Electricity, Water and Utilities

Electricity, Water and Utilities

Strong majority of Ausgrid members vote in favour of offer.

Paul Lister - Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Yesterday afternoon the Ausgrid EBA ballot was counted with almost three quarters of the workforce voting to accept the offer which delivers an immediate $1,600 cash payment and an immediate 2.75% pay increase to all ETU members.

The agreement, which will now be registered, includes pay increases totalling 7.5% over three years, no forced redundancy with caps in place post 2020, a $1,600 cash payment equivalent to an additional 1%-2% depending on each individual’s salary.

The official result of today’s ballot was:

YES  73%
NO    27%

ETU members should be proud of their colleagues on the negotiating committee who secured what remains one of the best industrial agreements in the country that furthers the interests of ETU members in the workplace.

The following items remain as important features of the agreement;

  • No forced redundancies with strict caps in place beyond 30 June 2020 in a post privatisation environment.
  • The agreement retains some of the best pay rates and conditions in the country.
  • 15% superannuation which interstate ETU distribution agreements - both private and public - can only dream of.
  • $1,600 up-front payment on top of 7.5% wage increases over the next three years.

Distribution agreements struck by other states under friendly Labor Governments have only been able to achieve annual increases of 3% with no cash payment. When it comes to 15% superannuation, a 20 year old NSW ETU member at Ausgrid will be more than $300,000 better off in retirement than if they worked for a distributor in any other state.

The overwhelming feedback from members has been that they are happy negotiations are over and they are looking forward to an immediate pay rise.

The ETU has always said that we support the democratic process which gave all members the opportunity to have their say while carefully considering the facts. The ETU has always said that if members rejected the offer we would escalate the campaign to secure additional benefits.

Some members may be disappointed with some elements of the outcome however this agreement will present a solid platform from which to build in 2021 and still delivers superior outcomes from other agreements around the country.

Following privatisation in other states the electricity distribution workforce was decimated with thousands of workers losing their jobs, we have dodged this bullet through strict caps.

Our job now, with the support of ETU members is to ensure that the detail of CCR scheme and its operation is fair and that employees have an opportunity for decent future career progression.

Personally, I would like to thank every single ETU member for your patience and understanding in what has been a long and very difficult negotiation. Our delegates deserve particular mention, in particular your negotiating delegates who worked tirelessly and forcefully to secure an agreement that three quarters of the workforce support.

As always I am available to answer any questions you may have.

In unity,
Mark Buttigieg