** UPDATE - 12/05/2020

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE BY WESTERN AUSTRALIAN BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY ASSOCIATIONS AND UNIONS

A coalition of Industry Associations and Trade Unions have joined together to develop guidelines for managing the risks associated with COVID-19 on Western Australian construction sites. The guidelines will be regularly updated and made widely available within the Building and Construction Industry.

The Building and Construction Industry employs over 120,000 Western Australians, 94% of who are employed in small businesses, and turns over around $33 billion each year.

As an essential service, WA’s building and construction industry has continued to operate during the pandemic, with appropriate physical distancing, hygiene and other controls in place to minimise the risk of transmission of the virus. To date, the industry has been successful, with no known cases of COVID-19 on construction sites.

Twelve industry associations and trade unions have agreed that maintaining up to date guidelines on how best to manage the health and safety risks from COVID-19 will support the industry’s continued safe operations, noting the need to manage these risks will be with communities and their industry for many months.

We encourage our members to read this comprehensive guideline for effectively managing your health, safety and wellbeing.


https://bit.ly/2Wluot8

In Unity,
ETU WA

** UPDATE - 10/04/2020

ACTU Centre for Health and Safety Update 2020/26

Author: Jenny Holden, Executive Assistant to Assistant Secretary, Liam O’Brien

Last night, the JobKeeper legislation passed through Parliament. This means $130 billion in wage subsidies will now go directly to workers to save millions of jobs.

 

The Coronavirus Workers’ Rights Resource Centre has put together some resources to help you understand what it means for working people including eligibility, rights (including health and safety), entitlements and changes made to the law.

 

JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme fact sheet (also available in Chinese)

JobKeeper scheme - changes to the Fair Work Act 2009

JobKeeper: changes to the Fair Work Act 2009 - quick guide

 

We are keen to make sure that all workers understand how this scheme will affect them. Please feel free to forward this email to your friends, family and co-workers and encourage them to sign up to the mailing list. 

TO ALL MEMBERS

I urge you to read all of this below as there’s some important information which may help members and their families.

 

The COVID-19 global pandemic means we are living in unprecedented times. To survive and see this through we need to act as a community. The ETU is an integral part of that community.

 

On the immediate health risks and how to prevent the spread please see the attachment for our Health & Hygiene statement based on World Health Organisation guidelines.

 

In summary it is imperative that to we all practice good hygiene standards and social distancing – AS EVIDENCED AROUND THE WORLD IT ACTUALLY WORKS TO LIMIT THE SPREAD OF THIS VIRUS!

This crisis is both a health and economic one and is changing on a daily basis.

Therefore, as ETU state secretary I have been meeting with State Government ministers & their advisors and (along with your organisers) major employers & contractors on your behalf and will continue to do so going forward.

 

While the health issues are of obvious paramount importance workers are as equally concerned with job security and pay provisions if they are forced to self-isolate or fall ill with the virus.

As such many of these discussions have focused on our campaign that all workers should be paid 2 weeks special leave regardless of their employment contract. Many State Govn’t departments have already agreed, as have some private sector employers whom ETU members work for (contact your organisers for more details). Along with other unions we are campaigning and lobbying other employers and contractors for the same provisions, as well as the federal government to include in their economic stimulus packages. Click to sign the petition https://www.megaphone.org.au/petitions/coronovirus-support-paid-sick-leave-for-casual-workers

We also believe that in these extraordinary times there should be NO REDUNDANCIES of any worker! Employers and Governments must realise that throwing hundreds of thousands of workers on the social scrapheap of minimal unemployment benefits will collapse the economy and make it even harder to stimulate once this thing is over. There is no shortage of money in the Australian economy and financial system, just an ideological difference on how it is distributed. Quite simply workers jobs should be prioritised before the profits of wealthy companies and their shareholders. I urge you to read the attached ‘ETU brief’ and understand what the ETU is doing for members in the political background.

 

What happens if WA is forced to lockdown?

Given that other states will be in lockdown this week it will only be a matter of time before WA follows suit.

So what is essential and non-essential activities? Under the national guidelines, travel to school, to workplaces and to shops to buy staples are all considered essential, as is travel on compassionate grounds, or for emergencies. The use of public transport for school or work is also considered an essential activity as well as healthcare appointments and pharmacy visits.

 

Financial hardship payments.

In the event you fall into financial difficulty there are a number of ways you may access help to assist you and your family.

 

  1. Superannuation. The Fed Govn’t have eased access to superannuation in the event of COVID-19. Please see the following information here. CBUS have also put together some helpful information on their website - click here.  The majority of our members are in CBUS and for further information please contact the WA field officers Don Fowlie – 0417 971 593, Phil Milne – 0412 406 348 or the CBUS office on 08 6430 4236. If you need other super contacts please contact our office on 08 9440 3522.

  2. Severance funds. In the event of bona-fide redundancies workers can access their severance fund payments if they’re included in your EBA or contract. However PROTECT will now allow access to some money if members need it due to financial problems associated with COVID-19.  Please contact PROTECT WA field officer John Cain on 0429 109 215, or myself and the ETU organisers for further details.

  3. ETU Hardship & Relief Fund. As you’re aware, last year we increased our fees for the first time in 3 years. Part of that increase was used to establish a H&RF to assist members when needed. If you are in financial difficulty in the coming months we may be able to help if you meet the criteria. Please contact your lead organiser or ETU office for further information to apply for assistance.

  4. Centrelink/Jobseeker – (Download further information here).  Please click link for details https://www.dss.gov.au/about-the-department/coronavirus-covid-19-information-and-support

 

ETU Office

At least one of the admin staff or organisers will be present during our normal office hours 8am-4.30pm Mon-Friday while we’re allowed to do so. Myself and all organisers will also be available to take calls and answer any questions about workplace and industrial issues, COVID-19 and your rights, health and safety issues, process payments or unemployment credits, and assist in any way we can. I’d urge members to update their contact details and any change in employer details if necessary.

 

ETU Officials

If members wish to call or contact me direct my details are below.

Your organisers have also been flat-out but will still be visiting sites where possible and their contact details are listed below.

A further effective way of communicating with us is through social media and we have a very active facebook page

https://www.facebook.com/pg/ETUWABranch/posts/?ref=page_internal

Further information can also be found on our website https://www.etuwa.com.au/news/

The ACTU also have excellent information which is updated daily Covid-19 resource page

 

The ETU is here at any time to help through this crisis.

 

Stay safe, and look after yourselves and each other.

In Unity,

Peter Carter
State Secretary

 


 

Peter Carter

State Secretary

M: 0403 601 991

peter@etuwa.com.au

Brendan Reeve

Supply & General Trades

Assistant State Secretary

M: 0488 585 227

brendan@etuwa.com.au

Adam Woodage

Kwinana & South West Region

Electrical Contracting Organiser

M: 0403 601 997

adam@etuwa.com.au

Alister Robinson

North West & South West Regions (Construction)

Electrical Contracting Organiser

M: 0488 015 615

alister@etuwa.com.au

Andy Giddens

Foundry, Gas, Hospitals, Manufacturing, Universities & Water Alliances

General Trades Organiser

M: 0457 236 555

andy@etuwa.com.au

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Ash Bamford

North West & Metro Area Organiser

Electrical Contracting Organiser

M: 0456 093 158

ash@etuwa.com.au

Damian Clancey

City, Lift, Metro & Offshore

Electrical Contracting Organiser

M: 0411 261 124

damian@etuwa.com.au

David von Kelaita

Electrical, Energy & Services Division

Organiser & Post Trade Trainer Assessor

M: 0416 261 198

david@etuwa.com.au

Ian Gill

Construction - All Areas

Lead Organiser - Electrical Contracting

M: 0403 601 996

ian@etuwa.com.au

Mark Mocerino

Shipbuilding & Rail

Electrical Contracting Organiser

M: 0411 706 716

mark@etuwa.com.au

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Copyright © 2020  Electrical Trades Union, WA Branch. All rights reserved.

Authorised by Peter Carter - WA State Secretary

ABN 84 898 932 123

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ETUWA Head Office:

Unit 24 / 257 Balcatta Road,

BALCATTA WA 6021

P: (08) 9440 3522

PO Box 689 BALCATTA WA 6914