Delta Electricity bulletin

Delta Electricity bulletin 21 January 2014 (PDF version)

Delta Electricity has been holding negotiations with the Public Service Association and other unions for a new Enterprise Agreement.

A meeting of employees held on 11 December, 2014 endorsed a Log of Claims which the combined unions served on Management.

At that time there was some urgency around having the process completed before the proposed sale of Delta, which was expected at the end of January.

As it turned out, only Colongra was sold, affecting about 8 employees. It is our view along with the other unions involved that the circumstances have significantly changed and the urgency has now passed. We believe sufficient time should be taken to ensure the new Enterprise Agreement contains conditions of employment which protect Delta employees for the full term of the Agreement – in this case the proposal is 3 years.

The current Enterprise Agreement does not expire until 11 March 2015 and we feel there is still time to resolve the outstanding matters – including redundancy provisions and the inclusion of side agreements in the Enterprise Agreement.

Due to the changed circumstances, the combined unions requested, and were initially granted, a feedback meeting to employees on Thursday 15 January, 2015. Delta management cancelled this meeting without union agreement, giving less than 24 hours notice. They cited unresolved matters related to the side agreements. Delta thereby prevented the unions from informing their members and seeking updated instructions in light of the full sale not going ahead.

We view this as unacceptable.

The PSA knows that improved redundancy provisions were important to many members, but that at the meeting on 11 December it was agreed to compromise on this point because a sale would provide an employment guarantee for the life of the Enterprise Agreement. With no such guarantee in place, we believe members would now want to review their negotiating parameters. Delta has attempted to prevent us from doing so, continually citing the log of claims endorsed at the December meeting and refusing to acknowledge the changed circumstances.

The issue of redundancy is current with corporate office staff already being asked to express interest in VR. The risk to our members is imminent with no certainty around what will happen if sufficient savings are not achieved through the VR process. Delta has already walked away from the agreed enhanced redundancy provisions previously negotiated, claiming they are not bound by the agreement because only 3 of the 4 parts of Delta were sold.

The unions continue to believe that, although some issues remain unresolved, ALL employees should be given feedback on what has taken place during negotiations and why there is no agreed position at this time. We also believe our members should have the chance to review their bargaining parameters and to continue negotiations.

Delta management indicated at the negotiations on Thursday 15 January 2015 that they would not be negotiating further and intended to put the Enterprise Agreement to the vote, leaving matters relating to redundancy and to the operators agreement unresolved.

The PSA does not endorse the document at this time as we believe further negotiations should take place in an effort to reach a joint position.

The combined unions will be holding a feedback/ information meeting next Thursday 22 January, 2015 at 12 midday at Tom Barney Oval and we strongly urge PSA members to attend to hear details of the current status of the negotiations and also to have your views heard.