AEMO union members to stop work over stalled Enterprise Agreement negotiations

Professionals Australia members employed at the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) will stop work tomorrow as AEMO management pushes ahead with a vote on an Enterprise Agreement that does not address major concerns raised by staff.

The stoppages will occur on Wednesday 22 December from 9am-9:15am in Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia and 4:30-4:45pm in Queensland and New South Wales. Staff working in gas or electricity control rooms will not stop work and the staggered stoppages are designed to minimize risk to power and gas supplies.

In addition to the stoppages, all Professionals Australia Members at AEMO will not work overtime from 9am on Wednesday 22 December to 9am on Thursday 23 December. Professionals Australia won the right for work stoppages in a ballot of members conducted by the Australian Electoral Commission on 1 December 2021.

The protected industrial action stems from stalled negotiations with AEMO management relating to a revised Enterprise Agreement. Following a NO vote to the EA in July 2021, AEMO management returned to the negotiating table with Professionals Australia and Australian Services Union, however little progress was made in relation to the staff concerns with the revised EA:
  1. Broadening EA coverage to include more than graduate and early-career staff
  2. Providing a clear explanation for the revised classification structure
  3. Reassurance that employee input to EA negotiations won’t have negative repercussions
Professionals Australia CEO Jill McCabe said the unions’ negotiations did not focus on wages or salary increases, but fairness and consultation.

“This isn’t about money. For our members, it’s about the culture of the organisation and ensuring all staff receive fair and reasonable conditions to advance their careers without penalty,” Ms McCabe said.

“Frankly, for an organisation to so blatantly disregard non-monetary requests for basic workplace rights such as EA coverage and input into EA negotiations rings a few alarm bells.”

“We have taken sensible and safe protected action. Our members’ stoppages will not affect Australians’ energy security, but it will send a clear message to AEMO management that the voices of their skilled and trained staff should be heard if they’re to be retained.”