Rail, Aviation and Transport

ETU members working for the federal government enterprise – Australian Rail Track Corporation – commenced industrial action last week after negotiations for a new agreement stalled following 18 months of back and forth.

The combined unions, made up of the ETU, RTBU, ASU and Professionals Australia, are seeking a three-year agreement with no loss of conditions, fair pay increases of 4% p.a. and improvement to some working conditions, but the company has other ideas.

Last December the company circulated an agreement that was not supported by the combined unions including pay increases of just 2%. This management agreement was overwhelmingly rejected by the workforce with more than 80% of workers voting NO.

With management refusing to budge ETU and other union members were left with no option but to take clear and decisive action.

“Our members have been staunch throughout this process and the ETU has lead the way in demanding a fair outcome for workers at ARTC.” Said ETU organiser Ben Lister.

“Industrial action taken by workers from the combined unions has resulted in the cancelation of rail services across the Hunter Valley, other parts of NSW and sections of Victoria – all because management is not prepared to listen to their workforce.”

“This whole situation could be solved by management today.”

“That’s why the combined unions have called on the CEO of ARTC to sit down with us and listen to the needs of the workforce.” Ben said

Following a week of action and major disruptions to passenger and freight services, including the lucrative coal haulage business, ARTC CEO John Fullerton has agreed to meet with unions in Newcastle tomorrow.

The ETU remains hopeful that this dispute can be resolved and we will continue to provide updates for members.

 

 

CEPU/ETU 2015 Financial Accounts

Posted on 15-6-2016

In accordance with the requirements of the Fair Work Registered Organisation Act 2009 the CEPU Electrical Division, NSW Branch (the Branch) has made available to members the complete financial report and associated documents for 2015.

By law the Branch must provide a copy of their financial report to members, this can be downloaded from the members area after logging in. Click here to access the CEPU/ETU 2015 financial report.

ETU members are invited to attend a public forum on the future of education covering TAFE and university. The forum will be held on Wednesday 15 June at the Campbelltown RSL, 1 Carberry Lane, Cambelltown at 7pm.

Please RSVP to: mstuart@actu.org.au

Attn ETU Retired members - please see below a timetable of campaign events being organised and supported by the Unions NSW retired members committee. For more information contact Alison Rahill at Unions NSW tel 02 9881 5923 mob 0414 316 839 Email arahill@unionsnsw.org.au.

 

THURSDAY 12 MAY
LUNCHTIME 11:30am – 1:30pm International Nurses Day. Leafleting Medicare and Budget cuts Concord Hospital, Hospital Rd Concord. Meet at the big pedestrian crossing. (Bus to Concord Hospital from Strathfield train station 458 or 459).

SATURDAY 14 MAY
MORNING 9:00am – 12:00pm street stall and leafleting in front of the Five Dock Post Office 106 Great North Rd, Five Dock. Pat mobile 0418 616 858.

MORNING 9:00am – 11:00am street stall and leafleting sporting grounds Edwards Park Brewer St Concord.  Jill mobile 0414 231 959.

MONDAY 16 MAY
MORNING 7:30am – 9am Concord West train station and street stall.

TUESDAY 17 MAY
LUNCHTIME 1:00PM – 4PM meet at the Country train station North exit, we will travel together to Neutral Bay Jillian Skinners Office for an Aged Care protest. Return to AFTERNOON 3pm – 4:30pm Gonski action. Assemble Burwood Park corner Burwood Rd and Park St Burwood (opposite the entrance to Westfield, next to the War Memorial).

WEDNESDAY 18 MAY
AFTERNOON 3:30PM – 5:00PM Gonski action. Leafleting and street stall for Gonski in Strathfield Square opposite the Strathfield train station.

THURSDAY 19 MAY
MORNING 7:30AM – 9:00AM leafleting Homebush train station.

FRIDAY 20 MAY
MORNING 7:30AM – 9:00AM leafleting North Strathfield train station.

SATURDAY 21 MAY
AFTERNOON 1:30PM – 4:30PM Doorknocking union members meet at the Tigers Five Dock Corner Barnstaple Road and Ingham Ave, Five Dock.

SUNDAY 22 MAY
ALL DAY 10:00am – 2:00pm information stall at the Rhodes Bridge Opening, west of Rhodes train station in the Park near the new bridge.

MONDAY 23 MAY
MORNING 7:00am – 9:00am leafleting Strathfield train station.

TUESDAY 24 MAY
AFTERNOON 2:30pm – 4:30pm street stall and leafleting Croydon train station and in front of the Post Office 1 The Strand, Croydon. Jill mobile 0414 231 959.

THURSDAY 26 MAY
LUNCHTIME 11:30am – 1:30pm International Nurses Day. Leafleting Medicare and Budget cuts Concord Hospital, Hospital Rd Concord. Meet at the big pedestrian crossing. (Bus to Concord Hospital from Strathfield train station 458 or 459).

PLEASE NOTE: EXTRA CAMPAIGN MEETING MONDAY 30 MAY 10AM – 12 PM TRADES HALL

ETU and AMWU members at Downer Rail Maintenance in Auburn today voted overwhelmingly against a new agreement offered by management amid calls for management to do better.

Workers stood united and voted down managements offer which included a 3% wage increase and improvements to some conditions.

ETU Organiser Ben Lister said that today’s result sends a message to Downer management that it’s time to come to the table with an improved offer or risk alienating a loyal and highly skilled workforce.

“ETU and AMWU members sent management a clear message today when 78% of workers voted no to managements proposed agreement.” said Ben Lister.

“The ETU has been able to secure wage outcomes of 3.5% in the manufacturing sector and in my view a company like Downer can do better than what they were offering and our members deserve it.” Mr Lister said

“I have not heard from management directly but I have sent them a message that they have to improve their offer if they want to secure an agreement.

“I believe that Downer can sharpen the pencil a bit and I would expect any revised offer to be at least 3.5% plus the items we have already been able to extract as commitments from the company.” said Mr Lister.

After a two day negotiation lock-up the ETU and AMWU have already received the following commitments to:

  • Introduce an additional 10 minute break for shifts exceeding 8 hours in length
  • Modernize the Long Service Leave Clause
  • Salary top up for defence force service leave of up to 10 days per year
  • Increase redundancy payments for long term employees, and;
  • In an unprecedented move all employees covered by the agreement will receive a $75 Coles shopping voucher.

The ETU will head back to the negotiating table to secure an improved outcome for members.

A union campaign has forced Qantas to backflip on a decision to sack its most recent group of graduating apprentices, with all twenty now being placed in aircraft maintenance engineering jobs in which they’re qualified.

The ETU and alliance unions the AMWU and AWU ran the campaign after Qantas originally only offered to find jobs for ten Brisbane based apprentices after the union alliance took Qantas to the Fair Work Commission.

The airline found positions for the final few union members on Monday after the Qantas Facebook page was inundated by complaint posts from people across Australia supporting the apprentices.

The union alliance revealed the sackings through the media just before Chief Executive Alan Joyce announced a record half-year profit of nearly $1 billion.

ETU Organiser Brad Currey said the original decision to axe the twenty apprentices who had just completed a four-year apprenticeship was farcical and cruel given that aviation experts predict a dire shortage of aircraft maintenance engineers over the next decade.

'Qantas have been embarrassed into reviewing a decision which was ill-considered, which took loyal employees for granted and undermined its own future capacity to maintain modern aircraft in Australia,' he said.

'We're pleased we've forced them to have a re-think, and we're pleased to have protected our members through placement in ongoing jobs.'

The ETU is seriously concerned at the latest figures which show the number of people undertaking an apprenticeship - including in the electrical trades - has plummeted.

Shadow Minister for Skill's David Harris pointed out today that the number of apprenticeships being undertaking in September last year was 82,600 down from 146,200 in 2010.

This drop of almost 50% in five years is alarming. At the same time the ETU has witnessed a reduction in the quality of trade outcomes following the implementation of "Smart & Skilled" which has financially gutted the TAFE system and reduced face to face training time.

ETU Secretary Steve Butler said that this is a worrying trend which is not reversed will have severe consequences for all trades right across NSW.

"We have had feedback from many employers saying that the quality of apprentice training has dropped significantly." Steve said.

"On the job employers are seeing a drop off in the skills of apprentices particularly around competency and safety."

"The ETU has commissioned research into trade outcomes to help identify the problem and how it may be addressed."

"We have already started talking to MPs about changes and we will have more to say on this front later this month." said Steve.

Extreme Heat Forcast for NSW

Posted on 12-1-2016

Weather forecasters are predicting that parts of NSW and the ACT will experience high temperatures over the coming days.

All members must be aware of the dangers of heat stress and familiarise themselves with the unions working in heat policy (2003), your employer’s heat management policy and the WorkCover code of practice for managing the work environment.

In summary ETU members should observe the following as a minimum but individuals should take appropriate action depending on your individual health and work situation: 

             
TEMPRETURE
DETAILS
0-28C

Continuous work with normal breaks.

28-38C

Minimum 15-minute break per hour worked.

38C+

Mandatory - stop work - do individual (Personal) risk assessment and determine if work is to continue, that work undertaken to be limited to fault and emergency or finalisation of current work (No New Work).

 

Please use these links to access a full copy of the ETU Working in Heat policy (2003)Workcover NSW’s website with details about working in heat and the Bureau of Meteorology for current weather forecasts (click on the map for your local forecast).

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

The ETU is holding a series of mass meetings throughout next week to provide members with workplace updates. We have also arranged for Super Fund EISS to come along and provide an update for ETU members on Superannuation and they will be available to answer your questions even if you are not a member of EISS.

EISS is the leading industry super fund covering workers in the electricity and electrical industry’s in NSW with many ETU members belonging to this fund.

Below are the dates and times for each location. All workers are encouraged to attend to listen to these updates. These mass meetings are being facilitated by Sydney Trains – if you have any questions or difficulty in attending a meeting please contact ETU organiser Ben Lister on 0400 264 007.

ETU Secretary Steve Butler and/or ETU Assistant Secretary Dave McKinley will also attend these meetings.

Monday 7 December
7.30am – Sydenham Network Base
End of Bolton Street, Sydenham

Tuesday 8 December
7.30am Hamilton Major Works
End of Swan Street (Cnr Swan & The Esplanade), Hamilton
12.00 noon Gosford Network Base
316 Mann St, Gosford

Wednesday 9 December
7.30am Clyde Network Base
End of Manchester Road, Clyde
11.30am Lawson Network Base
Loftus Street, Lawson

Thursday 10 December
7.30am Wollongong Network Base
Deane Street, Wollongong
12.00 noon Sutherland Network Base
Jannali Street (near Leonay St), Sutherland

Friday 11 December
7.30am Central Network Base
Chalmers Street (opp. Devonshire St), Sydney
12.00 noon Petersham Training College
Trafalgar Street, Petersham

Click here to download the flyer.

Retired Member Update

Posted on 02-12-2015

Following the most recent campaign meeting of Combined Retired Union Members and Associations, Unions NSW would like to invite retired ETU members to the following events:

 

Mark Lennon's last Council meeting as Secretary Unions NSW. The meeting will be followed by drinks and snacks. At 6:30pm Peter Fitzsimons will launch the Sydney screening of a historical docu-drama Death or Liberty based on the Eureka Stockade in the Auditorium.

When/Where: 5:30pm Thursday 4th December Trades Hall Auditorium 377 Sussex St Haymarket.

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Action Stations - hand out flyers highlighting attacks on the rights of working people:

7:15am Monday 7th December BURWOOD train station.

7:15am Tuesday 8th December STRATHFIELD train station.

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Campaign meeting of Combined Retired Union Members and Associations - focus on 2016 an election year.

Where/When: 10am - 12pm Monday 18th January 2016 Sydney Trades Hall, ground floor, training room two, 377 Sussex St Haymarket.

 

Our living standards, built by past generations of union members, are what make Australia a great place to live. But our living standards are under significant attack. We demand government support for secure jobs & penalty rates; Medicare; quality education for all; public services owned by the people for the people; a secure retirement with decent pensions & superannuation, and, a fair go for all!

Unions NSW and the Combined Retired Union Members Association invite Sydney based active retired union members to join in these activities - a great opportunity to meet other retired union activists.

For more information contact Alison Rahill at Unions NSW tel 02 9881 5923 mob 0414 316 839 Email arahill@unionsnsw.org.au