The United Services Union participated in two days of talks last week with Essential Energy with the second day in the Fair Work Commission in Sydney on Friday 5th July.

As a result of these discussions, which also included for a time, Deputy President Sams from the Fair Work Commission, Essential Energy and the Power Unions reached an In-Principle Agreement to delay commencement of Redundancies for at least 6 weeks’ time, to allow for proper consultation and consideration towards any measures from both affected employees and affected teams which could potentially avert or mitigate such redundancies and to also consider how affected teams could function should redundancies take affect within them.

Essential Energy must by 19th July supply all affected employees and affected teams information regarding the following;

  • The reasons for the proposed role reductions;
  • The specific impacts on team members, including workloads;
  • Identification of any tasks which will cease to be performed or distributed to other team members; and
  • For proposed multiple role reductions, information will be distributed on the assessment criteria for making a selection decision.

Employees will then be allowed 4 weeks from receiving this information to provide a response.

The United Services Union is urging all affected employees and Teams to fully participate in the consultation process and provide as much feedback as you can to support your beliefs in these proposed roles should not go ahead, you should also put alternative proposals around ways to cut costs where you believe it should be done.

It is also extremely important to point out that NO employee is required to provide feedback by close of business Monday 8th July.

You should call for meetings with your Managers and HR and also insist that your union representatives be present which is your right in accordance with the Enterprise Agreement and the Fair Work Act. If you get any push back at all, you should contact your union representatives as soon as possible.

If affected employees have already provided feedback on the proposed redundancies, they can either retract their original feedback and provide new feedback once they have obtained all of the required information or if they are happy with what they provided, leave it. The USU suggests to seriously consider your feedback as it is extremely important and should not be rushed. You have 4 weeks from when you receive your information from Essential and you should really look at this and seek some advice where necessary.

A lot of discussion last week was also around Voluntary Redundancies, the ATO ruling which is outlined in the Enterprise Agreement that allowed for this last time has lapsed and Essential Energy is unable to get a further extension from the ATO, therefore, the Redundancies are Company initiated redundancies. Employees from affected areas may express an interest in a Company Initiated Redundancy however, Essential Energy reserves the right of approval in this process. If an employee would like to express an interest they can do so by contacting HR Services. This can include both single and multiple role reductions.

The United Services Union will continue to fight to save jobs from Redundancies and is continuing its push to meet with the Premier to discuss this issue.

The USU will also continue to meet with Essential Energy Management to work towards ways to avert or mitigate potential redundancies and ways to assist affected employees in this process.

Your Official Melissa Pond will be in Port Macquarie on Thursday 11th July and is happy to meet with affected employees to discuss this situation and provide assistance. If you would like to meet with Melissa, please contact your delegate to arrange a time to meet. Your delegate’s details are listed below.

Once again, the USU will continue to update members as information comes to hand.

If you require any assistance please do not hesitate to contact your Delegate or Organiser who’s contact details are listed or you can also contact the USU support Team on 1300 136 604.

If you or family member are feeling distressed please access your EAP Provider or your General Practitioner for support.

If you are not a member and wish to join you can do so at


Remember Unity is Strength!


USU Organisers

Melissa Pond – phone 0408 620 741

Mick Jones – phone 0450 020 589


USU Delegates

Port Macquarie and North Coast

Buller Street

Daniel Welsh –

Hindman Street

Judy Cutler –

Ruth Smallwood –


Delegate Peter Arnull –


Central West


Delegate Leanne New – 


North West


Delegate Peter Anderson –


South Coast


Delegate Jason Bartlett –


Broken Hill

Delegate Mark Lenton –