General Trade, Mining and Manufacturing

General Trade, Mining and Manufacturing

Bluescope EBA Update - 5 July

- Monday, July 09, 2018

Apologies for the late update, we have been waiting for Bluescope to finalise and confirm their offer which has continually changed since Friday.

Following 2 days in The Fair Work Commission last week the following is a Summary of The Company’s Current Position:

7.5% over 3 years or 9.5% over 4 years is NOT ACCEPTABLE given the sacrifices made by members.

Penalty Rates on weekend Sick Leave HAS NOT been addressed. What the company is offering will only benefit a few people over the life of the agreement.

The $4000 would normally be paid in September but is being brought forward to buy your vote.

One agreement for both sites with no real benefit to members.

The following mass meetings will be held at the North Gate Visitors Centre

Steelworks Mass Meeting (off shift) – Thursday 12th July 6am & 6pm

Springhill Mass Meeting (off shift) – Friday 13th July 6am & 6pm

The ETU will be asking members to Reject this offer and we will be discussing our Next Steps.



Purpose: Discuss Next Steps and Reject the Company proposal
When: Steelworks – Thursday 12th July, 6am & 6pm
Springhill – Friday 13th July, 6am & 6pm
Where: North Gate Visitors Centre
(Please note these are not paid meetings, members should select either 6am or 6pm depending on your Roster)

In Unity,
Brad Currey

ETU Youth Meeting - June 14

- Monday, June 04, 2018

Come and join us on Thursday 14 June for pizza and beer and to talk about issues affecting electrical apprentices in the work place.

Come along and meet Tara Koot, the ETU's apprentice officer, have your say and meet other like minded electrical apprentices.

Bluescope EBA Update - 23 May

- Thursday, May 24, 2018

As previously reported, the Unions have lodged a “Bargaining dispute” with The Fair Work Commission in an attempt to bridge the gaps over our outstanding claims.

Today we had a brief phone conference with Deputy President Dean of the Fair Work Commission to set dates for the Bargaining Dispute.

On 4 June 2018 at 12:00pm we will be having our first meeting at the Fair Work Commission, with the 28 & 29 June 2018 also scheduled if required.

Why have the Unions lodged A Bargaining Dispute?

The Unions feel that negotiations have stalled, progress is not being made in relation to our key claims of:

% increases; penalty rates on personal leave; bonus system; two separate enterprise agreements; and the trade / staff operators.

With our enterprise agreements expiring on 23 July 2018 we could either continue discussions and hope progress is made to avoid protected action or seek assistance from the Fair Work Commission to help facilitate discussions between the parties on the issues.

As this is the Unions’ application to the Fair Work Commission, if we feel that the Bargaining Dispute is not helping to resolve our differences we can withdraw at any time.

The next negotiation meeting will be held on 24 May 2018.

In Unity

Brad Currey

ETU State of the Union Meetings

- 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:

  • Wednesday 23 May - Sydney West - Revesby Workers Club, 2b Brett St Revesby
  • Thursday 24 May - Sydney East - Randwick Labour Club, 135 Alison Rd Randwick
  • Wednesday 30 May - Central Coast - Erina Leagues Club,
  • Thursday 31 May - Newcastle - Hunter Workers, Level 3 / 406-408 King St Newcastle

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 or call 02 9267 4844 and ask for Joanne.

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

Bluescope EBA Update - 23 April

- Monday, April 23, 2018

No meetings were held over Easter and last week’s meeting was postponed at Bluescope management’s request.

The following is a summary of items discussed, some matters were positively progressed:

Classification Structure Review – Bluescope have provided words that we have indicated we are prepared to include in the final offer.

A review will be undertaken by a joint working group, made up of employee and company representatives. The review will take place during the life of the new agreement. From the unions’ side, the review will focus on establishing a reclassification process, access to higher levels and providing clear definitions and guidelines for each level. From Bluescope management’s perspective, the review will focus on maximising flexibility and efficiency, removing classifications no longer required or utilised and ensuring classifications reflect current and future work requirements.

Fixed Term Employment – Bluescope have provided a clause with the minimum 6-month and maximum 12-month engagement. The company have sought a 2-year maximum in certain circumstances. Once we have agreement for the 2-year option to be removed, we will have an agreed clause.

Part Time Employment – Bluescope are still pursuing part-time provisions in the agreement. We have been very clear that these provisions will not be agreed to by our membership. We have communicated that further pursuit of these provisions has the potential to derail discussions surrounding the agreement. The unions have communicated that we are only willing to explore job-sharing in context of employees who are transitioning to retirement. Further discussions will be held regarding job sharing and transition to retirement.

Bonus – Bluescope have talked through what a 7.5% PSP (Staff Bonus) would look like. When the PSP pays 100%, 67% of employees would be better off than on the current LSPS. When the PSP pays 150%, 93% of employees would be better off than on the current LSPS.

Our claim remains at 15%. We have asked for figures on the PSP at 10% rather than 7.5%. Discussions to continue.

Disputes procedure – the unions’ claim has been for a procedure that covers all workplace matters. To date Bluescope has refused to entertain this claim. Yesterday an alternative was tabled by Bluescope to cover all workplace matters, that being:

  • linking the “Fair and Just culture for all” policy to the agreement. This is a policy that provides a clear and transparent approach to incidents and investigations.
  • linking a “Fair Treatment System” to the agreement. This system will allow for disputed issues to be reviewed by the one-up manager. If either party is not satisfied with the outcome following that step, a review can be conducted with the General Manager of Manufacturing and/or a Review Panel.

Unions have also asked that Timeframes be placed on Warnings:

  • 3 Months for Informal Warnings
  • 6 months for Formal Warnings
  • 12 months for Final Warnings

Bluescope are maintaining their position of one agreement for both sites. The combined unions will now seek the assistance of the Fair Work Commission with this issue.

Other Claims still being discussed which have not yet been finalised:

  • Casuals/Labour Hire
  • Trade Operator
  • Penalty rates on Personal Leave
  • Wage Increase

The next negotiation meeting will be held on 26th April 2018.

Bluescope EBA Update - 12 March

- Monday, March 12, 2018

Following last week’s meeting, the unions sought feedback from members regarding the offer tabled by BlueScope management. The offer was rejected by 99.28% of the membership.

Members indicated they were angered by the offer. Members consistently felt the offer was well short of their expectations and didn’t deal with the claims the unions have been pursuing.

The Unions tabled draft clauses on the following claims:

  1. Casual Labour (employed by Bluescope)
  2. Conversion from casual positions to permanent positions after 6 months
  3. Measures ensuring that Labour Hire and Contractors are paid no less than employees engaged under the agreement.
  4. Fixed Term Employees should be employed for a maximum 12 months, after which time they become permanent.
  5. Disputes Resolution Procedure – to allow all matters to be covered under the Disputes Procedure. Status Quo provisions would also be put in place to ensure that the situation that existed prior to the dispute arising will be maintained.

Discussions were also held around updating departmental agreements, classification structure review, deduction of Union fees and two separate agreements.

Bluescope have expressed concerns over clauses relating to casuals, contactors, labour hire and disputes procedures and are continuing to push for one agreement for both sites.

We are pushing for two separate agreements.

We are agitating around the issues above relating to casuals, contractors, labour hire and enhanced disputes procedure as these are vital protections which are key within any future agreement.

The Offer You've Been Waiting 3 Years For!

- Monday, March 05, 2018

The offer you’ve been waiting 3 years for!

  • BlueScope proposed Introduction of Change Clause
  • BlueScope proposed Retention of Rate Clause
  • BlueScope proposed Part-Time Clause
  • Changes to Individual Flexibility Clause to support Job Share and Transition to Retirement
  • Additional 1% bonus if absenteeism drops below 4%
  • 4-year Agreement with 2% pay rise per year
  • One EA to cover Steelworks and Springhill

The AWU, AMWU and ETU ended the meeting when this offer was put forward.

Whilst we appreciate this is only the first offer made by BlueScope, the offer does nothing to address your claims!

2% is by no means a fair and reasonable pay rise given the sacrifices members have made.

A 1% possible bonus increase is way off the mark when compared to the bonuses Bluescope management receive. You should note that no concern was raised over the cost of relining the Blast Furnace when management bonuses were paid.

Part-Time provisions – We are having enough problems currently with Labour Hire and Fixed Term Employment.

You will receive another message shortly which will allow you to reject this subpar offer and send us back to negotiations next week to refocus the company on your claims.

In Unity,
Brad Currey
ETU Organiser
- 0431 838 852 /

Bluescope EBA Update - 23 Feb

- Friday, March 02, 2018

Following on from previous week’s discussions, Bluescope has tabled draft clauses on Retention of Rate and Consultation/Introduction of Change. The AWU legal team is currently reviewing these clauses to provide the company feedback at the next meeting.

Further discussions were had about the current bonus systems. Bluescope provided data on how the existing staff bonus system could be applied to members. The AWU, AMWU and ETU have put forward a claim of increasing our current bonus system, as our current bonus system is proving more beneficial.

The company also tabled a proposal on their claim of flexibility. The proposal included the provisions for Part-Time work, job share/Transition to Retirement and the removal of Demarcation between departments. The AWU, AMWU and ETU have stridently opposed part-time work. The AWU, AMWU and ETU have informed the company that we are prepared to further explore how Transition to Retirement might look so long as it provides a benefit to members.

Continued discussions over Penalty Rates on Personal Leave took place. The position of the unions is that penalty rates on personal leave should apply to all members both at the Steelworks and Springhill.

Our claim for two separate agreements at the Steelworks and Springhill is yet to be addressed. We have informed the company that if there is going to be a benefit to members for having one agreement then the company should put those benefits on the table now, otherwise the unions will initiate Fair Work proceedings to ensure 2 agreements are maintained. The company have committed to responding to the Unions by Wednesday 28 February 2018 on the issue of two agreements.

Finally, discussions were held on our claim for 3 x 30-minute crib breaks as standard, unions put a clear position that with issues relating to restructuring of areas, fatigue management and heat stress, the current agreement provision of 2 x 20-minute breaks for 12-hour shift workers is inadequate.

In Unity,
Brad Currey
- 0431 838 852

Bluescope Combined Union EBA Update

- Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Talks with BlueScope management continued this week. 

Discussions were held regarding the introduction of change/consultation clauses. Discussions were focused around the ‘interest’-based approach taken recently, as opposed to the “Letter 1, Letter 2” approach detailed in the current agreement.

The ‘interest’- based approach will be discussed in more detail at the next meeting.

BlueScope management provided further information on the staff bonus (profit share plan) for consideration. This information will be reviewed in future meetings.

Discussions were also held on our claim for penalty rates on personal leave. The Negotiating Committee put forward a strong and forthright stance on this issue, reflecting our membership’s firmly-held desire for these rates. Penalty rates on personal leave will continued to be discussed.

BlueScope management continue to hold concerns surrounding absenteeism levels.

The Next Meeting

Discussion will continue on the matters mentioned above, along with our claim of Trade operator/ staff operator removal/boundaries and our claim for a Classification Structure review.

In Unity,
Brach Currey - ETU Organiser / 0431 838 852

APPLY NOW - ETU 2017 Education Scholarships

- 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.