The CEPU is fighting against the Australian Building and Construction Commissions (ABCC) decision that SA Power Networks Construction and Maintenance Services workers need a separate ABCC Code compliant agreement.
The ABCC was set up to control the commercial building and construction industry. The ABCC legislation – which caused an early double dissolution Federal election – is designed to limit the power of the CFMEU and other unions in the construction sector. The legislation is essentially a procurement policy that requires companies that wish to tender for Federal Government funded work to be ‘Code Compliant’.
Code compliance requires companies to have Enterprise Agreements that are compliant with the requirements of the Code. The Code forbids numerous Clauses that are in current agreements that have been negotiated and fought for over many years.
Stripping out agreement clauses have reduced job security in the construction sector by increasing casual and labour hire employment, reduced employee’s ability to maintain and improve wages and conditions and made construction sites more dangerous.
The federal Coalition Government claimed the ABCC legislation was necessary to provide a ‘tough cop on the beat’ to control the allegedly ‘lawless’ construction industry. It was never suggested that the legislation should affect the electricity supply industry, an industry that has been industrially harmonious in South Australia for decades.
Clause 6A of the Code allows the ABCC to be granted exemption from the code for essential service providers. It defines essential services as the provision of Electricity, Gas, Water and Telecommunications. SAPN applied for an exemption after being urged to do so by the unions. The unions have requested a copy of the application but SAPN has refused to provide it.
The ABCC eventually made a decision on the exemption application and agreed to exempt the regulated part of SAPNs business but not the un-regulated CaMS part of the business. The ABCC has advised SAPN that there are 21 ‘non-compliant’ clauses in the current agreement that need to be removed and there are 13 that require further investigation.
The effect of this decision is that the workforce would need to be split in two with two separate agreements with different terms and conditions. Our members have told us that they don’t want two agreements that leaves some SAPN employees worse off.
The CEPU has taken legal action to challenge the ABCC and will be in the Federal Court on the 25th of September to have the argument that CaMS is an essential service provider, not a building and construction company, and should be exempt from the Code. We have asked SAPN to support our legal challenge – SAPN have refused.
Apart from the legal challenge, the CEPU will be running an organising and media campaign and lobbying State and Federal politicians about this issue.
The CEPU, along with the other unions at SAPN, are engaging with members to explain the impact the ABCC Code could have. We are encouraging members to get involved in the 1 SAPN 1 Deal campaign to protect their job security and conditions of employment.
Spread the word, like and share our Face Book page, talk to your workmates, encourage them to join their union and join the fight.
Contact us if you have any questions or want to know more about how to get involved.
Download the following documents, print them out and share them with your fellow workers. Get involved and help protect your rights!
By contacting our political representatives in South Australia we
To contact South Australian politicians highlight and copy ONE of the following pieces of text and then click on a politician’s email address in the list below and simply paste the text in.
Step 1: Copy one of the paragraphs below
Power workers under attack
Hundreds of workers at SA Power Networks face losing workplace rights, conditions and employment security after the Turnbull Government’s building industry watchdog claimed they don’t provide an essential service.
Workers impacted come from the Construction and Maintenance Services (CaMS) division of the company. They including the skilled workers who repaired transmission towers following the devastating storm that cut power to South Australia last year, along with others who install National Broadband Network cabling, build substations, construct high voltage transmission lines, and install residential electricity networks.
This attack by the Australian Building and Construction Commission comes despite Employment Minister Michaelia Cash telling the parliament earlier this year that workers providing essential services such as power and telecommunications would not be impacted by a new building industry code that slashed the rights and conditions of construction workers.
For CaMS workers, this is likely to result in less job security, fewer employment rights, reduced conditions, and lower wages.
Consumers will also suffer as a result of these attacks on the skilled workers who install, upgrade and maintain essential power and communications networks in South Australia.
Removing workplace rights by stealth:
The building code is an unfair attack on workers rights. It is part of ongoing efforts by the Turnbull Government to further reduce the wages, conditions, rights, and bargaining power of Australian workers.
SA Power Networks is the first attempt by the ABCC to push the building code into the power and telecommunications sectors, and if they succeed tens of thousands of workers around the country will face similar cuts.
The Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union has launched a test case in the Federal Court in an attempt to stop the spread of the building code, but the only way to restore fairness for all workers is to force a change in the law.
You can support the workers who serve you by demanding the Federal Government overturn this decision and stop the unfair attacks on Australian workers.
Step 2: Click on an email address below to create an email to that politician
|Mr Mark Butler MP||MP Port Adelaide SA||08 8241 0190|
|Mr Nick Champion MP||MP Wakefield SA||08 8284 2422||Nick.Champion.MP@aph.gov.au|
|Ms Kate Ellis MP||MP Adelaide SA||08 8269 2433||Kate.Ellis.MP@aph.gov.au|
|Senator the Hon Don Farrell||Senator SA||08 8231 8400|
|Senator Alex Gallacher||Senator SA||08 8269 email@example.com|
|Mr Steve Georganas MP||MP Hindmarsh SA||08 8376 9000||Steve.Georganas.MP@aph.gov.au|
|Ms Amanda Rishworth MP||MP Kingston SA||08 8186 2588|
|Senator the Hon Penny Wong||Senator SA (Leader of Opp Senate)||08 8212 8272|
|Mr Tony Zappia MP||MP Makin SA||08 8265 3100||Tony.Zappia.MP@aph.gov.au|
|Sen Derryn Hinch||Senator VIC||03 9820 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Mr Adam Bandt MP
|MP Melbourne VIC
|03 9417 0759||Adam.Bandt.MP@aph.gov.au|
|Sen Sarah Hanson-Young||Senator SA||08 8227 email@example.com|
|Sen Lucy Gichuhi||Senator SA||08 8205 1050|
|Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham||Senator SA||08 8354 1644|
|Senator David Fawcett||Senator SA||08 8205 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Ms Nicolle Flint MP||MP Boothby SA||08 8374 0511||Nicolle.Flint.MP@aph.gov.au|
|Mr Tony Pasin MP||MP Barker SA||08 8724 7730|
|Mr Christopher Pyne MP||MP Sturt SA||08 8431 2277||C.Pyne.MP@aph.gov.au|
|Mr Rowan Ramsey MP||MP Grey SA||08 8633 1744|
|Senator the Hon Anne Ruston||Senator SA||08 8586 6600|
|Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash||Senator WA
(Minister for Employment)
|08 9226 2000|
|Ms Rebekha Sharkie MP||MP Mayo SA||08 8398 5566|
|Sen Nick Xenophon||Senator SA||08 8232 email@example.com|
|Sen Stirling Griff||Senator SA||08 8212 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Sen Skye Kakoschke-Moore||Senator SA||08 8232 email@example.com|
Step 3: Paste the text into the email
Step 4: Click Send