Last week ASU electricity industry delegates and union Branch officials from all over Australia met in Sydney to discuss a broad range of issues facing the industry.
The meeting brought together delegates from generation, transmission and distribution with a range of ASU classifications from operators to technical officers, administrative staff and more. Delegates and ASU full time officials who work in the industry each day also participated including from Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania, New South Wales and Queensland.
Day one covered industrial relations, the Fair Work Act, enterprise bargaining outcomes and significant decisions from current issues at ASU energy corporation/company level.
Day two included a keynote address and presentation from Professor Stephen Thomas of the Greenwich School of Business PSIRU at Greenwich University London (via Skype). His address covered privatisation, energy poverty and the failures of privatisation in the UK, plus future energy sources and challenges in the UK and Europe. Professor Thomas' attendance was provided by the ASU affiliate the Public Services International (PSI).
E-OZ, the peak national skills and training body for the electricity industry, presented on current issues for the industry including future skills needs, sources and challenges.
ASU Branches provided up to date presentations on the state of their local electricity industry, campaigns currently in progress and the failures of privatisation.
The increased participation by rank and file industry workers along with union officials was part of the ASU strategy to involve a wider range of people in these meetings, to exchange information, share campaign resources and build the best opportunities for electricity and energy.
The meeting was convened by ASU public services and energy/electricity industry leader Greg McLean who said, "It was one of the most exciting and impressive meetings the ASU energy/electricity industry division has held."
"The inclusion of additional workplace delegates and officials was an important feature and I hope this will continue in the future."
"This meeting allowed us to go beyond a range of traditional workplace issues and bring a wider range of subjects to the table. The types of subjects that create the circumstances for us to respond as well as looking at the policy directions, and industry issues that create these circumstances in the first place."
"It is with the cooperation of ASU state secretaries that this enhanced meeting was possible."