News

Unions reject Essential Energy job cuts proposal

Essential Energy's Grafton and Maclean crews have completed an upgrade to the network along Brooms Head Road boosting capacity and improving reliability in the area.
Essential Energy's Grafton and Maclean crews have completed an upgrade to the network along Brooms Head Road boosting capacity and improving reliability in the area.

ELECTRICITY provider Essential Energy wants to cut 800 jobs from regional New South Wales by 2018 under a draft workplace agreement.

The attempt, which also calls for unlimited job cuts after June 2018, predictably failed to inspire union delegates to sign on the dotted line.

The proposal comes after Essential Energy had announced in September there would be 60 job cuts on the North Coast, including 15 in Grafton and nine each in Lismore and Coffs Harbour.

That followed the Australian Energy Regulator's decision to cut the company's revenue by 30%.

Electrical Trades Union secretary Steve Butler said more than 1000 Essential Energy jobs had been slashed since 2013.

"Enterprise bargaining generally means that if you give something up you get something in return but it seems Essential Energy management think it's a one-way street," he said.

"Not only is Essential Energy wanting to sack people but they want to slash working conditions for remaining staff as well as implement a two-year wage freeze."

Other conditions included a ban on re-employing redundant workers within two years except for casual or temporary positions, and halving the amount workers are paid when called in for emergencies, from a minimum four hours' pay to two.

The need for outsourced contractors to be afforded the appropriate wages and conditions would also be removed, Mr Butler said.

"The NSW Government seems intent on slashing regional jobs at Essential Energy, which threatens service standards while maximising the profits they take from rural and regional customers," he said.

United Services Union energy manager Scott McNamara said the company needed to go back to the drawing board if it wanted union support.

"Workplace delegates ... refuse to stand by while jobs, services and standards are cut across regional NSW," he said.

The company last year said it needed to shed 2500 jobs to remain financially viable.

Topics:  electricity, essential energy, workplace agreement




Valley couple's role in developing coffee culture

COFFEE COUPLE: The owners of driven to Driven to Espresso, Mark and Anne Paterson, say it was coffee that brought them together.

Mark and Anne have been developing coffee culture for 21 years.

He bashed a squatter to death, now he will stay in jail

A Coast pensioner has been refused bail after being charged with drug trafficking.

James Kevin Moore has lost an appeal to have his sentence overturned

Spirit of a community behind Rebels'charge

BULLDOZER: Rebels' 'X-factor' prop forward Xavier Sullivan continues to push for extra metres despite attracting the attention of four Coffs Harbour Comets.

Team built on the foundations of a united community

Latest deals and offers

Gladstone couple's spontaneous Gympie Muster wedding

Craig Oglesby and Brenda Strong celebrate their wedding at the Gympie Muster with punters in front of the Main Stage.

The Gympie Music Muster was the perfect place for a wedding.

Australian Survivor's Peter: I'm no quitter

Australian Survivor contestant Peter Fiegehen.

ILLNESS forces castaway's early exit from Samoa.

Diva's sister on soliciting charge

FILE - In this May 14, 2016 file photo, Mariah Carey attends the 27th Annual GLAAD Media Awards, in New York. Carey will appear on the Oct. 5 episode of the Fox series, \"Empire,\" the network confirmed Monday at a TV critics bi-annual press tour. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)

Mariah Carey's sister has been arrested on charges of prostitution.

Tom Cruise private jets his gym kit around the world

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise charters private to take his gym kit around the world

Movie behind Depp and Heard split to be released

Soon you'll be able to see the movie that ended the marriage

Bindi's boyfriend helps release huge croc

Chandler (far right) helped the jump team.

Chandler Powell helps catch Duncan the croc

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.

Take a sneak peek at this $19m Whitsunday mansion

Mandalay House features a private helipad.

Mandalay is currently on the market with an asking price of $19m