In 2011 ETU construction members in Sydney were involved in a hard fought EBA campaign that culminated in prolonged industrial action and eventually be locked out by the employers. With that in mind our mass meeting held on Wednesday 17th December saw the largest roll up of construction members ever for an EBA campaign launch.
With the current construction laws that are in place members were forced to use RDO hours to attend and after shrugging off pressure from some employers to not take the afternoon off they turned up in their droves. After filling the Teachers Federation Conference Centre members listened intently to reports from the Secretary, Steve Butler, the National ETU Secretary Alan Hicks and Sydney Official Stewart Edward.
Steve discussed the current state of the NSW ETU and the resources that will be used on the 2015 campaign whilst Alan Hicks reported on the draconian new laws and regulations that he Federal Liberal/National Government have in store for the construction industry.
Stewart Edward reported on the disgraceful wind back of WH&S conditions in NSW and the lack of commitment from WorkCover to investigate a recent serious electrical breach that had the potential to cause a fatality.
Stewart went to inform the membership of the current campaign being coordinated by Unions NSW to stop the cuts. A petition has been set up calling on the Government not to introduce the appalling changes. For more information, please visit the website: Bring Our Workers Home Safely.
Following these reports members went on to hold a lively discussion on what should and shouldn’t be included in our 2015 Log of Claims and then endorsed the following to be negotiated next year:
Increase in payment for boots to $150
In order to ensure that the new requirement for members to wear safety glasses all day every day the company is to offer employees a free annual eye test.
The wording included in the agreement is to be made clearer to ensure there is no confusion regarding the mutual agreement requirements for altering start and finish times.
Morning Tea to be twenty minutes
In lieu of the increase in productivity that a company gains from having only one meal break Friday is to be shortened one hour.
Payment for the Union picnic day is only to be made to those that can produce a picnic ticket
Payslips are to contain records of all accruals including sick leave, annual leave, RDO’s etc
Members are to be entitled to a minimum of three days of personal leave a year without having to produce a medical certificate
The adult apprentice rate that is contained in the wage structures of some contractors is to be carried through to all agreements
Foremen to be included in wage structure
The unlicenced leading hand position is to be removed from the agreement and in the future only licenced tradesmen are to be offered the position of leading hands
The current provision that allows quarterly half hour site meetings to be held on large jobs is to be flowed through to any job with twenty or more employees
As companies have chosen to alter the intention of the stand down clause it is to be removed in its entirety.
Inclement weather clause to reflect the Building and Construction Award. This would include payment for all lost time due to inclement conditions of up to 32 hours a week
The wording included in the agreement is to be made clearer to ensure there is no confusion regarding the penalty rates that apply when working outside of the spread of hours
Bring the electrical EBA into line with other construction employees by increasing the loading on afternoon and night shift to 50%
All overtime to be paid at double time
Rest Period after Overtime
The rest period after overtime is to be extended out to twelve hours from the current ten
Holders of an ACMA licence are to be paid a weekly all-purpose allowance of $99 (equivalent of the electrical licence)
Reintroduction of site allowance with the allowance to be based on total construction value of a site as follows:
Total Construction Contract Value (Millions $) Site Allowance
$5.7 To $20 $1.70
$20 To $100 $2.50
$100 To $200 $3.50
$200 To $300 $4.50
$300 To $400 $5.00
$400 To $500 $5.50
$500 To $600 $6.00
$600 To $700 $7.00
To >$700 $8.00
Minimum payment for superannuation $175/wk
Increasing to $185 in the second year of the agreement then $200 in the final year
The productivity allowance is to be rolled into the hourly rate
Wage and all allowances (including MERT) increase 6% p.a.