CWU T&S WEEKLY BULLETIN NO
ISGM TANDEM - EXTRACTS FROM THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW
A Telstra and Foxtel contractor ... is facing a $400 million class action for allegedly underpaying thousands of technicians through sham contracts. Tandem, formerly known ISGM ... has an "innovative" workforce management model that has won it field work contracts at Telstra, NBN Co and Foxtel. But the class action alleges the company's business model is premised on treating independent contractors as employees but without minimum wages, leave, overtime or other entitlements.
More at AFR (wait for page to display 10 sec)
More at ABC News
Watch video ABC 7.30 Report ...
TANDEM - CWU T&S MEDIA RELEASE:
Legal Action against Telstra Contractor Tandem, largest sham arrangements case in Australia:
The CWU Victorian and NSW T&S branches welcome the announcement of a class action against Telstra contractor Tandem (formerly ISGM). We have always believed this contractual arrangement to be an employment relationship that was grossly unfair to the workers involved, many of them made redundant by Telstra. In more recent years Tandem utilised a traineeship that targeted very vulnerable long-term unemployed people.
"This type of alleged sham arrangement has been a blight on the industry for too long. It is wage theft on a grand scale. Workers in the industry have foregone their legal entitlements under an award and to work in the industry had to buy themselves a job" said Len Cooper National President of ACWA (& former CWU National President).
The CWU Vic branches have run a number of unfair dismissal cases on behalf of these workers and they have always settled before they got a hearing on the jurisdictional question of employee v contractor said Val Butler (CWU Vic Industrial Officer) who along with Dan Dwyer ran most of the cases. "We are very happy that this question will finally be fully ventilated."
The CWU tried a number of times between 201-15 to bring these matters before a court on the question of sham arrangements supported by CWU National Secretary Dan Dwyer but for various reasons a case could not be commenced.
CWU Vic Asst Sec John Ellery said "we are delighted to be involved in this case, it has been a long time coming for our members and other workers in the industry. The case is made much more compelling because these workers had to work on a seriously aging and damaged network which made their task so much more difficult. This also made it very challenging for them to make any sort of a decent living under this sham dressed up as contracting."
The union expects that most of the members that worked under this arrangement for Tandem/ISGM will join the class action.
MASSIVE TELSTRA REDUNDANCIES
Telstra advised cuts of just under 20% of the field staff.
Nationally, 367 of 1922 roles are going.
In NSW, 165 of 705 roles are to go.
These are mainly customer facing roles and service will be impacted.
At a time that Telstra has introduced forced overtime, the cuts can only be designed to ensure that the CEO does not suffer a second strike at the next AGM.
What about the customers?
See the full list.
TELSTRA REDUNDANCIES - DO YOU WANT HELP?
We may be able to assist if you wish to fight these redundancies. Telstra has already introduced forced overtime. And the ISGM troubles announced this week will not help Telstra. Our Branch has experienced staff to help.
SECRETARY ALEX JANSEN TAKES A BREAK:
After 8 years in the job as T&S (NSW/ACT) Branch Secretary, Alex has decided it is time to take a well-earned rest and move on to retirement effective from September 1st.
Alex was always on hand to help members in trouble as well as participating in the negotiations to get the best outcome for workers employed by rampant companies like Telstra, Optus and Australia Post. These companies were ever ready to extract every last dollar or simply trample on and ignore workers hard won rights and conditions.
During his time in the job Alex personally helped hundreds of individuals and workgroups and directly negotiated the steady improvement to the Enterprise agreements at Optus in particular as well as helping with the Telstra and Aust Post negotiations. Alex's efforts will be sorely missed and we wish him all the best for the future but the Branch is in good hands largely due to his efforts.
Assistant Secretary Lee Walkington has been acting Secretary in Alex's absence. The Secretary's role is a demanding one and it was a role Alex carried out selflessly.
ALEX JANSEN RETIREMENT LUNCH
Our long standing Branch Secretary Alex Jansen has retired.
We are having a send-off lunch for him on Saturday December 8 at 12 noon.
You are invited to attend to send him off with our best wishes.
If you wish to attend please phone us on 02 9281 2811 to advise.
Cost will be $30 to cover meal and (soft) drinks. Restaurant is BYO.
Location is Jasmin 1 Leichhardt
110 Marion St, Leichhardt (near Elswick St)
(Parking on street or at Marketplace Shopping Centre nearby)
NEW BRANCH SECRETARY DAN DWYER APPOINTED BY BCOM:
The Branch Committee of Management this week voted unanimously to appoint Dan Dwyer to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Alex Jansen. The appointment is effective up until the next elections due in mid 2019.
Dan was appointed a part time Industrial Officer of this Branch some 3 months ago and has been kept busy carrying out day to day member representations especially in support of recently dismissed Broadcast Australia members and in opposing Telstra's attack on its employees over Sick and Long Service Leave and other matters.
Dan, an ex OTC Tech, holds a practicising certificate as a lawyer and has a decades long history as a union official in the telco industry.
He was the national Communications Division Secretary from 2012 to 2015.
The current Acting Secretary, Lee Walkington, will revert to his elected position of Assistant Secretary and work closely with Dan and the BCOM to ensure that there is a smooth hand over and minimal disruption to the day-to-day workings of the NSW T&S Branch.
NOTICE OF ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
The AGM of our Branch will be held on Saturday 8 December 2018 at 9.30am at Suite 1B, Level 1, 57-59 Renwick St, Leichhardt. The agenda includes: Presentation of Audit and Financial Report, Secretary's Report, Appointment of a Returning Officer, Honoraria and General Business.
Authorised by Dan Dwyer Branch Secretary
CWU Telecommunications & Services Branch, Leichhardt, NSW.