EBA Negotiations Continue!
The Services Union, along with the other industry unions, resumed Enterprise Agreement negotiations with Powerlink on 12 October 2023.
After indicating our firm position during the last bargaining meeting on the issue of skilled migration and the need for a clause to be included in the new Agreement to ensure the protection of our members’ jobs and the safety of workers, progress was made during our recent discussions. Powerlink indicated that it broadly supported the principles put forward by the unions on this issue. A draft clause should soon be agreed to by the parties.
In addition, the parties discussed establishing a consultative committee focused on recruitment. This committee would ideally deal with issues relating to domestic recruitment, international recruitment and the recruitment of graduates, trainees and apprentices. Further discussions will be had on this issue.
In addition to the above, Powerlink confirmed that it is agreeable to a number of our claims put forward around leave entitlements, including but not limited to:
- accessing leave at half-pay;
- the provision of paid trauma leave to be available when a worker experiences a traumatic event in the workplace;
- the provision of paid reproductive, menstruation and gender affirmation leave;
- the provision of paid guardian leave to be available when a worker assumes full-time caring responsibilities for a child out of necessity and the worker is not the parent of the child;
- increasing the quantum of natural disaster leave available for workers to five days per occasion; and
- expanding the definition of compassionate leave to include those outside the immediate family and close friends.
Whilst progress has been made, Powerlink has not yet agreed to a number of key claims put forward by the industry unions, including increasing the quantum of leave available for annual and parental leave. Regarding these claims, Powerlink indicates that it is not yet able to move on these issues due to limitations imposed on it by the State Government.
Our Union will be lobbying Government to provide Powerlink the approval it needs to move on these key claims. It is important to remember that our capacity to influence Government on these issues is linked to our Union’s density within the workplace. The difference between a mediocre outcome and improving your conditions in a meaningful way is a highly unionised workforce.
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We will be meeting with Powerlink next on 19 October 2023.
The Services Union is by your side during these negotiations.