1 SEPT 2019

Post released a new roster for SPF techs this week. We immediately wrote to Post as follows:

    I refer to the notice to technical members that rosters are changing significantly. The roster has been issued by Suresh and is to commence on 8 September. The sudden change of pattern has a profound effect on staff and the OHS matters have not been discussed. There has been no consultation nor agreement to the roster. As a result we require that the implementation be deferred pending appropriate consultation and consideration of OHS issues. If we cannot get your agreement to defer implementation by 4pm Friday 30 Aug, we will seek an urgent hearing of the dispute before the FWC.

We had no formal response by 4pm but were informally advised that a meeting is proposed this week to discuss the matter. We expect that implementation will be deferred.

Our Branch has succeeded by obtaining a change of policy relating to your employment in Telecom companies. Once retrenched, many members have sought jobs in the industry with private firms. However we have a problem with the Telstra policy. You may need approval from Telstra if your new employer has a contract to do Telstra work.
One retrenched member got a new job with a new employer - but Telstra refused to approve the employee to work on Telstra premises or plant. The new employer terminated him because it did not have other work. The old Telstra policy is in Bulletin 20. As we have many retrenchments now, with Telstra outsourcing work, this is a major concern
The new policy appears to work and the member involved will now be approved if he is re-employed by the private company. We have discontinued our dispute in the FWC but will still meet with Telstra to clarify some aspects of the policy.

In conjunction with the Vic T&S Branch we have written to Telstra re the conditions of service for casual staff. Our letter to Telstra stated in part:

    (We) write with regards to your engagement with Programmed Labour Hire in E000, and with concerns regarding conditions of employment. The Union understand that vast majority of Programmed staff are classified as casual employees, despite many working full time hours, some for more than 12 years. The engagement of Programmed staff is based on a rostering system published in advance, with a regular pattern of consistent starting and finishing times, mutual expectations of continued employment, and with reasonable expectations that work will be available. The characterisation of this employment relationship raises some concerns regarding permanency and entitlements. The Union request a meeting at your earliest convenience to discuss Telstra's model of recruitment and staffing of E000 centres. We seek your urgent response.

The response in part:

    Telstra has and will continue to use a mix of internal and external labour to meet the needs of the business and our customers. Triple Zero utilises Programmed to support the operational flexibility required within the contact centres which includes to: + manage variable and fluctuating call volumes in a 24/7 environment; + assist during peak periods (such as holiday periods and where the fire danger ratings are high); and + to cover for absences and other adhoc gaps etc. In order to ensure that our legal obligations and the needs of Telstra customers are met. This will continue to be the case moving forward. Programmed is a supplier to Telstra. If the CEPU has employment related matters to raise on behalf of a Programmed employee(s), this should be taken up directly with Programmed as their employer. As an aside, I would note that historically, Triple Zero has made Agency employees aware of Telstra vacancies that may exist from time to time and encouraged them to apply. For example, in the last Telstra recruitment drive for our Sydney site in December 2018, 4 of the 7 successful candidates were previously Agency staff.

Talks with Visionstream continued last week - with management having very little to say. The company's position on the current pay offer remains - that is: 1.5% to former Silcar employees and 2.5% to Visionstream employees. Building Code compliance remains a continuing issue with Visionstream maintaining that this is a critical feature for the company. After some debate, it was confirmed that Visionstream currently hold an exemption from complying with the Code - and their exemption is for a defined period of time. It commenced in Oct 2018 and remains valid until Jan 2020. Talks continue. Travel Allowance reimbursement has continued to be an issue with members being expected to fund upfront expenses for their work-related travel, whilst waiting up to weeks later for reimbursement. Visionstream claim they are administratively limited in what they can do to improve this, but have agreed to consider placing a one-week cap on reimbursements.

Discussions on Clause 45 and pay continue. We reproduce in part a bulletin issued by John Ellery.

    temporarily withdrawn from publication

No decision on Clause 45 has been needed as yet but the general sentiment is in line with that expressed by John Ellery above. Your input into this debate, as a current employee of Telstra, is vital. Please make your opinions known. Join the hook-up each week. Or reply to the bulletin with your view.

Monitor our HOME PAGE for details of the next hook-up. The hook-up is hosted by John Ellery a member of the negotiating committee from our T&S Vic Branch.
Next Meeting Thursday 5 Sep 7.15pm to 8.00 pm. Meeting ID is 540926192
+ Simply dial in: 02 8015 2088 and enter the Meeting ID
+ Use your phone app (Download app "ZOOM") and enter the Meeting ID
+ Click this link: https://zoom.us/j/540926192

Policies around LSL that Telstra intends to implement from January next year would allow Telstra to direct employees, with a leave balance in excess of 90 days, to take a period/s of LSL up to 24 days. The SBU does not believe that employees should be directed in this way, particularly given the difficulty employees face in accessing leave approval in the first place. The Unions pushed back on this policy when it was proposed by Telstra in the middle of last year leading to Telstra taking a step back from implementation for the 2019 calendar year. Instead Telstra agreed that for the duration of 2019, they would seek to encourage staff but not direct them. Discussions will continue on this.

Please note the following changes as we simplify our phone numbers
0428 942 878 dan.dwyer@cwunion.net Dan Dwyer Secretary/Lawyer - for industrial matters & advice
0447 265 443 reception@cwunion.net Administrative eg payments, applications, change of details

Authorised by Dan Dwyer Branch Secretary
CWU Telecommunications & Services Branch, Leichhardt, NSW.


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Bulletin 29

Bulletin 28

Bulletin 27

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