TasNetworks staff walk off the job over ongoing pay dispute

TASNetworks employees have walked off the job in an escalation of an ongoing dispute over a new pay agreement.

About 400 employees were part of stop work meetings this afternoon and voted to stop work until noon on Wednesday.

Communications Electrical and Plumbing Union state organiser Todd Lambert said the action was a response to the current offer from TasNetworks to its employees in long-running negotiations.

The union and the electricity power company have been in negotiations since May last year, seeking to merge the former Aurora and Transend enterprise agreements.

Mr Lambert said the workforce had already voted once to reject the TasNetworks offer, and had not received any promise of a better deal.

‘’Our members are seeking to protect what they have and receive a modest rise of three per cent, but currently the company is looking to reduce conditions and offering two per cent,’’ Mr Lambert said.

Key sticking points included the quantum of the pay increase, dispute resolution clauses, different employment terms for new employees on areas such as electricity discounts, back pay and maternity leave conditions.

The union has offered TasNetworks the opportunity to have the agreement decided through arbitration before Fair Work, or alternatively to continue existing agreements with a small pay rise and form a committee to work on a new joint agreement over the next year.

Mr Lambert said they would meet with TasNetworks again at 11am on Wednesday to get a response to the offer.

TasNetworks has been asked for comment.