15 SEPT 2019

The Telstra delegate for Comcare recently made a decision that a pension resulting from the investment of a lump sum on termination was to be taken into account when calculating the Workers Comp pension. This significantly reduced the pension and the Comcare delegate suggested that the member had been overpaid for years. We assisted our member and sought reconsideration. We argued that any income from a lump sum payment cannot be taken into account. The lump sum was already taken into account, and taking account of the income would be "double counting". The reconsideration delegate agreed with us and set aside the decision, restoring the pension to its correct amount. These can be complex matters and we are here to assist members.

The Officer and Related Party Disclosure (ORPD) Statement for 2018-2019 has been filed with the ROC. A copy can be found from our HOME PAGE

12 hour shift workers may have been wrongly debited sick leave, following a Federal Ct decision. The decision means that if you take one day of sick leave, your sick leave is reduced by 1 day - not 12 hours. Thus you are entitled to 10 days sick, totalling 120 hours. (or 15 days depending on your EBA) Members can contact us for a full explanation.

We met with Telstra for a report back on the issues raised at the last meeting. The responses (in short)are below. We will await member feedback and meet again with Telstra in about 3 weeks.
+ Noise: have ordered 9 new acoustic panels to trial.
+ Cold lunch room: discussions with building manager - difficult to change - but will reduce cold airflow which should raise average temperature. We will monitor. (Can someone measure temp a few times a week?)
+ General Atmosphere in workplace: Telstra will do lunchroom improvements, some pest free plants, poster frames, couches and wellbeing initiatives.
+ Cancelled Breaks: explained that breaks after 70 mins compulsory. Onus is on Telstra to ensure it occurs. E000 staffed to 45% occupancy. & new staff in Sydney, 14 in Melbourne and Adelaide now on line.
+ Standing sitting at work: Staff can now stand or sit anywhere - no restrictions.
+ Permanent lockers: Agreed. Have ordered 28 new lockers.

We reproduce below a report (in part) from John Ellery Vic T&S Branch:

    Much debate has been occurring in some areas of the possibility by the employer to make application to the FWC to "terminate" our current EBA. The result of a "termination", if it was to take effect, would mean a reversion to the Telstra "Modern Award". The award is available on the FWC web site - just google "Telstra Award 2015". An article relating to the most recent decision on an attempt to terminate an EBA appeared in Friday 6 September Age newspaper. ExxonMobil subsidiary Esso had sought to axe the long standing EBA which had expired in 2011. This dispute, known as the Esso Longford dispute, had involved, amongst other things, 5 years of disputation, including a long term picket at the Longford site. Ultimately, the FWC dismissed the Esso application, indicating that terminating the 2011 EBA would have undermined the Esso employees bargaining power too greatly, and the resulting unfairness to employees resulting from the weakening of the bargaining position weighed significantly in the Deputy President's conclusion.
    Quite a number of other decisions relating to terminations of EBA's have occurred over the last few years, but it would appear that there are only a handful of applications have been successful, mainly in the mining sector. There are a number of references to expired EBA termination, and judging by the commentary, particularly from legal firms such as Clayton Utz and even the Australian Industry Group put the EBA termination threat into context. In fact, the AIG article indicates that a unilateral decision to terminate an expired EBA faces a "high bar".
    So clearly, the ability of Telstra to terminate our current EBA should be seen in that context, and the situation of having a new EBA that contains the contentious cl 45 should be carefully considered in the current debate. We certainly are still protected by our current 2015 - 2018 EBA. Our initial EBA demand of a 3 year "roll over" of that probably should be reconsidered.

IT News reports that NBN Co is building a user-facing technical field force to work "predominantly inside the customer's premises". IT News said in part"
NBN Co is building a new nationwide field team of technicians and specialists to perform installation, repair and maintenance on cabling and customer premises equipment. It is hiring what it is calling "brand new positions" in all major capital cities. The roles include `customer field technician' and `customer field specialist'; both will be "speaking to our customers and be the face of our organisation," NBN Co said.
The work is expected to include copper, HFC and fibre installation "including jointing, jumpering and splicing" of cables; customer premises installation of NBN customer premises equipment (CPE); and fault diagnosis and repair of both.It is expected that the NBN field workforce will work between 7am and 7pm, though its makeup will be of both part-time and full-time staff.

BAI this week announced a mumber of developments of significance. We reproduce a number:
+ Signing both Ten and Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) as new customers with long term contracts
+ GRN Expansion
+ Reducing our power consumption by 10% through investment in new transmitters and solar initiatives
+ Laying the groundwork for our plan to build a strong telecommunications business alongside that of our broadcast business
+ Have offered all at risk techs opportunity to extend or redeploy
+ Ex Gratia $4k payment to all our EA employees to recognise their efforts
+ Parental Leave 14 weeks paid & up to 2 years unpaid

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 Tuesday 17 Sep 7.15pm to 8.00 pm. Meeting ID is 315239789
+ 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/315239789

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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