Rail, Aviation and Transport

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.

The ETU is required to disclose any political expenditure incurred during a declared period leading up to NSW General Elections. This disclosure was made by the ETU NSW Branch and the CEPU Electrical Division NSW Branch on Tuesday 22 September in accordance with reporting requirements.

The ETU today received confirmation from the NSW Electoral Funding Authority that our disclosure has been reviewed and accepted with no questions arising.

Full details of all political disclosures for all entities will be available on the NSW Electoral Funding Authority website next month.

Big turnout for Rail EBA's vote

Posted on 26-9-2014

On Friday, 19 September 2014 the count was complete and members in Sydney Trains and NSW Trains voted to accept the most recent deal tabled by management after extensive negotiations, including 48 meetings over almost 12 months, with the Combined Rail Unions (CRU).

Details of the vote are as follows:

In August members from every workplace across the network attended meetings to hear the offer outlined by management and to ask questions of the Combined Rail Unions.

The CRU did not advocate a ‘Yes’ vote because it believed it was up to the members themselves to be the judge of the value of the deal to them and their families.

Members and delegates have a right to be proud of the strength and determination demonstrated over nearly a year of intense negotiations especially in the face of the bosses initial Log of Claims which would have stripped away all workplace rights and entitlements down to the Modern Award bare minimum.  Members remained resolute and united in order to achieve the result they have endorsed.

NEXT STEPS

In accordance with the decision of the CRU delegate’s conference resolution passed on 12 August 2014 an application to certify both Agreements will be made immediately.  Members will be updated on progress of registering the Agreements and execution of the deed.

New workers compensation laws are making life tough for injured workers, according to a new study from Macquarie University, funded by unions. Yet Andrew Constance, the NSW Finance Minister argues overall his scheme is helping people get back to work and delivering savings.

ABC 7.30 covered this story last week highlighting just how these changes are hurting ordinary people - view the ABC 7.30 report here.

On 1 January, 2014 injured workers who used to have their medical expenses covered by the workers compensation system were relegated to the scrap heap after changes by the O'Farrell Government took effect.

Injured workers who were waiting for medical procedures of were continuing to incur medical treatment costs were told by private insurers they were no longer covered leaving these people, many retiree's and pensioners, without any options and facing financial and personal hardship.

Unions NSW commissioned a report through Macquarie University to look at the impact of the O'Farrell Government's changes and the negative impact they are having on vulnerable injured workers. The full report can be read here.

National Licensing Aborted

Posted on 20-12-2013

COAG have announced that they have officially aborted the National Licensing model covering electrical and other trade based licenses. 

Following the outcome of extensive State-based consultation, the majority of States decided not to pursue the proposed National Occupational Licensing Scheme reform. Most jurisdictions identified a number of concerns with the proposed NOLS model and potential costs. States instead decided to investigate approaches that would increase labour mobility and deliver net benefits for businesses and governments.
 
To this end, States agreed to work together via the Council for the Australian Federation (CAF) to develop alternative options for minimising licensing impediments to improving labour mobility and to manage the orderly disestablishment of the National Occupation Licensing Authority from early 2014.

Click here to read the full COAG statement.

Click here to read the letter from NSW Fair trading to the ETU NSW.