NECA Group

News & Views

5th November 2021

Safe Work confirms NECA safety practices correct after ETU action disrupted construction sites

After aggressive tactics were used by the Electrical Trades Union (ETU) to disrupt construction sites across Sydney, Safe Work has confirmed to the National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA) that:
  • Group Training Organisations, including NECA Electrical Apprenticeships, do not need to conduct a site-specific risk assessment for every site.
  • The Electrical Trades Unions (ETU) was wrong in claiming NECA apprentices were working unsafely.
Over the last two weeks, the ETU abused right of entry powers to enter sites and make false claims about safety that prevented hardworking NECA apprentices doing their jobs. NECA responded quickly, ensuring our apprentices could get back to work as soon as possible and most have been able to work as normal this week.
NECA is hugely disappointed by the unacceptable behaviour of the ETU. We are asking the authorities to investigate but more importantly call on the ETU to stop harming the electrical industry and its workers. 
Something isn’t right when the ETU makes false claims that disrupt the careers of apprentices. NECA is calling for a public register of right of entry notices to be overseen by the ABCC.
The union’s aggressive tactics come after it forced through an enterprise agreement for apprentices employed by ETU-owned training organisation Electrogroup and NECA’s refusal to commence bargaining with the ETU for a new Enterprise Agreement.  As well as including exorbitant wage increases that make it unaffordable to employ Electrogroup apprentices, the agreement is non-compliant with the ABCC’s Code for the Tendering and Performance of Building Work 2016, meaning they cannot work on federally funded projects.
The ETU has already hurt Electrogroup apprentices and NECA will not allow the union to damage the careers of our apprentices.
NECA Support
If you have experienced an issue, please contact NECA Member Services at or call 1300 361 099.