There have been a series of meetings since the last correspondence went out to members. Meetings attended by the combined union officials and Ausgrid management were conducted on November 14 and 21 (“focus discussions”), whilst meetings with the wider negotiating committee have taken place on the 15th and 22nd.
The aim of the focus meetings was to hone in and work our way through the issues that were proving the most difficult to work through.
These meetings were productive in that all participants attended and participated in good faith and spirit, which assisted the parties progress the matters at hand.
To that end, there has been significant progress made on: Consultation, Dispute Resolution and Contracting Out; we are at a stage now where we could soon have draft clauses to present to members for consideration.
The parties have also reached agreement on a global cap on redundancies post 30 June, 2020; this cap will be re-visited at the expiration of the Agreement. Further, the $75,000 incentive payment will be offered to those in redeployment, both currently and into the future. This payment will be a one-time offer and will be available to those who accept VR within a certain time-frame.
Discussions on Career, Capability & Remuneration (CCR) have progressed, however, there are some outstanding matters to address. Ausgrid has provided the combined unions with an updated proposal, a proposal which will be discussed further at the next scheduled meeting, which is set down for Wednesday, 29 November. The main areas of concern for our members is the entry level pay points, which remain below their current salaries.
With respect to wage increases, Ausgrid has put forward an offer of a 3 year Agreement, expiring in February of 2021, containing wage increases of 2.5%, 2.5% and 2%. This is still short of the 3% claim put forward by the combined unions and will be a topic for discussion at the next meeting.
If you or someone you know isn’t a member of our union, please complete the attached membership form or join online at www.usu.org.au/join.
Members who refer others for membership will be eligible for a payment of $50 per member joined. Claim forms for those who refer members are available from your organiser, or by calling our Membership Support Centre on 1300 136 604.