Summer of water worries looms after talks break down at Sydney Water


Frustrated essential workers at Sydney Water have this morning lodged a dispute with the Fair Work Commission after Enterprise Agreement negotiations broke down overnight.

The essential service supplies 5.3 million customers in Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains and Illawarra.

Sydney Water’s 3000+ employees were left with little option after management pushed to slash pay and conditions and impose secretive WorkChoices style contracts on more than half their employees.

Sydney Water wants to put its workers on the worst Agreement in the entire water industry – worse than any other private or public entity currently operating in the industry.

This is a significant reduction in wages and conditions in the midst of a cost of living crisis.

Deputy Secretary of the Australian Services Union (ASU), Jan Primrose, says relations between workers and Sydney Water management have never been this bad.

“Managing Director, Roch Cheroux, has not bothered to turn up to a single enterprise agreement meeting with workers. That gives you a sense of how bad things are,” says Jan Primrose.

“The relationship between the people who work at Sydney Water and senior management has never been worse.

“Long term skilled workers are leaving, and morale is at an all time low.

“Sydney Water is a great public asset, but it is being dragged backwards.

“These workers are essential to keeping our water clean, and our beaches pristine.

“At the last election the NSW public voted to protect Sydney Water.

“Literally the first thing the new Labor Government did was enshrine Sydney Water in our constitution.

“The people of NSW who are the owners of Sydney Water deserve better and so do the workers who have been delivering Australia’s safest water,” says Jan Primrose.

/Public Release.