured workers.  Flyers and surveys

Cumberland Community Unions:
Wednesday 19th June
Come along to the official launch of a new community unions group for Smithfield and Fairfield areas of Western Sydney. RSVPs and details

Bullying and Workers Comp - basics: Friday 21st June
This training will enable organisers and delegates to:
Session 1. Give simple advice on the job about NSW Workers Comp.
Session 2.  Use new Anti-Bullying and Harassment Laws as a tool to make workplaces safer. Register for either or both sessions

Ballot Result: Ausgrid Agreement Vote

Paul Lister - Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Three Mass meetings were held at Newcastle, Canterbury and the Masonic Centre in Sydney on 5/4/13 and 6/4/13. All meetings were well attended and ballots were conducted at each meeting.

Mick Shields OAM (Ex Commission)scrutineered the entire ballot process, was present at each meeting and oversaw the count. Also present at the count were Union Officials from ETU, USU, PSA and Ausgrid Management.

The Outcome
91.49% Voted in favour of accepting the Agreement.

Next Steps
The parties will now lodge the relevant paper work with Fair Work Commission for certification. Once this process is finalised Ausgrid will apply the new rates and back pay will be processed.

We would like to thank the Delegates, particularly those who participated in the negotiations. Your efforts and contributions throughout the process ensured members employment conditions have been maintained and improved.

Ausgrid Delegates Endorse EA Offer

Paul Lister - Wednesday, May 29, 2013

ETU Delegates met and were taken through the latest Ausgrid offer and a final draft Ausgrid Enterprise Agreement 2012. After discussion and consideration the Delegates endorsed the offer and document to go to Mass Meetings for a vote.

The Offer

1. A wage increase of 2.7% to apply from 19 December 2012 and a further wage increase of 2.7% on 18 December 2013.

2. Back pay to 19 December 2012

3. New & Improved Clauses
     a. Re negotiations Clause to commence six months but no later than 4 months before the expiry of agreement
     b. Dispute Resolution Procedure
     c. Consultation Clause
     d. Outsourcing / Contracting Out Clause
     e. Domestic Violence Clause
     f. Redundancy, Redeployment and Salary maintenance Policies Clause.
     g. Choice of Superannuation Fund Clause.

4. Removal of Salary Point 54 Overtime Restriction

5. Local Workplace Flexibility Agreement Clause to remain unchanged.

6. Superannuation - Any increase to the Commonwealth Government Superannuation Guarantee (SCG) that occurs during the nominal term of this Agreement will be absorbed.

7. Electrical Safety Rules Allowance will remain an all purpose rate. The Rate to be frozen at $129.89 for the nominal term of the Agreement.

Ausgrid are distributing the Ausgrid Enterprise Agreement 2012 document for employees to consider over the next week.

Mass Meetings

The following Mass Meetings have been organised for the employees to vote on the document.

Broadmeadow Racecourse
Newcastle, Hunter and Central Coast Employees
10.00am Wednesday 5 June 2013

Canterbury Racecourse
Sydney based employees (other than HOB and Roden Cutler)
9.30am Thursday 6 June 2013

Masonic Centre, Sydney
HOB and Roden Cutler based employees
2.30pm Thursday 6 June 2013

Ausgrid will inform employees of transport arrangements for employees when they are confirmed.

Distribution Industry Hazard Alert

Paul Lister - Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Please read the Hazard Alert issued by Energex listed below.