Electricity, Water and Utilities

Electricity, Water and Utilities

Four Year Transgrid EBA Protects and Improves Conditions

Peter Moss - Tuesday, December 05, 2017
TWO PAY RISES SET FOR XMAS & NEW YEAR

ETU members at Transgrid have maintained and improved conditions in the first enterprise agreement negotiated since the company was privatised two years ago.

A four-year EBA will deliver total pay rises of 8 per cent, with two instalments of 2 per cent set to land at Christmas and then New Year.

The agreement includes better redundancy pay, superior remote working arrangements and a pacesetting 10 days domestic violence leave.


Photo: Col Waring

Veteran ETU negotiator Michael McManus said the outcome meets the priorities set by members at depot meetings.

‘We’re reasonably happy with it. The wage increases are not big but for the blokes the primary aim was to secure our conditions and avoid trade-offs,’ said Michael, a site manager in Yass.

‘It’s not perfect but the payments for forced or voluntary redundancy are now significantly higher than the National Employments Standards.

‘We’re very happy with the domestic violence leave – 10 days helps our people and makes Transgrid a national leader,’ said Michael.

Col Waring, a substation advisor and ETU negotiator, said ‘we’ve accepted an offer that does the minimum’.

‘It’s a reasonable outcome in a tough environment for the electricity sector. We’re 100 per cent privatised and our workforce is under pressure,’ said Col, who works at Eastern Creek.

‘We had to protect jobs and full-time employment, particularly in rural areas. We need stability and security. This EBA delivers that along with improved conditions and a reasonable pay rise for the future.’

Transgrid workers are now entitled to up to 62 weeks redundancy pay, far above the 12 weeks contained in the National Employment Standards.

The EBA provides that employees working away from home are uniformly entitled to claim a day ‘sustenance rate’ instead of being paid ‘actuals’ (receipted expenses).

A new flexible arrangement for remote work means employees working away for long periods will enjoy more leave when they get home.

ETU Secretary Dave McKinley, who led negotiations, said the maintenance of conditions met ‘our members’ biggest concern’.

‘Our team protected all key conditions while enhancing others with an eye to the future.

‘Transgrid is likely to take on more contestable work including huge projects such as interconnectors in South Australia and Queensland. This will require extended periods of remote work which will see our members benefit under clauses in this EBA,’ said Dave.

Transgrid operates almost 13,000 kilometres of high voltage transmission network in NSW and the ACT.

The company was sold by the NSW Government in December 2015 to a consortium composed of Australian, Canadian and Middle Eastern investors.

The four-year EBA, expiring in December 2020, covers around 900 employees including up to 400 ETU members.

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).

APPLY NOW - ETU 2017 Education Scholarships

Paul Lister - Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The ETU offer six general scholarships every single year with each scholarship valued at $2,000. These scholarships are available to ETU members, their children and their grandchildren. To qualify, you must be enrolled in studies in an approved course at a registered training organisation at diploma level or higher.

To apply for one of six annual general scholarships download the application form. Conditions apply (see application form). Applications are being accepted for 2017 and close at 4.30pm Friday 30 June, 2017. Successful applicants to be notified by 31 July, 2017.

Footy Tipping Comp 2017 - Win a week at the ETU Holiday Cabins

Paul Lister - Thursday, March 02, 2017

With the footy season gearing up the ETU Footy Tipping Comp is now open for people to join. Try your hand a tipping your weekly favourites and get you workmates to join in the fun.

We will again be giving away periodical prizes through the season based on weekly results while the overall competition winner will receive one free week accommodation at the ETU Holiday Cabins at Nambucca Heads on the NSW Mid-North Coast.

CLICK HERE TO BE REDIRECTED TO THE ETU FOOTY TIPPING COMP HOME PAGE.

The competition password is: Electric

In order to be awarded a prize participants must be financial members of the ETU NSW and ACT Branch.

In Unity,

Dave McKinley - Secretary

National Fight Back Rally - 9 March

Paul Lister - Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Working in Heat

Paul Lister - Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Weather forecasters are predicting that temperatures will be in excess of 38*C across NSW while the ACT is expected to reach temperatures exceeding 33*C.

All members should be aware of the dangers of heat stress please follow the links below for further information from SafeWork NSW on working in heat.

SAFEWORK NSW HEAT RELATED ILLNESS

SAFEWORK NSW HOT & COLD ENVIRONMENTS

SAFEWORK NSW MANAGING THE WORK ENVIRONMENT CODE OF PRACTICE

ETU members should take appropriate action depending on your individual health and work situation, including but not limited to taking regular breaks, conducting individual (personal) risk assessment and/or ceasing work completely.

Members should exercise extreme care as temperatures rise. If you have any questions about working in heat please contact your workplace delegate or ETU organiser.

In unity,

Dave McKinley - Deputy Secretary

 

Sth Australia Incident: 18M GMJ EWP

Paul Lister - Thursday, December 08, 2016

There has been an incident in South Australia involving injuries to an employee that occurred as a result of a failure of an EWP.
 
A knuckle on an 18M GMJ EWP failed while the employee was aloft. The employee suffered a broken leg and other injuries.

The EWP was at working height (9m) when the top knuckle pin dislodged, the bucket fell back to its rest position (about 2.5m) with the worker and tools in the bucket. This bucket is 8 years old and had not undergone major rebuilds. 

The pin retaining device appears to have failed. The fulcrum on GMJ EWPS are covered by a shroud and cannot be seen during start up inspections. 

SA Safe Work is investigating and all similar EWPs have been removed from service.

All similar EWPs should be removed from service until such times as members can be assured of their safe operation.

Specifically, and in addition to all other prestart checks, members are to physically check fulcrum pins and pin retaining devices on all similar EWPs prior to any use.

Unions NSW Workers Comp Rally - Friday 4 November

Paul Lister - Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Unions NSW will be holding a lunchtime Workers Compensation rally outside NSW Parliament on 4 November 2016 at 12:30pm

The rally coincides with public hearings for the first review of the 2012 workers compensation changes.

Unions NSW has made an extensive submission to the Law and Justice Committee painting a horrifying picture of the scale of the devastation wreaked by the changes to workers compensation: from suicides to soup kitchens and everything in between.

At the rally on 4 November 2016 we will be hearing from injured workers and highlighting the harsh impact of the 2012 changes on the injured workers of NSW and their families.

There will also be regional events:

Wollongong - 31 October 2016
Orange - 2 November 2016
Newcastle - 3 November; and
A date for an event in Lismore is being finalised.

By keeping the pressure on the Government about workers comp we have won significant changes including more than doubling the medical cap and reducing the threshold for lifetime cover among other changes. This rally is an important part of our plan to keep winning improvements to the scheme.

Sydney Event Details:
Outside NSW Parliament, Macquarie St Sydney
12:30pm on Friday 4 November 2016

Endeavour Energy Incident Update

Paul Lister - Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Yesterday two of our colleagues from Endeavour Energy were injured, one of them very seriously in an electrical accident at Aird. The accident occurred during an attempted disconnection of a mobile generator at a kiosk type substation. Initial enquiries indicate that the accident relates to the process involved in connecting and disconnecting generators on to LIVE Low Voltage Boards at substations.

This is an extremely serious safety matter and as a result of the accident the ETU is placing a blanket ban on all connection and disconnection of mobile generators to LIVE Low Voltage boards. Until further notice, any such procedures must only be carried out with the Low Voltage Board de-energised – no exceptions.  All members are expected to observe this important safety precaution.

The ETU has been in discussions with Endeavour Energy management who have advised that the company will be putting out a safety alert to similar effect.

In the meantime I speak for all members and say that our thoughts and well wishes go out to our injured colleagues and we hope they make a full and speedy recovery. At this time all members are reminded to always take the most conservative approach when it comes to safety – if in doubt, don’t do it until there is no doubt.

We will keep you informed of developments as they occur. In the meantime if you have any questions please call either myself of Anthony O’Sullivan (acting for Brad Currey) on the contact details below.

In Unity,
 
MARK BUTTIGIEG   
0417 208 447 / markb@etunsw.asn.au

ANTHONY O’SULLIVAN
0467 565 902 / anthonyo@etunsw.asn.au

ETU NSW throws financial support behind sacked CUB workers

Paul Lister - Friday, August 19, 2016

The NSW Branch of the ETU/CEP has donated $10,000 towards the fighting fund to support the 55 sacked CUB workers in Melbourne who are members of the ETU and the AMWU.

On top of this NSW construction industry members chipped in a further $2,000 out of their own pocket while an AMWU/ETU fundraiser last Wednesday night saw another $5,000 raised bringing the total to almost $20,000.

ETU Secretary Steve Butler said that the actions of CUB were un-Australian which is a far reach from a company that trades so heavily on what it is to be an Australian.

“As an act of solidarity these funds will be provided to help support the effected workers and assist their campaign for full re-instatement” said NSW Secretary Steve Butler.

“This is what being union is all about, standing united and supporting each other in times of need.”

“I have personally visited the picket line in Melbourne and I have meet these workers and understand what they are going through as a result of this bastard act from their employer.”

“I am proud of our membership in NSW for stepping up to the plate to support our brothers and sisters in Victoria during this dispute.” said Steve.

“I encourage all members, their families and friends to consider supporting other brands when next visiting the local bottle shop.” Steve said