Bargaining Update - Powerlink not offering enough

As you know from our last bargaining update, our Union raised concerns with Powerlink on 19 October 2023 around the lack of progress so far in the EBA negotiations. Due to this lack of progress, Powerlink agreed that we would not meet as planned on 26 October 2023 to enable it time to consider the SBU’s combined log of claims.

When we recommenced bargaining on 2 November 2023, Powerlink presented its position on a number of our claims. Whilst there was movement on some of our important claims, including those around contractors, Powerlink indicated that it was unwilling to agree to many of the key claims put forward by the joint unions. Some of the key claims knocked back by Powerlink include:

  1. Bi-annual wage increases of 5% (10% per annum) for the life of the Agreement;
  2. A reduction in working hours for all employees;
  3. Increasing the quantum of annual leave;
  4. Increasing the quantum of parental leave (for both the primary and secondary carer); and
  5. Recalibrating the salary tables for those who work a ten day fortnight to ensure workers are actually receiving an additional loading (e.g. 13% or 15.5%) on their base rate (the amount is lower than what it should be).
One of the key claims put forward by the joint unions was an attraction and retention allowance for all workers. Powerlink partially agreed to this claim but indicated it would only apply to workers employed in the technical stream. It was the joint view of the Unions that the quantum discussed for this allowance would not be sufficient to attract and retain the technical workers needed for the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan.

Our Union also responded by advising Powerlink’s bargaining representatives that there are attraction and retention issues in all areas of the business. We indicated that it would be unfair for this allowance to only apply to technical stream employees, as it would result in many of our members being left behind. We indicated that the allowance should apply equitably across the business or, in the alternative, that Powerlink would need to consider offering alternate benefits to other employee streams that would address the attraction and retention issues present in each of those areas.

We remain concerned that Powerlink is at risk of falling behind the rest of the industry – with Powerlink’s current attitude suggesting that some workers are at greater risk than others.

If you do not want Powerlink to fall behind the rest of the industry and want your conditions of employment to improve in a meaningful way, then we need YOU, as one of our members at Powerlink, to be prepared to take industrial action when the current Enterprise Agreement expires in February 2024. To ensure effective action can be taken, we ask that you please contact our Union office to provide your up-to-date contact information on (07) 3844 5300.

Together, we can make Powerlink one of the best places to work in the country. If you know someone who is not currently a member of a union, share this email with them and encourage them to join our Union by clicking the following link, so they too can be part of bringing about meaningful change at Powerlink.

The Services Union is by your side during these negotiations.

Above: ASU is the union fighting for members at Powerlink!