Why the Electricity NETWORK MUST BE PRIVATISED——Energex whistleblower alleges waste, inefficiency at state corporation | The Courier-Mail—————“Staff are provided exceedingly generous income and benefits compared to commercial standards for the same roles. “This in itself contributes to an inefficient workplace, as once people are in jobs that provide pay and benefits well in excess of market conditions, employees are more likely to cling to jobs.” The submission urges the regulator to take a “razor” to Energex’s latest revenue bid, which influences network costs – making up about half of power bills – for the next five years.
An independent review into network costs commissioned by the outgoing Newman government found that an alarming 647 staffers earned more than 1½ times their base salary across the three state-owned network businesses – Ergon, Energex and Powerlink.
And 27 staff doubled their base pay in 2011-12, likely spawning “lower levels of productivity”.
Energex staff are virtually unsackable due to longstanding “no forced redundancy” clauses.
The Courier-Mail spent a day at a coffee shop a short walk from Energex’s $90 million Newstead base mid last year, witnessing a series of laid-back meetings.
One employee was heard joking with three Energex staff: “Don’t rush, you still have another two hours until you have to be back.”
The Courier-Mail revealed early last year that taxpayers were forking out $100,000 a month for more than 100 people whose jobs no longer existed but who could not be sacked.
An Energex spokesman said it was impossible to respond to inefficiency claims before seeing the submission, but blamed overtime for excess staff pay.