Electricity, Water and Utilities

Electricity, Water and Utilities

ETU to lodge dispute over Essential Energy redundancy

Bruce Fan - Wednesday, July 03, 2019

ETU State of the Union Meetings

Bruce Fan - Thursday, May 10, 2018

ETU Secretary Dave McKinley is travelling across NSW and the ACT over the coming months to meet ETU members. Dave will report back on recent industrial matters and provide you with an update on the major Change the Rules campaign that the ETU in NSW is playing a leading role.

The State of the Union meetings will kick off with the following four meetings, additional dates and locations covering the rest of the state will be provided as they are confirmed (Please find the picture below about the time and address):

  • Monday 20 August - Moruya & Bega
  • Thursday 21 August - Wagga Wagga - Wagga Wagga RSL Club, Dobbs Street
  • Wednesday 22 August - Deniliquin & Griffith
  • Thursday 23 August - Temora & Young 
  • Friday 24 August - Cowra 

All members are invited to attend and must RSVP for catering purposes, finger food and drinks will be provided from 7pm. Please email your name, mobile number and event location/date to joannet@etunsw.com.au or call 02 9267 4844 and ask for Joanne.

We look forward to seeing you at your local State of the Union meeting.


Paul Lister - Friday, March 02, 2018

Dear ETU Members.

Product Safety Australia, a division of the Commonwealth Governments Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, this week issued a product recall relating to Takata Airbags. This recall is compulsory due to significant safety risks and affects a large number of car makes and models and a small number of motor cycles.


If your employer has any of the affected vehicles in their fleet you should first contact your supervisor to find out if the mandatory recall work has been completed or to report that your vehicle is impacted by the product recall.

The ACCC has advised the following:

It is critical that owners of cars with alpha airbags installed take immediate steps to have the airbags replaced because of the significant risk of injury or death involved in using cars with these airbags. All other consumers whose vehicles are on the full recall list are urged to arrange for the replacement of Takata airbags in their vehicles as soon as possible due to the safety risks involved in the use of these vehicles.

If you have any issues arising in the workplace relating to the operation of affected vehicles please immediately contact your workplace delegate or ETU organiser.

In Unity,
Dave McKinley


Peter Moss - Friday, December 15, 2017

More than 2,600 Essential Energy workers will celebrate the New Year with a 2% pay rise.

The increase is the first of four now locked in after ETU members overwhelmingly approved their new enterprise agreement today.

More than 96 per cent of employees who voted gave the thumbs up to a 3.5 year EBA.

The deal will deliver total increases of between 7%-8.25% while maintaining all existing conditions.

ETU Assistant Secretary Justin Page welcomed the strong turnout and huge ‘yes’ vote.

‘This agreement delivers modest pay rises and job security without trading off the conditions we have,’ said Justin.

‘It was achieved without industrial action and is wrapped up before the current EBA expires.

‘That’s great news for our members at Essential Energy. No-one deserves a pay rise more than these workers.’

Justin thanked ETU delegates for negotiating the agreement.

‘This positive outcome is the result our delegates’ hard work and dedication. At depots across NSW, ETU delegates are the heart and soul of the union.


Peter Moss - Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Don’t forget to have your say on the agreement which will set your wages and conditions until 2020.

The proposed EBA will deliver between 7%-8.25% in pay rises over 3.5 years – with the first 2% paid to you on New Year’s Day 2018.

All existing conditions have been maintained.

Vote in the electronic ballot using the password emailed to you.


Change the Rules Rally - 16 November

Paul Lister - Monday, November 13, 2017

Join us 11.30am Thursday 16 November - Belmore Park, Sydney (near Central Station).

Majority of ETU Member Support Revised In-principle Offer

Paul Lister - Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Last week we asked ETU Delegates to circulate the Essential Energy revised in-principle offer and seeking feedback from members. The overwhelming response has been ETU members support the concept of an early settlement, “rollover” of the Enterprise Agreement.

Next Steps

Essential Energy will issue employees with a notice of representational rights. This formally starts the bargaining process. The parties and representatives will meet to formalise a draft agreement to go to an electronic vote. This vote cannot take place within 21 days of the notice of representational rights being issued. A draft agreement and explanatory document needs to be circulated 7 days before any vote can be held. 

The aim is to have a vote conducted early December.

Thank you to all the ETU Delegates for your continued efforts and enabling this to happen in such a short timeframe. Your efforts are much appreciated.

Justin Page
Assistant Secretary

Mobile: 0414877301 / Email: justinp@etunsw.asn.au

Essential Energy Responds to ETU’s Calls to Improve the Enterprise Agreement Offer.

Paul Lister - Thursday, October 26, 2017

As reported yesterday, the ETU and Delegates called on Essential Energy to improve the in-principle offer which could see an early settlement of the Essential Energy Enterprise Agreement 2018. We sought improvements of a minimum cap on wages, bring second and third pay rise forward and revised wording on Individual Flexibility Arrangement clause. Essential Energy Board met today and the following improved offer has been put forward for the ETU and its member’s consideration.

  • A roll-over of current employment conditions through a new enterprise agreement with the one exception of a revised Individual Flexibility Arrangements (IFA) clause;
  • A minimum cap of 2% which applies to each of the proposed CPI adjustments (on an annual or pro-rata basis);
  • A maximum cap of 2.5% which applies to each of the proposed CPI adjustments (on an annual or pro-rata basis);
  • Subject to the above points, CPI based wage increases as follows:
    • a CPI adjustment on 1 January 2018 based on the previous rolling 12 month CPI rate (CPI figures based on ABS Catalogue 6401.0)
    • a further CPI adjustment on 1 July 2018 based on the previous rolling 6 month CPI rate (minimum 1% up to maximum 1.25%);
    • a further CPI adjustment on 1 July 2019 based on the previous rolling 12 month CPI rate; and
    • a further CPI adjustment on 1 July 2020 based on the previous rolling 12 month CPI rate
  • Apply the above wage increases to other allowances (excluding ESRA);
  • Adopt a revised IFA clause which applies to “arrangements about start and/or finish times and / or vary the hours of work, within the spread of ordinary hours (6am – 6pm, between Monday to Friday) where requested by an employee and mutually agreed by Essential Energy”.
  • A nominal expiry date for the enterprise agreement of 30 June 2021.

Essential Energy revised offer seeks to genuinely progress discussions to see an early settlement. This revised offer front loads pay rises with the first pay rise being paid 1 Jan 2018 (6 month before expiry or current agreement)  followed by an additional pay rise added in July 2018.  The offer would see a total pay rise over 3.5 years of a minimum of 7% up to a maximum of 8.25%. The first pay rise on 1st January 2018 would be 2% as the rolling 12 months is at 1.8%.

Next Steps

The ETU is now seeking feedback from members on this in-principle “rollover” early settlement proposal. An in-principle agreement would then see a formal process start where representational rights would be issued by Essential, minimum 21 day negotiation period, new Enterprise Agreement drafted then put to a vote of all employees covered by the Enterprise Agreement.

If an in-principle agreement is not reached, the parties would enter into a traditional style negotiation (logs of claims) where the parties enter negotiations and seek to reach agreement on a new Enterprise Agreement to start at July 2018.

The ETU is asking Delegates to provide feedback from a depot level to myself by COB Tuesday 31st October 2017. Do the majority of members at your depot accept this “in-principle” offer? YES or NO.
Justin Page
Assistant Secretary

0414 877 301 | justinp@etunsw.asn.au

Essential Energy enterprise agreement discussions commence

Peter Moss - Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Forty ETU Delegates from Essential Energy met at our ETU Sydney Office yesterday to hear an Enterprise Agreement proposal from Essential CEO John Cleland. The intention was to ascertain the views of the ETU on an early settlement of the Essential Energy Enterprise Agreement 2018 negotiations.

Essential’s proposal:

  1. Employment Conditions- A roll-over of current employment conditions through a new enterprise agreement with the one exception of replacing the current Individual Flexibility Arrangements (IFA) clause with the model flexibility term (As contained in the Fair Work Regulations 2009).
  2. Term of Agreement- A nominal expiry date of 30 June 2021.
  3. Pay Increase - A consumer Price Index (CPI) adjustment to wages and allowances (excluding the Electrical Safety Rules Allowance). The CPI adjustment would be capped at the NSW Governments Wages Policy Task Force limit of 2.5% per annum.
  4. If parties reach agreement on an in-principle basis by mid-November, first wage increase would be 1 January 2018 (6 months earlier than the current expiry date of 30 June 2018), second wages increase 30 June 2019 and third wages increase 30 June 2020.

The Delegate’s had the opportunity to hear directly from John and to ask questions about Essentials proposal. After considering the proposal the Delegates called on Essential to improve the offer by putting a minimum cap of 2% in place and bring the second and third wage increase forward. The parties will work on wording for the IFA Clause.

John committed to consider the ETU’s counter proposal and respond in a timely manner. When questioned about Essentials the intent of reaching an early agreement, John’s response was the Business needs to reform through less bureaucracy, better systems and processes, improved technology, not by making changes to the Enterprise agreement.

On the question of redundancies John stated there will not be any massive wholesale redundancies. Essential are achieving reductions through voluntary redundancies and natural attrition. There will be further reductions through improved technology, but it is anticipated it will be through voluntary redundancies.

Justin Page
Assistant Secretary

Fair Work to determine scope of Essential Energy medical assessments

Peter Moss - Thursday, September 14, 2017
The Work Capacity Assessment Procedure is still in dispute. The ETU strongly advises that in the interim, members should hold off attending any medical assessment.

The parties met a number of times and where back before DP Sams on 29th August 2017. The ETU had identified 11 changes we required to the Procedure. The parties were able to agree on 10 of those changes and they have been incorporated into the Procedure.
DP Sams will determine the outstanding issue of scope.

• The ETU’s position is the scope of employees to be assessed should be Live Line & Heavy Vehicle employees which under statutory requirements, Work Capacity Assessments must be carried.

• Essential’s position is any employee who works on or near the network.

During October both parties will make submissions to DP Sams who will then determine the scope to apply to the Procedure.
Improvements the ETU was able to make to the procedure include:

• An added step in the process where an employee is deemed “Unfit for substantive duty –permanently”. An assessment will be made of the employee’s capabilities and limitations. As part of this process Essential Energy will explore the possibility of a suitable alternate role. If no alternate role can be agreed, the employee will be put on Personal leave. Essential Energy may terminate the employee’s employment in accordance with the industrial instrument in place at the time.

• Improved the procedure to ensure employee’s personal medical history details and specific outcomes of the Assessment are kept confidential and not disclosed to Essential.

• Improved wording around workers compensation, payment & costs, assessments to occur in paid time & the dispute resolution process if an employee disputes the assessment outcome.

Have you given Essential consent to obtain private medical history?

Essential have now agreed to write to employees who have completed the wrong Essential Energy Work Capacity Assessment Musculoskeletal and Functional Assessment forms which has given Essential Energy consent to obtain your private medical information through the your treating Doctor’s and other Health Practitioners.

Those employees will then need to sign a new consent form which will revoke the consent to ensure Essential cannot access your private medical history.

Members are reminded you are legally entitled to have ETU Representation in any employment matter including investigations, performance matters, disciplinary matters, safety matters etc.

The ETU will keep members updated on this matters through our ETU workplace delegate’s network, Facebook and via the ETU website.

Justin Page
Assistant Secretary