18 JAN 2020

Welcome back to our weekly bulletin. 2020 promises to be an eventful year in telecommunications as NBN settles in and Telstra undertakes what is expected to be a major increase in subsidiaries. Even Post is undertaking significant changes. Our union, while also changing, is here to assist with issues as they arise.

Our Branch notified a dispute to the Fair Work Commission prior to Xmas. Conciliation of the matter was listed for Thursday 15 Jan. Our delegates at SPF, Gary Newbery and Paul Sherley attended with us. In our notification we raised the matters listed below. At the conciliation we presented our issues. Following discussions, it was agreed that we meet with Post on Friday to discuss the matters further. If in the end the matters cannot be resolved, we can then ask the FWC to relist the matter for further conciliation.

The matters outlined in our dispute notice are:
1. New staffing Direction - (employing staff with only mechanical skills)
2. Deliberate Overstaffing (bringing 6 new staff effectively if SGF is removed from SPF)
3. Fixed Shifts
4. Meal Breaks
5. Start Times
6. Shift Swaps
7. SGF Work
8. Remuneration and Overtime
9. OHS Issues
10. Team Leader Redundancy
11. Classifications (no recognition of equivalent qualifications)

We met with Post on Friday to discuss the issues and hear any proposals from Post. The discussions appeared to indicate significant progress. It appeared that fixed shifts will not be pursued. The discussion suggested 4 shifts, 1 fixed and 3 rotating. The rotation suggested was 4 weeks. There would be 4 team leaders. The rotating shifts would start at 5am, 1pm and 9pm. Meal breaks will be paid. Shift swaps would be facilitated. Each shift would have 7 x PTO4. The fixed maintenance shift would have 4 mechanical and 3 multi skilled staff. The rotating staff would have 1 mechanical and 6 multi-skilled staff. Each shift would receive a 15% penalty and the night shift a 30% penalty.

NO AGREEMENT WAS REACHED but we can see some "tweaks" may resolve issues.

The MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE is SGF and more importantly (and relevant to FWC proceedings) is the income reductions caused by the loss of SGF and by reduced overtime shifts at SPF. A number of mitigation proposals were discussed.. Again NO AGREEMENT was reached. Mitigation included discussion of keeping at least the overtime work at SGF.

Post has written to us as set out below. We need to digest the information and particularly the issue of mitigation. The letter below is the Post position and is not an agreement on any matter. We will consult you this week to determine our response. The mitigation of income loss appears far below what is fair.

Further to our meeting today and the recent FWC conciliation conference regarding the SPF Technical shift alignment, listed below is the approach we discussed to progress this matter for implementation 10 February 2020;

  • There will be three operational/maintenance teams that will rotate between 5am, 1pm and 9pm. Each team will have seven PTO4s which includes one mechanical technician. These shifts will rotate every 4 weeks.
  • There will be a fixed maintenance shift that will commence at 5am and will have seven PTO4s which includes three mechanical technicians. An EOI will be distributed to all PTO4s at SPF to enable staff interested in the fixed morning maintenance shift to express an interest in that shift. The selection process will be qualifications for roles required ie. electrical and mechanical technicians followed by seniority.
  • Each rostered shift will have a 30-minute paid meal break.
  • Sunday shifts will be overtime shifts and will be as follows; Morning shift (7:00am - 3:10pm) 4 x PTO4 from Day shift. Afternoon shift (3:00pm - 11:10pm) 4 x PTO4 from Afternoon/Night shift.
  • The shift swap process will be as follows;
      Requests within team
    • Organised amongst team members and team leader to be advised.
      Requests for Short Term swaps outside team (1 -2 days)
    • Any such request should be at least 1 week in advance were practicable.
    • Employees must make the request by email to their Facility Technical Manger including reasons.
    • It is expected that such leave requests will be approved unless there are any substantial operational reasons.
    • Facility Technical Manager will respond within 24 hours.
      Requests for Long Term swaps
    • Request to be in writing on a Workplace Flexibility form to the Facility Technical Manager.
    • Requests should be at least 2 weeks in advance.
    • Were a request is not approved the employee will be advised in writing including the reasons why.
    • Where a request is refused there will be an ability to escalate to the Facility Operations Manager, the employee can be represented by the union with these discussions.
  • SPF staff will be provided with the opportunity to perform the Sunday SGF work on overtime for a period of 3 months, there will initially be 2 technicians required on each shift whilst we further discuss our intention to reduce this requirement to 1 Technician on each shift.
We are intending to implement the new rosters from 10 February 2020, please provide me with any comments on the above by 24 January 2020.

As advised at our meeting we will be briefing staff early next week on the above and the union is welcome to participate in these briefing sessions. If you would like to discuss the above further please do not hesitate to contact me.

We have written to the SWLF manager seeking a meeting to discuss issues re starting and finishing times. We will advise further,

There have been changes to retirement age arrangements. An amendment to the SRC Act aligns the cessation of incapacity payments under the SRC Act with the pension age, as defined in the Social Security Act 1991. From 1 July 2017, eligibility for incapacity payments will extend up to the pension age in force at the time. This is in line with the progressive increase in the pension age under the Social Security Act between 1 July 2017 and 1 July 2023.

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 365 443 reception@cwunion.net Administrative eg payments, applications, change of details

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


Bulletin 50

Bulletin 49

Bulletin 48

Bulletin 47

Bulletin 46

Bulletin 45

Bulletin 44

Bulletin 43

Bulletin 42

Bulletin 41

Bulletin 40

Bulletin 39

Bulletin 38

Bulletin 37

Bulletin 36

Bulletin 35

Bulletin 34

Bulletin 33

Bulletin 32

Bulletin 31

Bulletin 30