Working together: NECA and Master Electricians in talks
According to a joint statement from NECA president Alan Brown and MEA chair Tony Arnold, “in recent years it’s become clear that the industry would benefit from having a stronger and united voice as well as providing a more comprehensive suite of services to members.
“As a result, both NECA and MEA have listened to their respective memberships and have entered a memorandum of understanding. This will allow the two organisations to collectively explore better ways to represent and be the single voice of a united industry.”
For too long, an ‘us and them’ mentality has permeated the Australian electrical contracting industry, with both organisations lobbying the same pool of contractors to become members.
Further, both organisations have developed a comprehensive list of benefits for their members; but, the overlap is at times significant.
“For many years, the Australian electrical contracting industry has been represented by two organisations, NECA and MEA. Both organisations have worked tirelessly to advance the interests of their members and industry, to improve safety standards and statutory compliance for contractors, their employees, their customers, supply chain partners and the community,” the statement reads.
“Both organisations continue to provide services to their respective members, including technical support, training and business advice. The organisations – through their members, Registered Training Organisations and Group Apprentice Schemes – also support the largest cohort of electrical apprentices in Australia.”
A coming-together of sorts between the two organisations, therefore, is the next logical step in cohesively representing the Australian electrical sector. Together, the industry is stronger.
“The discussions to date have been focused on a single goal – to deliver a better deal for members,” the statement reads.
While the process is ongoing, there are a number of core principles guiding these discussions. These principles include:
- Keeping the best interests of all members at the “absolute forefront of what we do”;
- Respecting the extensive history of both organisations;
- Understanding the different needs and expectations of the two memberships;
- Harnessing the power that combined advocacy to government would create;
- Appreciating the high-quality staff employed by both organisations and their tireless commitment to serving members and the broader industry;
- Providing the best possible deal for members, including the services and expertise of both organisations being made available to all members;
- Providing the highest quality apprenticeship services to the industry;
- Ensuring that the next generation of contractors is well represented; and,
- Recognising the huge opportunities in combined industry and networking events.
While the final outcome of these discussions is still to be determined, it has been suggested that a determination is made as quickly as possible while not compromising on quality and detail.
“There is considerable goodwill on both sides and we are confident that we can agree on a strong platform, and a united voice, all of which will result in a more prosperous and sustainable future for Australia’s electrical contracting industry,” the statement reads.
“We will keep members informed as the discussions progress.”
Whether you are currently a member of NECA or MEA – or both – surely this process will only strengthen your association and your industry.