Essential Energy to axe 47 local jobs

ESSENTIAL Energy has revealed that 47 full time positions will be axed on the NSW North Coast through a "spill and fill" process that requires staff to reapply for their existing jobs.

Essential Energy announced earlier in the year that they plan to axe 1,395 jobs across NSW, with unions believing that 400 of these jobs will come from the North Coast region.

The company informed staff that a final meeting of the Redundancy Consultative Committee will take place on Tuesday September 8, before individual employees impacted by the cuts are notified on September 9 and 10.

Depots that will lose staff include: Taree, Bulahdelah, Dungog, Forster, Gloucester, Port Macquarie, Stroud, Ewingsdale, Ballina, Murwillumbah, Tweed Heads, Dorrigo, Coffs Harbour, Kempsey, Nambucca Heads, Casino, Grafton, Kyogle, Lismore, and Maclean.

Workers have been informed that they will need to reapply for their jobs through a process involving: "a basic psychometric assessment of cognitive capability, personality, motivations and interests; a selection criteria assessment; an interview; and, if required, a functional assessment."

The Electrical Trade Union and United Services Union, which represent Essential Energy workers, said there were alternatives to the deep job cuts.

"Unions have put forward a range of options, including for job sharing arrangements and other efficiencies, that could drastically reduce the number of local people who will lose their jobs," ETU deputy secretary Neville Betts said.

"Allowed to continue, these huge staffing reductions will result in the loss of specialist skills and experiences from these communities resulting in chronic future skills shortages not to mention network reliability and safety concerns.

"Rather than taking a simplistic approach of cutting jobs, unions have put forward genuine alternatives that can keep people in work, keep skills in regional NSW, and deliver savings for consumers.

"What the community need to know is that these 47 local jobs are just the beginning and that there will be much more pain to come.

"Essential Energy management have told unions that they already know the names and location for the remaining twelve hundred job losses that are yet to be announced and we believe more than 350 of these will come from the North Coast."

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