Electricity, Water and Utilities

Electricity, Water and Utilities

ETU Canberra Rally to Stop the China Free Trade Agreement

- Wednesday, August 05, 2015

The Abbott Government negotiated the terms of the China Free Trade Agreement in secret because it comes at the cost of local jobs, worker safety, workplace rights and community safety.

Next Monday we're rallying in Canberra to stop the China Free Trade Agreement and demand the Government renegotiate the deal in the interests of the community.

Use your lunch break to join the rally – more information in the attached flyer. RSVP here.

August 10, 2015 at 12pm - 1pm

Garema Place, Canberra
25 Garema Pl
Canberra, ACT 2600

The public is overwhelmingly against this deal and making our message heard is crucial to protecting local jobs. Invite your friends and colleagues. See you there.

Stop the China Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA)

- Thursday, July 16, 2015

You may have heard that just a few weeks ago Prime Minister Tony Abbott signed off on the China Free Trade Agreement that will allow Chinese based companies to import their own labour.

Abbott's free trade agreement also removes the requirement for mandatory skills assessment for ten occupations including: Electrician (General), Electrician (Special Class), Automotive Electrician. ALL OTHER occupations will be reviewed within two years with the aim of reducing or eliminating the need for skills assessments.

The ETU is fighting to STOP THE CHINA FREE TRADE AGREEMENT by raising this as a public issue before two parliamentary committee's consider the issues. In order to come into effect these parliamentary committees must sign off on it.

TAKE ACTION TODAY - visit the Australian Unions website and email your MP

Look out for yourself and your work mates

- Friday, June 19, 2015

Are you concerned about a workmate or are you struggling yourself with changes at work? There are many services available that can provide assistance.

Lifeline: www.lifeline.org.au
Sane Australia: www.sane.org
Black Dog Institute: www.blackdoginstitute.org.au
Beyond Blue: www.beyondblue.org.au

ACTEWagl AER Decision

- Monday, April 27, 2015

Members will be aware that the AER final determination is due to handed down at the end of this month.

The ETU has had a number of meetings with your senior management & others in an attempt to reduce the potential impact on ETU members as previously described by ActewAGL CEO & management.

I met & made representations to the AER. I found that the AER representatives had little or no idea on what it takes to run an electricity network & were ignorant, of the difficulties that our members face in the provision of a safe & reliable electricity network.

The AER people  that I discussed the AER’s draft report were young economists who seemed to have an agenda that was totally unrealistic.

The ETU has questioned your management trying to find out how they have calculated the number of job loss’s they have quoted (150 from networks & 50 from corporate). The management have been unable to provide any formula etc, which leads us to believe that the number quoted is no more than a best guess.

The ETU have been investigating & promoting ideas for non regulated work that would assist in minimising the number of job losses. We are currently involved in ongoing discussions, which we are unable to divulge at this stage. I have discussed this with your CEO who is supportive of our ideas & efforts.

We have also sought from your management information on what classifications they feel the management proposed reductions would come from. To date they have been silent on this.

The opinion of the ETU is that reductions in the skilled industrial workforce will impact significantly on the organisations ability to provide safe & reliable services to the ACT community. As Actew is bound by legislative requirements & technical rules, we believe that a reduction of field workers would potentially backfire on the management & board of ActewAGL.

ETU commissioned AER Submission

The ETU commissioned a significant report that formed an ETU submission to the AER in response to the AER draft decision. You can read the ETU's submission here.

Our opinion is that the AER don’t give a s#*t about the community of Canberra or the hard working & loyal workers who deliver the best service at the lowest residential tariff.

We will seek further meetings with your management following the AER final determination, so that we can attempt to minimise any negative impacts on ETU members jobs.

The ETU put out a notice to members in response to the AER's draft decision that you can read here.

Apprentices & the future

We have also raised that it is vitally important for ActewAGL to support the ongoing employment of apprentices & to provide permanent roles for those apprentices upon their graduation. To not employ new apprentices & to not employ them on graduation is lunacy as this will clearly lead to a skill shortage in the future which, as everyone knows. Will backfire hugely. If there are to be job reductions we are seeking for the organisation to have a “mix & match” process where an older worker could take a package based on keeping a job for a graduating apprentice.

Clearly there is a long way to go & we are unable to do much more until the final AER determination is handed down.

The ETU will do everything we can to save as many members jobs as possible.

Yours in Unity
Neville Betts