Skip to content
Union, Utilities

With the coming of Spring, storm clouds loom over Queensland’s energy security

MEU 2 mins read

The union representing the majority of workers at the Kogan Creek power station will apply to the Fair Work Commission to take protected industrial action after negotiations dragged on with CS Energy yesterday with no direction from the State Government on the impact of the Queensland Energy Workers’ Charter on enterprise bargaining under the future energy plan.

The Mining and Energy Union (MEU) which represents operators, fitters, electricians, and power workers at the highly efficient ‘supercritical’ power station, one of the newest, and biggest on the national grid, says members have been left with little choice.

Industrial action will compound the current critical shortage of energy security due to shutdown work at several of the units at Callide Power station and at other plants.

This may lead to widespread power disruptions in Queensland, as the Kogan power station near Chinchilla supplies 10% of Queensland’s power and much of northern NSW.

At issue is CS Energy’s inability to abide by the freshly inked Queensland Energy Workers’ Charter* which ensures workers at coal fired power stations are provided job security, career development to new technologies, and pay and conditions guarantees as the energy market goes through a transition to renewable energy.

There are over 120 workers at Kogan Creek power station and another 80 at the Kogan mine which supplies coal to the facility, not to mention the local community support workers. These jobs are essential to nearby Chinchilla and other local communities.

MEU members at Kogan want guarantees they won’t be replaced by contractors and a fair distribution of attraction and retention provisions in the EA so the Plant can continue to operate safely and efficiently.

MEU Queensland District Vice-President Shane Brunker says the situation has the capacity to escalate quickly and affect power generation across Queensland.

“The Queensland Government need to get around a table with the Unions and CS Energy, which it owns, and resolve how the Queensland Energy Workers’ Charter will provide security and a future for the Kogan workers,” says Mr Brunker.

“CS Energy need direction from Government at the negotiating table to finish these negotiations otherwise there will be dire consequences for energy security running into the peak period of summer power generation in this state.

“This round of EA negotiations are critical to the largest Union membership in Queensland generation given the challenges ahead with the transformation of our industry and we have to get it right today.  

“We start negotiations with CS Energy for the Callide replacement EA in September and Tarong in January 2024, so our membership across the State are aware this EA and future agreements are the precedent for the industry and the future for their industry and communities.

“The MEU will not stand by and let the state-owned assets become another victim of precarious employment and contracted out work which is to the detriment of young Queenslanders and regional communities’ future. 

“Either the Queensland Energy Workers’ Charter means something, or it doesn’t and if it’s not worth the paper it’s written on then at least tell us so we can take appropriate industrial action.

“The Charter was signed off in late 2022 with the guidelines for bargaining yet after 6 months of negotiations the Parties have failed to negotiate a suitable package to satisfy our members’ concerns of having job security, liveable communities and fairness in the workplace, our members have had it and are ready to take action.

Contact: Shane Brunker 0419 472 325

*Queensland Energy Workers’ Charter is attached.

Media

More from this category

  • Education Training, Union
  • 28/05/2024
  • 16:36
National Tertiary Education Union

Back-room appointment of Monash University’s new Chancellor highlights the need for university governance reform

Monash University staff and students were surprised to learn today that the University’s governing Council has appointed Dr Megan Clark as our new Chancellor.The Chancellor of the University is the institution’s most senior role. Dr Clark will have a legal responsibility for the mission, strategy, risk management and academic activities of our university. The Vice-Chancellor reports directly to the Council she will chair.Staff and students were not consulted about the decision to appoint a new Chancellor. The NTEU at Monash believes the decision raises important governance concerns.NTEU Monash branch President Dr Ben Eltham criticised Dr Clark’s appointment.“Staff and students were…

  • Education Training, Union
  • 28/05/2024
  • 13:11
National Tertiary Education Union

University of Queensland staff suffer ‘staggering’ $8m wage theft

The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) has demanded urgent reform after the University of Queensland (UQ) became the latest university embroiled in a multi-million dollar wage theft scandal. In an email to staff on Monday, UQ management revealed $7.88 million was underpaid to 9743 staff over a seven-year period between January 2017 and December 2023. The underpayments relate to minimum hours of engagement for casual academic and casual professional staff and the use of a lower pay rate for casual academic staff with a relevant PhD. More than 110,000 university staff across Australia have had wages stolen from them in…

  • Entertainment, Union
  • 28/05/2024
  • 09:00
Monash University

Union members invited to experience convict ancestry in free Unions Members Day at Unshackled Exhibition

Media kit including imagery and videos available here Unions Tasmania will host a free union members day of talks, films and music on Saturday 1 June at the ground-breaking exhibition Unshackled: the true convict story held at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery. The Monash University led Unshackled exhibition is a first-of-its kind digital exhibition that reveals a new understanding of the transported convicts’ contribution to the struggle for Australian democracy and for their fight for rights at work in an engaging, interactive story that features rare objects, augmented reality, video and song. Union members and friends and family are…

Media Outreach made fast, easy, simple.

Feature your press release on Medianet's News Hub every time you distribute with Medianet. Pay per release or save with a subscription.