Powerlink Bargaining Update: Powerlink attempting to short-change workers

The Services Union along with the other key unions met with Powerlink today for the second bargaining meeting.

Powerlink has maintained its claims around removing key entitlements, including its claim to reduce penalty rates for work performed on public holidays, despite unions providing feedback during the last bargaining meeting that removing such entitlements would significantly limit Powerlink’s ability to meet the staffing requirements of the Queensland Energy and Jobs plan.

We believe our log of claims, along with key claims developed by other unions, will be instrumental in Powerlink meeting the requirements of the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan. However, these claims are yet to be tabled with the business.

The unions have not tabled their claims on account of a change made to the Working at Powerlink Agreement (‘the Agreement’) during previous round of negotiations. The change negatively impacts the CPI adjustment provisions in the Agreement.

Powerlink intends to rely on this change so that it only needs to take into consideration percentage increases in CPI observed during the last two years of the Agreement. The approach taken is a significant departure to the approach taken at EQL, which will consider CPI increases observed over the life of the Agreement.

The changes to the CPI provisions were not tabled as a claim during the last negotiation and were snuck into the Agreement by Powerlink without notifying any of the unions.

EQL employees will be receiving a CPI uplift of approximately 8.67% at the end of their Agreement, whilst Powerlink estimates a CPI uplift of only 3.22%.

Our Union will not accept this as an outcome and are taking steps to address the issue. We have put the matter in dispute and will be meeting with the shareholding minister to raise our concern.

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Above: TSU attends meeting at Powerlink for a Bargaining Update