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Union, Utilities

Parliament House sparkies take 24-hour strike

Electrical Trades Union NSW & ACT < 1 mins read

Electricians and trades staff who keep Parliament House up and running will walk off the job for 24 hours on Monday over poor pay.

Members from the Electrical Trades Union, Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union and CFMEU will demand fairer wages at a rally on the front lawns as both Houses sit.

ETU NSW & ACT Secretary Allen Hicks said some full-time electrical employees working for the Department of Parliamentary Services were paid about $30,000 below the industry average.

“The workers who keep the lights on at Parliament House are being blocked out when it comes to fair wages,” Mr Hicks said.

“The Department of Parliamentary Services’ refusal to lift wages for its full-time trades staff is senseless. Because permanent trades staff’s wages are so low, positions are left vacant, yet the department is willing to outsource the roles at a much higher rate of pay. Morale has hit rock bottom, and workers are fed up.

“It’s a kick in the guts to have contractor staff who’re paid competitive industry rates working alongside trade-qualified permanent employees who’re earning the equivalent of a contractor apprentice.

“We have federal politicians acknowledging the need to fill the chronic shortage of electrical workers, yet one of their own departments is offering their trades staff a dud deal that does nothing to retain and attract the workforce.

“The department has continued to ignore our calls for fairer wages for trades staff working inside Parliament House, so we’ll make them loud and clear out the front. The department must do the decent thing and provide their permanent trades staff a better deal that delivers competitive wages.”

Media contact: Sofie Wainwright 0403 920 301

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