September 27, 2013

A new four-year Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA) at the Yallourn power station achieves the right balance between appropriately recognising the work of employees and controlling costs for customers.

EnergyAustralia Managing Director Richard McIndoe said the new four-year agreement – endorsed at a CFMEU mass meeting today – retained appropriate flexibility for the company to operate Yallourn in response to market conditions. Unions representing the site’s maintenance employees are considering the proposed EBA.

“We have reached an in-principle agreement with the CFMEU for a new EBA at Yallourn,” Mr McIndoe said.

“The proposed EBA achieves the right balance between appropriately recognising the work of employees, acknowledging that they have not had a pay rise in over a year, maintaining sufficient flexibility to meet future challenges and controlling costs for customers.”

Endorsement at today’s CFMEU mass meeting represents in-principle agreement to the new EBA by power station operations employees. With standing industrial action removed, the lock-out at Yallourn will be suspended and operations employees can return to work. A formal vote of employees as required under the Fair Work regulations will follow in the next two weeks.

“The Yallourn power station is very important to the Latrobe Valley community and economy, so I am pleased for the local community and for the hundreds of people employed on site that we have come to this point,” Mr McIndoe said.

“Direct negotiations with the CFMEU have been constructive in recent weeks.

“This is a good agreement for our employees, our customers, the Yallourn community and our business.”

Mr McIndoe said the agreement provided broader consultation with employees around management decisions and a clearly defined dispute resolution process.

“Operations employees had asked the company to broaden its consultation around business decisions,” Mr McIndoe said.

“We agree that there is a category of key decisions at Yallourn that would benefit from wider consultation with employees, but that management needs to retain the right to make business decisions. This is reflected in the agreement.

“While it has been a long and difficult path, it is important that we focus on working together to secure the future of Yallourn and support all the jobs on site.”