10 NOV 2019

These are highlights only. Note that processing staff are going to 2 shift operations commencing 10.45am and 6.45pm next year. Post has put forward a number of proposals for technical staff:

  • There will be 3 fixed shifts (not rotation) starting at 5am (15%), 1pm (15%) and 9pm (30%)
  • There will be an unpaid meal break of 30 minutes extending each shift
  • The 5am shift will be maintenance only consisting 14 x PTO1 and 2 x PTO 1.
  • The 1pm and 9pm shift will be operations support consisting 7 x PTO 4 each.
  • One less Team Leader as only 3 teams now (PTO 6).
  • Sunday operations support role and overtime rosters for Sundays.
  • SGF to be allocated to SWLF.
    Issues to be considered by LWG (Garry, Elias, Devon):
  • All the above.
  • Selection of staff for fixed shifts.
  • Sunday overtime.
  • Spill of TL jobs.
  • Classification changes (upgrades?).
  • Shift Swaps
    The LWG will meet weekly and steering group (union and management) fortnightly.

    We will be contacting members shortly seeking further feedback. Given the strong feedback to date, we have written to Post as follows:

      We refer to the proposals now disclosed to staff at SGF. The feedback from members is very strong and before considering any implementation we need to resolve the following in the steering/LWG Committee:
    • Inclusion of an unpaid meal break - extending shifts by 30 minutes - is unprecedented and totally opposed.
    • While fixed shifts may suit some, the overall view is that it is counterproductive. For example, no one signed up to be forced to work permanent night shift.
    • Removal of SGF work from SPF is totally opposed. The reasons include
      • SGF work at SGF is seen as a short respite from the pressure at SPF
      • SPF staff are already fully competent to work an all types of machines
      • Restricting SPF staff to one machine delivers dead end jobs at SPF
      • No valid reasons have been provided by Post to support this significant change.
      We will elaborate more on our position at the next meeting.

    Optus has advised us as follows:

      Further to our recent notification letters regarding changes within Optus Networks and Digital Consumer (29 Oct) and Optus Business (31 Oct), I note that the number of affected roles appear to be overstated in your recent blog post of 3 Nov. In the post, the number of roles affected by the changes are stated as 92 + 98 + 61 (= 251). However, the correct number of affected roles are 98 (91 + 7) + 61 (= 159). Relevantly, there are 91 (not 92) roles affected in Networks, and 7 (not 98) roles affected within Digital Consumer. I acknowledge that this may have resulted from a typographical error in our letter of 29 October. In this regard, we will write separately to clarify that the number of affected roles by the changes notified on 29 October 2019 is 98 in total (91 in Networks, and 7 in Digital Consumer) as above.

    The direction to take leave should only occur under certain very limited restraints, and must be a reasonable direction. The EBA states:

      30.2 b) Telstra may direct you to take leave if it's reasonable to do so. Examples of when Telstra might do this include:
      ii) if you have accrued more than 6 weeks of annual leave (7 weeks for continuous shift workers)- though Telstra won't leave you with less than 4 weeks of accrued annual leave if Telstra does this (or 5 weeks if you are a continuous shift worker).

    Therefore a direction like this can be ignored:

      From the annual leave forecast report, it appears you will have more than 6 weeks leave by 30 June 2020. Can you book leave to reduce your balance by COB today.
  • Telstra cannot give you a direction UNTIL you have accrued more than 6 weeks.
  • Once triggered, and you receive a direction, you arrange for leave to be taken.
  • The EBA states that: your manager will act reasonably when trying to accommodate requests.
  • Telstra cannot direct you to apply for leave, only to take leave.

    This may be an alternative for some: The EBA states:
    30.3 Cashing out your annual leave: You can choose to cash out an amount(s) of annual leave so long as you still have at least 4 weeks of accrued annual leave left. You and Telstra must agree to this in writing each time. You will be paid the full amount that you would have been paid if you had taken that annual leave. You can find more details in the relevant Telstra policy.

    A number of members have complained about directions to take leave. The direction to take leave should only occur under certain very limited restraints, and must be a reasonable direction. If there are provisions to exempt employees from the direction - it is not a shutdown.
    Telstra's Executives are stating that Telstra want to reduce leave entitlements. That is not a valid reason to direct you to take your annual leave - especially if you haven't accrued more than 6 weeks. Leave is a right and the primary EBA clause says:

      30.2(a) You must agree with your manager when you will take annual leave. Your manager will act reasonably when trying to accommodate requests, having regard to Telstra's business requirements.
    Some of the obvious defects in the Telstra approach include
    + Notice - about 8 weeks' notice of a shutdown at Xmas, when holiday travel and accommodation is scarce, is insufficient.
    + Reason - Telstra's motive is to reduce leave of individual staff, not a shut down
    + RDO - Telstra cannot defer an RDO to force you to take an extra day of leave

    The EBA has the steps to follow. Contact us for any advice through this process. Advise us of your progress. Note that Telstra cannot implement the change while it is in dispute. Just work normally.
    28.4 Step 1 Talk to your manager about the issue in dispute as soon as you can and ask him/her to resolve it. Your manager must try to resolve the dispute within 5 working days of you first asking for it to be resolved.
    28.5 Step 2 If that doesn't resolve the dispute, ask your manager's manager (your 2-up manager) to resolve the dispute. You or your union/representative must do this within 5 working days (or such time as is reasonable in the individual circumstances) of your manager being unable to resolve the dispute. Your 2-up manager must try to resolve the dispute within 5 working days and may seek assistance from a more senior manager if required.
    28.6 Step 3 a) If the dispute still hasn't been resolved, ask the Director/Executive Director of HR for your Business Unit and the General Manager- Workplace Relations in HR to resolve the dispute. You or your union/representative must do this within 5 working days (or such time as is reasonable in the individual circumstances) of your 2-up manager being unable to resolve the dispute. HR must try to resolve the dispute within 5 working days.
    28.6 Step 3 b) While steps 1 to 3 are being followed:
    i) you must work normally; and
    ii) Telstra must not implement anything that is in dispute.

    (From the Bulletin of John Ellery/Sue Riley Vic T&S - John is a member of the negotiating committee)
    "Unions are going to take a leap of faith with us on this" Darren Fewster 9/10/19
    This isn't a "leap of faith", it's an unfettered attack on the working conditions of Telstra staff that must be resisted. The main item on the Telstra wish list - Transfer of business to a subsidiary - which was soundly rejected last year and then withdrawn because it was totally unacceptable, should have focussed the minds of all the negotiators, and the clause should have been put to bed; without compromise.
    There is never a time where disadvantaging the members of a Union, and of the wider Telstra staff, over certain issues is acceptable. No band aid solutions can ever resolve the underpinning issues that still remain.
    Today, at the bargaining meeting, the majority agreed to endorse a ballot on the Enterprise Agreement; subject to pending legal advice.
    As we see it, the proposed EBA is a step backwards for the following reasons:
    + The potential to dismember a once great, taxpayer owned Telco company into some subsidiaries with employment conditions that are likely to be pushed down over a period of time must be resisted on all fronts. Unions and employees should not be part of any agreement that facilitates this.
    + Redeployment to a subsidiary under the threat of no redundancy payout when your job in Telstra is somehow hived off to a subsidiary to suit the corporate agenda is not what Unions should be about.
    + The wage offer is totally unacceptable. 0.3% on top of the 1.5% and 2% next year. The existing bonus has been removed and there is no sign-on bonus.
    + Employees can be directed to use 9 days of their LSL entitlements that they have achieved from dedicated service to Telstra. This should not become the boss's ability to balance the books. It's your money, your entitlement, not theirs.
    + The short term nature of the EBA -2 years, (and we've been bargaining for over a year) means we are better off with no new deal and should remain on our current expired Agreement, particularly when the wage offer is so embarrassingly small.
    This proposal is not supported by the Victorian T&S, Victorian P&T, and NSW T&S Branches. The upcoming staff vote needs to clearly reject the proposal.

    The CEPU Executive met last week to adopt a position. Where are we?
    The pay rise is below the going rate - end is only a 0.3% increase from last month.
    Telstra cannot move you to a subsidiary under the current EBA - The new EBA allows Telstra to move you
    The union was going to fight the direction to take LSL - Now the EBA allows it
    The union has NOT yet received legal advice confirming that the protections are in fact enforceable.
    Without the legal advice 4 branches supported a ballot - 3 branches opposed the proposal.
    We can only say at this stage - Vote NO again!

    An extract from Yahoo News: The Finance Sector Union has started a petition to axe the Commonwealth Bank's controversial key performance indicator (KPI): to `reduce annual and long service leave'. Protesters stood outside CBA's Eveleigh offices Wednesday morning with posters stating "Our leave is not your KPI" in a bid to get signatures for the petition. The petition, which can be found on campaign platform Megaphone, is to remove the leave element from "all KPI dashboards," and to "halt any further plans to roll this performance measure out".
    See Megaphone

      "CBA have added a new KPI: to meet this KPI employees must reduce their annual and long service leave balances," the petition states. "Annual leave and long service leave are entitlements of employment, they're earned, and to link taking that leave to employee performance at the Bank is not appropriate or fair.
      We are marching towards 500 signatures on our petition! Support us, sign and share!

    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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