In accordance with the last update, the combined union officials this week attended a two-day intensive negotiation with Ausgrid management in a bid to reach agreement on some basic concepts in relation to the following five major issues;
- A post 1 July 2020 Forced Redundancy provision with an annual cap.
- A tighter contracting out clause.
- A Dispute Settlement Procedure which retains the current status quo provisions.
- A Consultation clause which retains employee and union involvement in change.
- A Career, Capability and Remuneration (CCR) scheme which objectively recognizes skills and performance.
We are pleased to report that the two-day discussions proved worthwhile and productive with significant progress and varying degrees of in principle agreement on all five issues above. While agreement on the above remains at an in principle / conceptual stage, we are reasonably confident that we can translate these principles in to EBA clauses which satisfy both sides. Having said that there is a lot of work to do to achieve this, particularly in the CCR scheme.
In terms of a pay rise, whilst this was not the focus of discussions we made it clear to Ausgrid that their current offer of Year 1; 2.5% with subsequent annual 2% increases contingent on implementation of CCR, was inadequate given the 4-year wage freeze.
In the meantime, as instructed by the last delegates meeting on the 11th October – we are finalising our joint application to the FWC for the right to ballot our members to take protected action. It is important that members understand that we are proceeding with this in case negotiations once again break down. We must retain the ability to bring the matter to a head via protected industrial action if necessary. Whilst we are confident this will not be necessary we have been instructed by our members and their delegates to bring the matter to a head one way or another. It would be premature to say we have this agreement over the line.
We will be reporting back to the broader EBA negotiating committee on Wednesday 8th November with some reasonably firm proposals on the above issues. In the meantime, if you have any questions please feel free to contact your negotiating committee representative or your Organiser Troy Dunne p: 0419 403 076 e: firstname.lastname@example.org