Professionals Australia director Luke Crowley said that the results “speak volumes” for the discontent among staff.
This has provided another example of how “out of touch” the TasWater Executive were, after spending a million dollars on consultants and taking almost a year to restructure the organisation.
The EBA voting results saw 88 per cent of employees vote “no” to the proposed TasWater General Staff Enterprise Agreement, and 82.4 per cent of employees vote “no” to the proposed TasWater Senior Staff Enterprise Agreement.
“These agreements have been rejected because staff saw them as fundamentally unfair. TasWater staff are not asking for the moon, they are just asking for fair treatment.
Mr Crowley said that he was struck by the number of staff who had rejected the EBAs, saying that it was the strongest rejection of an EBA that he had ever seen.
Mr Crowley said that he had evidence that the TasWater Executive had benchmarked their own salaries to national standards yet benchmarked staff salaries to Tasmanian standards, which were much lower.
“Staff morale at TasWater is at an all-time low – it’s abysmal. The restructure that started almost a year ago, is still not complete. Now, with these two EBAs being absolutely rejected – it is clear just how out of touch the TasWater Executive is.
“We are hearing reports of work being constantly being pushed back as a result of the distraction of this mismanagement and bungling. The TasWater Executive seems to have taken its eyes off the core business of delivering essential water and sewerage infrastructure to Tasmanians.
“Staff have experienced the gamut of the TasWater Executive’s problems over the last twelve months. They are now voicing serious concerns about the Executive’s capacity to run the organization in a responsible manner.
“The real shame of all this mismanagement and long-term disruption is that it will lead to water bills going up. In the end, everyone will feel the impact of the problems at the top of TasWater.
“This has gone on long enough, the Premier needs to step in and sort this out.
In October TasWater put two agreements to a vote of staff, indicating they felt staff would accept the deal. Professionals Australia contacted TasWater stating the offers would be rejected and that negotiations should continue and that the vote was an unnecessary delay and distraction.
TasWater has also rejected calls to negotiate one agreement to cover its employees, instead attempting to negotiate a separate agreement for frontline managers and professional staff, despite the cost and complexity of negotiating two separate agreements and TasWater’s own internal polling.
Staff vote “no” at unfair EBA at TasWater, Tasmanian Times, Read .