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Industry & Vaccination Update

Industry & Vaccination Update

November 16, 2021

Updates on vaccinations in our industry and DHS advice

There continues to be a slow down in positive cases in our industry, which of course is because of the rates of a vaccinated workforce. 
 
As of 12th November: 
  • 92.6% First Vax
  • 86.6% Second Vax
The Health Department has also clarified Density Quotients for Crib Rooms

 Quote from Health Department: 

“Thank you for your patience as we investigated this issue. We have consulted the
Directions and can confirm that non-publicly accessible space is currently subject to a
density quotient of one person per two square metres (DQ2). However, if the space is
publicly accessible or a shared space , a density quotient of one person per four square
metre applies.
 
We agree that construction sites are generally non-publicly accessible spaces and a DQ2
applies. However, the policy position is that crib rooms are considered shared spaces and
a density quotient of one person per four square metres applies in that space.”
 
 

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Construction Vaccination Website

Construction Vaccination Website

October 25, 2021

The BIG1 group of industry associations and unions have launched their Construction Vaccination Website, containing all the information you might need about the vaccines and how to book an appointment.

This is a wonderful initiative to get the right information directly to our workforce, including in a range of languages suitable for our CALD communities.

See the following link to the website: 
https://constructionvaccinehub.com.au/

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In-depth Interview with ABC TV

In-depth Interview with ABC TV

October 6, 2021

State Secretary John Setka speaks with ABC this morning.

Covering:
  • Dozens of families affected by protests
  • How hard we work to keep everyone safe
  • Investigations happening
  • The union never stood for mandatory vaccinations
  • Assistance to members and representation
  • Commercial sector success in handling COVID
  • Majority of members stance
  • Respect for each other and individual choice

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Reset to restart: Workers safety is paramount.

Reset to restart: Workers safety is paramount.

October 5, 2021

Industry guidelines remain in force and provide comprehensive advice to the industry.

View the latest industry guidelines covering what the workplace, and worker are required to do to keep everyone safe and construction remaining operational.
 
Additionally – updated version (V14) of the Guidelines for The Building And Construction Industry (BIG) Victoria was released on September 1 2020 and is available to view here

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Construction Reopening

Construction Reopening

October 1, 2021

 

The Building Industry Group of Unions (BIG) welcomes today’s announcement by the state Government to reopen Victoria’s construction industry next week.
This reopening adopts several of the BIG’s recommendations, including improved safety
measures on-site, stricter Covid-Safe plans and the return of the smoko shed.
The sheds will return with strict density limits and ventilation, meaning that workers have a safe
and hygienic place at work to take their breaks.
Union members are already on the job, preparing sites to return to work next week in a
productive and Covid-Safe way.
We now call on the state Government to work with industry on a common-sense, practical
approach to return to normal construction for all workers, which must include recognition of the
Gold Standard and Rapid Antigen testing.
After violent and reckless protestors shut down Victoria’s construction industry for two weeks,
the Building Industry Group of Unions, and their members, have got the industry open and will
keep it safe.
Quotes attributable to the BIG Secretaries:
“After the despicable actions of a small minority last week, including attacking nurses and
urinating on the Shrine, frontline workers need to know that Union members in the construction industry, and their families, stand with you through this difficult time.”
Troy Gray – Secretary, ETU Victoria
“Our members are on job sites now, across Victoria, preparing Covid-Safe crib rooms to allow
work to commence on Tuesday.”
“The industry Gold Standard for Covid-Safe work should have been adopted across the whole industry. We know it’s world’s best practice and we will continue to fight to have it recognised.”
Earl Setches – Secretary, PPTEU Victoria
“We look forward to working with the government on a plan which sees all construction workers return to the job as soon as possible, in a safe and productive way.”
Tony Mavromatis – Secretary, AMWU Victoria
“A group of morons might have managed to shut down construction, but the members of the building unions are the ones who got it open safely.”
John Setka – Secretary, CFMEU Victoria & Tasmania
 

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CFMEU Head Office declared a COVID-19 tier one exposure site

CFMEU Head Office declared a COVID-19 tier one exposure site

September 29, 2021

The CFMEU has blamed the reckless and irresponsible behaviour of protestors for the head office being declared a COVID-19 tier one exposure site today.

 

Last week’s protests put union officials and police at risk with infected demonstrators showing no regard to the wellbeing of people affected by their actions. Their reckless behaviour has resulted in transmission to union staff and officials who were not involved in the protest. To date, four positive cases have been recorded.

Officials and staff are deeply concerned for the wellbeing of their families and the risk of the infection spreading. 

John Setka, Secretary CFMEU Vic/Tas said: “This outbreak caused by the disgusting behaviour of selfish and reckless people with no regard to the wellbeing of the thousands of construction workers or their families will not deter our commitment to getting construction back open and all our members back to work.”

The declaration of the CFMEU head office as a tier one exposure site means the building at 540 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne has forced union staff and officials into two weeks isolation.

John Setka, Secretary CFMEU Vic/Tas said: “The union has worked tirelessly over the past 18 months to keep construction open and members working safely while so many other industries were shut and thousands out of work, many for well over a year.

“The shutdown of the industry last week was devastating for 300,000 plus construction workers and the of lack of prior consultation from the CHO even more frustrating.

“Construction workers not being able to work and earn an income to put food on the table and pay mortgages puts enormous stress on families.

“We are working tirelessly on a road map for the government and CHO to get construction open and everyone back to work.”

 

 

 

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John Setka speaks with Channel 10

John Setka speaks with Channel 10

September 23, 2021

See interview via twitter link here:

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YOUR UNION’S PRIORITY WILL ALWAYS BE YOUR SAFETY AND JOBS.

YOUR UNION’S PRIORITY WILL ALWAYS BE YOUR SAFETY AND JOBS.

September 23, 2021

The CFMEU has fought tirelessly since the beginning of the pandemic to keep this industry open and safe, and this continues to be the priority of the union.

We have always supported freedom of choice regarding vaccination and have been consistent with this message.

Many members within our industry have decided to get the vaccine through their own personal choice, and we will represent members if their employment is affected.

We are not going to be intimidated by outside extremists attempting to intimidate the union, by spreading misinformation and lies about the union’s position.

The CFMEU will always advocate for safety, jobs, and freedom of choice.

 

Hear John Setka’s 15 minute interview with 3AW on the matter here

“We are not going to let a group of morons like that intimidate the union.”
 
 

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Setka speaks with 3AW’s Neil Mitchell regarding shut downs

Setka speaks with 3AW’s Neil Mitchell regarding shut downs

September 15, 2021

John Setka speaks to 3AW’s Neil  Mitchell regarding lockdowns and the risk of further closures 

CFMEU State Secretary John Setka remains adamant the “vast majority” of workers are doing the right thing and complying with COVID-19 rules.

“But we are a big industry – nearly 300,000 people,” he told Neil Mitchell.

“You’re never going to get everybody following the rules, but I’d like to think the vast majority are doing the right thing.”

Mr Setka welcomed the compliance blitz announced by government on Monday.

He said vaccination rates in the construction sector needed to improve, urging workers to “listen to experts” and not people on the internet.

“I find it insulting from some people that want to put all sorts of drugs in their body, do lines of whatever, smoke ice pipes, smoke 19,000 packets of cigarettes and then say they don’t want to be vaccinated,” Mr Setka said.

“I find it absolutely ridiculous, to be quite honest.

“But there are some people who have legitimate, genuine concerns, and you’ve got to respect that.”

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The CFMEU is advocating for the reopening of Gold Standard construction sites.

The CFMEU is advocating for the reopening of Gold Standard construction sites.

September 14, 2021

The CFMEU is advocating for the reopening of Gold Standard construction sites. In most cases, these are the large-scale commercial operations we do not see in the suburbs.

Only certain construction sites attain a gold standard, which is recognised and issued by the Vic Covid 19 taskforce.

Gold standard sites actively enforce some of the highest standard of workplace covid specific health and safety measures in the world.

Workers and builders on these jobs have gone to extreme measures to ensure the highest standard of covid safety on these sites.

The recent construction outbreaks have only occurred on sites without a gold standard.

To demonstrate the effectiveness of the gold standard measures, during lock down 5, we saw a positive delta case on a gold standard construction site, this only spread to one other person on the site as it was quickly and easily contained by the implementation of the gold standard safety measures.

Worksafe Victoria have verified that gold standard construction sites have met 100% covid safety compliance. 

We are the first industry in Australia to deliver on-site vaccinations with the aim of delivering a minimum 30,000 by year-end. The industry is currently conducting site surveys of vaccination rates and all early results so far have been above 60% mark.