ASU members have been running ‘It’s Not Sydney Without Sydney Water’ – a positive campaign to keep Sydney Water from being privatised.
At the end of April, the Sydney Water Board met and decided to keep Civil Maintenance and Treatment in-house for at least the next three years!
This is a great outcome achieved by ASU members.
Following the Board meeting, over 500 ASU members from Sydney Water met and endorsed a new enterprise agreement proposal from Sydney Water that kept work in house.
Members also voted to step up the campaign to keep Sydney Water in public hands – because it really wouldn’t be Sydney, without Sydney Water.
So how did we get here?
For the last six months, Sydney Water members in Civil Maintenance and Treatment have been facing the prospect of being outsourced.
Across the organisation, ASU members have said they are proud to work for Sydney Water but are worried that our world class, safe clean drinking water, rivers, and beaches are being put at risk through privatisation.
In response to these threats, members have been campaigning, launching It’s Not Sydney Without Sydney Water, engaging the community and politicians about the importance of an in-house workforce.
Management made it clear to ASU members that they wanted concessions through bargaining to convince the Board to rule out outsourcing.
The ASU Bargaining Team negotiated with Sydney Water in the Fair Work Commission, arguing strongly that no one should have to suffer a reduction in their take-home pay!
We also raised our concerns around fatigue, overwork, low morale and lack of respect for the workforce by management, all issues that would become worse, if any ASU jobs were to be outsourced.
An offer on the table
After two weeks of intense bargaining Sydney Water has now put on the table an offer that addresses the concerns of members in the Civil Maintenance and Treatment Operations areas, and makes improvements to the conditions of all Sydney Water employees.
- provides job security, maintenance of take-home pay and reduction in weekend/public holiday standby, night shift and afternoon shift penalties in Civil Maintenance
- maintains conditions in all other areas of Sydney Water and delivers a pay rise which is above CPI for the next three years
Sydney Water management has also committed to working collaboratively with the ASU to resolve members’ concerns around fatigue, overwork, low morale and a lack of respect at work.
An amazing outcome which could only be achieved through the hard work of ASU members, at work and in their communities!
When we stand together in union, we win!
Voting on a new Sydney Water EBA will commence on 19 June to make sure members receive a pay rise from 1 July 2017.
But this is just the beginning
The NSW Liberal Government is selling off our publically owned and operated services to the highest corporate bidder. Poles and wires, Transport for Newcastle, the Land Titles Office, and just last week, Sydney Buses are all being sold to multinationals who will always put profit before secure jobs and vital services.
Our campaign to save Sydney Water from privatisation has been successful so far but we need to continue fighting to keep Sydney Water safe beyond the next three years.