POWER industry unions say they have reached an in-principle agreement with Essential Energy in the Fair Work Commission that will temporarily halt planned job cuts in both Orange and Molong.
Under the agreement, Essential will press pause on the cuts until further information is provided to workers and additional consultation takes place, according to the unions.
The NSW Government-owned electricity supplier announced earlier this week that it would cut 182 jobs from its regional workforce in an effort to "drive efficiencies in our business" and "deliver a better service at lower cost".
An initial list of the first 122 forced redundancies, provided by Essential Energy on Friday, showed eight staff in Bathurstwould lose their jobs, although the company admitted this number had not yet been finalised.
Two jobs were also set to go at Oberon, two at Parkes, two at Orange and one each at Crookwell, Molong, Yass and Young.
Dubbo was set to lose three staff.
In a statement released on Friday night, the Electrical Trades Union said the agreement it had reached with Essential in the Fair Work Commission meant no jobs would be lost before mid-August.
Unions would be given an opportunity to propose alternative cost saving measures and initiatives that could avert the need for redundancies, the ETU said.
The ETU said Essential Energy had committed to distributing information to all employees by July 19 that included the justification for role reductions; the specific impacts of cuts on remaining team members; and details of the tasks or functions that will cease to be performed.
The union said Essential Energy also committed to giving genuine consideration to alternative savings measures before any redundancy decisions were made.
"This is a tough time for Essential Energy workers, their families and colleagues," Electrical Trades Union secretary Justin Page said on Friday.
"After four years of deep staffing cuts at Essential Energy - which has not only devastated those workers directly impacted, but has had profound impacts on service delivery and regional communities - today's reprieve is extremely welcome, but is just the start.
It is great to see so many regional MPs agree with us that these cuts are unsustainable, that they are going to have huge impacts on regional NSW, and that we need to work together to stop them.Electrical Trades Union secretary Justin Page.
"It is important that Essential Energy have agreed to provide detailed information to workers about the reasons for specific cuts and their impacts on the remaining work groups, but better still is their commitment to seriously consider alternative options for cutting costs that would allow these jobs to be saved."
Mr Page said he welcomed the support of a range of regional MPs, including Nationals leader and Deputy Premier John Barilaro, who he said had committed to fighting forced job cuts at Essential Energy.
"Essential Energy is still 100 per cent publicly owned, so the NSW Government has the ability to take actions to stop this devastating loss of regional jobs," he said.
"It is great to see so many regional MPs agree with us that these cuts are unsustainable, that they are going to have huge impacts on regional NSW, and that we need to work together to stop them.
"The ETU is in the process of developing a range of proposals that we believe are viable alternatives to slashing jobs and services in the bush.
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