Kogan workers strike a deal

BETTER CONDITIONS: The union has negotiated Kogan Creek Power Station workers a new enterprise agreement with CS Energy.
BETTER CONDITIONS: The union has negotiated Kogan Creek Power Station workers a new enterprise agreement with CS Energy. Nadine Shaw

WORKERS at Kogan Creek Power Station are set to receive a wage increase and improved working conditions after unions gave the tick of approval to a new enterprise agreement with CS Energy.

An in-principle agreement reached in court last month will be put to an employee vote in the coming weeks and lodged with the Fair Work Commission if successfully passed.

CS Energy, CFMEU and bargaining representatives are currently working together to finalise clauses in the agreement.

CFMEU negotiated a 3% wage rise over three years and a nine-day fortnight for employees following a long negotiation that began last September.

"We're very happy with the deal that was struck and we've achieved everything we wanted to do,” CFMEU mining and energy district vice-president Shane Brunker said.

"We had 162 items on our log of claims and we achieved the majority of those.”

Kogan Creek Power Station general manager Phil Matha said the proposed agreement balanced the interests of both employees and the company.

"This is good news for Kogan Creek employees,” Mr Matha said.

"CS Energy's goal throughout the negotiation process has been to reach a new enterprise agreement that delivers wage increases and improved benefits for our employees and helps ensure Queenslanders have access to affordable and reliable electricity.”

Mr Brunker said while employees stopped short of walking off the job, employees had to collectively take protective action during negotiations for CS Energy to agree to improved conditions.

"We dug our toes in and the boys and girls took some protective action. They didn't have to walk off the job but we did industrial action inside the gate, which we're allowed to do,” MrBrunker said.

"It showed the company the workforce wasn't going to be pushed around.”

Mr Brunker said the key issues were a lack of permanent labour and employees being unable to access leave entitlements.

He said the new agreement, facilitated by the Fair Work Commission, would afford workers dignity and quality of life.

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