Energy Queensland Retail Protected Action Ballot

Urgent Update:

  • Our Protected Action Ballot is due to open on 23 February 2024 and will close at 2:00pm on Monday, 4 March 2024.
  • Vote ‘Yes’ to each ballot question to provide us the leverage needed to deliver the workplace conditions EQL workers deserve.

As you know, we have been engaged in negotiations for your new Enterprise Agreement since October 2023.

Significant efforts have been made by our Union to deliver the workplace conditions that EQL retail members deserve, as well as the conditions needed to attract and retain the workers needed to complete the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan (QEJP).

EQL is set to play a critical role in the QEJP and energy transition and will need to rapidly increase its staff to meet the demands arising from this body of work. As such, our Union has consistently campaigned for a new Agreement that will attract and retain top end talent.

Whilst we have been able to achieve some improvements for our members already, there are a number of key outstanding claims that need to be resolved.

EQL continue to maintain that it is either opposed to these outstanding claims and/or are unable to agree to them due to restrictions imposed on them by the State Government through the GOC Wages Policy.

As your current Enterprise Agreement expires on 29 February 2024, our Union has determined that it is necessary to take Protected Industrial Action to deliver the conditions EQL Retail members deserve.  

Protected industrial action is a legal form of action taken by employees and their unions during bargaining for a new enterprise agreement.

You can access our factsheet about protected industrial action by clicking this link

Protected Action Ballot and Important Dates

To be able to proceed with protected industrial action, our members must participate in a protected action ballot, with the following conditions being met:

  1. At least 50% of the employees listed on the voter roll take part in the ballot; and 
  2. More than 50% of the valid votes cast support the approval of the Protected Industrial Action.

As noted above, our Union’s protected action ballot will open on 23 February 2024 and close at 2:00pm on Monday, 4 March 2024.

We ask that you to vote in the ballot to have your say!

You will be asked a number of questions in the ballot around protected industrial action. We encourage you to vote ‘Yes’ to each question, even if the question is not applicable to you and your work practices, to provide us with the leverage needed to deliver the workplace conditions EQL Retail workers deserve. 

Voting ‘Yes’ does not require you as an individual to take the requisite action, it simply provides our Union with the ability to take that action if our members elect to.

We have an information sheet about the questions you will be asked, which can be accessed by clicking this link. 

Our Protected Action Ballot will be conducted by an organisation called CiVS, who will be contacting you by text message and email. Please ensure you keep an eye out for their correspondence.

Key Outstanding Claims

We know EQL has been sending out regular communications that try to paint their current proposed package for a new Enterprise Agreement in a positive light.

As such, you might be asking yourself: why hasn’t the Union reached in principle agreement with EQL?

The current problem from our Union’s perspective is twofold:

  1. There is very little that would significantly benefit you, our retail members, in the current package put forward by EQL. If you review the list of outstanding claims below, as well as the claims that have been already agreed, this will become clear.
  2. The current proposal is less than what is currently offered or will be offered by other comparative employers.  If the current proposal is accepted, EQL is likely to have lower pay and less favourable conditions than other employers in our industry who are also competing for talent, particularly those operating interstate.

As noted above, there are a number of key outstanding claims that need to be resolved. These include, but are not limited to:

  1. Implementation of a 34-hour work week, which can be worked across four days with no loss of pay.
  2. Increasing the superannuation contribution rate, so it is in line with what is being offered by best practice employers in the industry that are operating interstate.
  3. Introduction of leave loading in the order of 17.5% to be paid whenever an employee accesses annual leave.
  4. Overtime to be paid at double time (unless a greater rate is prescribed).
  5.  Increasing the quantum of paid parental leave. For the primary carer, the claim is for twenty-six (26) weeks paid leave. For the secondary carer, the claim is for twelve (12) weeks paid leave.

By voting up our protected action ballot, you will send a clear message to EQL that you deserve better than what’s on offer.
If you want information around what claims have been agreed already, please click the following link.

Next Steps

As stated above, we strongly encourage you to vote ‘Yes’ to each question in the protected action ballot.

As detailed in the above factsheet, there are many forms of protected actions that can be taken, it is not simply limited to work stoppages.

If our protected action ballot does not succeed, TSU members will be unable to take part in any protected action, and Energy Queensland will have received the message that the current proposal is good enough.

We need you to vote in the protected action ballot when it comes to enable us to continue to negotiate a fair outcome that sets Energy Queensland up for success for the next four (4) years.

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office on (07) 3844 5300 so you can speak with either:

  • Rebecca Girard, Deputy Secretary;
  • Ben Ellis, Senior Industrial Officer or
  • Brendan Parkinson, Senior Organiser.

The Servies Union is by your side during these negotiations.

The ASU is the Union fighting for workers at Energy QLD.