Essential Energy to cut 20 jobs in Queanbeyan

Essential Energy is shedding about 20 jobs in Queanbeyan, south-eastern New South Wales – 40 per cent of the company’s local workforce.

Staff were made aware of the changes on March 22, and were told the proposal is subject to employee consultation to examine all options.

Essential Energy’s acting chief executive officer Gary Humphreys said some employees could be relocated locally or elsewhere in the network area, with some positions “redeployed”.

The cost-cutting measures are being opposed by members of the Electrical Trades Union, who have voted to take industrial action as early as Friday.

Essential Energy has proposed a new workplace agreement that would allow the sacking of 800 regional employees as well as an unlimited number of job cuts after June 2018.

Electrical Trades Union NSW ACT sub-branch spokesman Mick Koppie said the 800 people Essential Energy wants to make “forcibly redundant” comes close to about a quarter of their staff across the state.

“They’re attacking in a number of areas,” Mr Koppie said.

“There are 16 call staff members in Queanbeyan who have been told in the last week-and-a-half the call centre will be closed down, that there might be positions for them in Port Macquarie,” he said.

Mr Koppie said there about 60-odd people employed in Network Operations in Queanbeyan, which is a 24-hour a day service.

“They’re being treated separately at the moment but we share concerns that that could go downhill sometime in the near future,” Mr Koppie said.

Mr Humphreys said Essential Energy was “undergoing a major organisational transformation”.

“As part of the transformation program, Essential Energy announced last year that it would be consolidating and optimising office and depot locations across its distribution area.

The Queanbeyan Age