The Official Newsletter of the Power Industry Sub Committee (PISC)
Work and Welfare Related Issues for all Power Workers in South Australia
Wednesday 7th of August 2013
SA Power Networks News
SAPN Enterprise Agreement Negotiations
The Single bargaining unit of Unions (SBU) provided your log of claims to SAPN on the 1st of July. The next two scheduled bargaining meetings (17th and 31st of July) were cancelled by SAPN management representatives because they required more time to consider your claims. The next bargaining meeting is scheduled for the 14th of August. The SBU has been advised that SAPN intends to put an offer forward prior to this meeting. The CEPU will keep you informed of developments.
Motor Vehicle Allowance dispute
The long running underpayment dispute between the CEPU and SA Power Networks regarding motor vehicle allowance (SAP Code 0R04) has finally been settled.
A CEPU member from the Morphett Vale Depot advised the CEPU that his claim for motor vehicle allowance, made whilst working on availability, was rejected.
The CEPU raised this with SAPN in July last year. SAPN maintained that the motor vehicle allowance was not claimable where an employee uses their own car to return to the depot after hours when on availability because they are not on “Utilities Management business”.
The CEPU lodged an Underpayment claim with the Industrial Relations Court of South Australia in October last year and SAPN was summoned to attend a hearing on the 12th of December. At the hearing SAPN, through their lawyers, again rejected the claim. Further hearings were conducted on the 17th of January, 5th of February, 27th of May and the 3rd of July.
SAPN finally changed their position and advised the CEPU of this on the 30th July. SAPN has agreed that all wages employees on availability who are paid an availability allowance are eligible to claim the allowance if they use their own vehicles to return to work when requested by SAPN. As part of the settlement of this matter, SAPN has agreed to amend your Enterprise Agreement to reflect this entitlement and the CEPU has agreed not to pursue retrospective claims on behalf of members.
It may be a minor win, but it proves that persistence pays off.
Second Call Standby Proposal
The latest advice from SAPN on changes to the second call arrangements is that the company is still interested in making changes, but is waiting until the new Working Hours Fatigue Management field directive and procedures have come into operation. SAPN has committed to engage in proper consultation with affected employees and the CEPU prior to any changes being implemented.
The CEPU has had discussions with SAPN and ASU regarding SBU claim number 12 ‘Payment of availability allowance for all employees required to be on availability/on call’. The SBU Unions wish to remind all Union members:
If you are required by SAPN to hold yourself in readiness to return to work out of normal working hours, and are required to come in when called – you should be paid an availability allowance.
If you are not paid an availability allowance you do not have to hold yourself in readiness to return to work out of normal working hours, and do not have to come in when called.
CEPU members at Tenix have voted to apply for the right to take protected industrial action as part of their campaign for a new enterprise agreement.
AGL Torrens Island Power Station
After a considerable delay due to a bargaining dispute between the ASU and AGL enterprise agreement negotiations have resumed with AGL TIPS. The dispute concerned bargaining representative’s rights to attend negotiation meetings in paid time and was settled without requiring arbitration.
Repower has informed the CEPU and employees that it will put its proposed enterprise agreement to the workforce for a vote. The CEPU does not support or endorse the company’s proposal as it does not meet the terms sought by the majority of our members.
CEPU National News
At the last CEPU Divisional Council meeting on 22nd July Peter Tighe resigned as CEPU National Secretary, a position he had held since 1995. Assistant National Secretary Allen Hicks was elected his successor. The SA branch has a good relationship with Allen and look forward to working with him in his new job.
Asbestos Safety and Eradication
On Monday 5 August the Minister for Workplace Relations Bill Shorten announced Peter Tighe’s appointment as CEO of the new Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency (ASEA), and the appointment of the 10 members of the ASEA Council.
Peter Tighe has been appointed as CEO of the Agency for a period of five years.
“The Rudd Government is committed to a national plan of action to eliminate asbestos exposure,” Minister Shorten said.
“The ASEA began operations on 1 July 2013 and marks a crucial step in Australia becoming the first nation to progress towards the ultimate elimination of asbestos-related diseases.”
“As CEO, Mr Tighe will work with governments and stakeholders to implement the national plan for asbestos eradication, handling and awareness.”
“Asbestos is a cruel, indiscriminate killer that remains a persistent threat to Australians. The identification and safe removal of asbestos is an absolute priority for the Rudd Government.”
Mr Tighe will report to the Minister and consult with the ASEA Council, consisting of Commonwealth, state, territory and local government representatives and other expert members.
“I am confident the appointments I am announcing today will enable ASEA to drive the important work of eliminating asbestos exposure in this country. I believe working together we can eradicate this killer once and for all.”
More information is available at: www.asbestossafety.gov.au.
Power Industry Sub-committee
The Power Industry Sub Committee meets at 4:30 on the first Tuesday of every month in our offices to discuss industrial, safety and welfare issues concerning members working in the power industry. All CEPU power industry members are welcome to attend. The remaining meeting dates for 2013 are the 3rd September, 1st October, 5th November and 3rd December.
Jon Holbrook from EISS will attend the next PISC meeting on the 3rd of September. If you have any superannuation questions you want to put to the experts, come along.
If you are a CEPU member and wish to receive Union Delegate Level 1 or 2 Training please give us a call to register your interest.
CEPU SA Website
The CEPU SA website has had a long overdue upgrade. We hope you’ll find the new website informative and useful. It is still new, and may have some bugs to iron out. If you have any suggestions on what you want to see on our site, please let us know.