AGL Macquarie Industrial update

AGL Macquarie Industrial Update – February 2016 (PDF version)

The PSA attended a Steering Committee meeting on 15 February 2016. These meetings provide an update to union officials on the general business matters of AGL Macquarie and provide an opportunity to raise industrial issues.


An update was provided on safety and it was noted there have been a worrying number of incidents and injuries, particularly to contractors. The ongoing problem of dust was also discussed and it is noted a committee has been put in place to examine this issue more closely. It is understood new personalised hearing protection is now widely available, with many employees taking up that option.

A new project will be commenced regarding clearer expectations of the need for in full PPE from the gate. Visible ear protection and chin straps on helmets will be required and AGL is looking at providing facilities to allow for changing before walking onto plant to ensure better safety with long sleeves and closed footwear. The infrastructure required will take some time, but the PSA was advised that the WHS committee is involved in consultation regarding this project.

Drug and alcohol testing has been an issue of contention at the past few consultative meetings. The PSA continues to raise concerns about the response from AGL once a positive test is returned. A schedule of meetings is being arranged in the coming months to discuss this issue in detail with the involvement of delegates.

An update was given following the 11kv incident which seriously injured two workers. The injured workers are both now back at work but the PSA is keen to ensure AGL is taking every step to make sure such an incident can never happen again. We were advised that improved labelling and information consistency have been undertaken and that two-person verification is now in place. The PSA has asked to be provided with the procedural documents which show this to be the case. We are yet to be provided with a safe work method statement, but we have been informed that electrician employees have now been consulted about how to implement the electrical standard in the workplace. The ongoing lack of consultation on safety matters remains a concern. Meanwhile the involvement and oversight of Safework NSW continues regarding this incident.

DCS project

It is understood tenders are currently being considered for this project with a view to recommendations being made to the March board meeting. It is understood preliminary consultation has commenced with employees regarding the control panel and its location. Training will be made available across both locations to allow for mobility of staff as the closure of Liddell in 2022 draws closer.

Working conditions

Concerns were raised about the impact on workers of any proposed changes to rosters in particular any intention to move away from shift work. AGL was encouraged to consider the enormous impact on workers through loss of wages, superannuation and challenges to work/life/family balance, particularly for those workers with carers’ responsibilities. Also briefly discussed was the issue of mental health in the workplace. AGL reported it has a mental health awareness programme and will be introducing a mental health first aid programme. The PSA emphasised that what was also needed was to ensure that AGL was able to provide the flexibility required to ensure that workers with mental health issues could continue to be accommodated in the workplace.

Enterprise bargaining

As members would be aware, the enterprise agreement expires in December this year. Preliminary discussion was held regarding a programme of bargaining meetings. A letter will be sent to AGL to kick off the bargaining process formally. Members should begin to give consideration as to who they would like to nominate for the PSA’s bargaining team. More will come out on this issue soon.


To discuss any workplace issues please contact one of your workplace delegates

Graeme McNeill

Grantly Gray

Or call our member support centre on 1300 772 679