CWU T&S WEEKLY BULLETIN NO 2020 /
12 APR 2020
GOVERNMENT WAGE SUBSIDIES - ACTU
The Australian union movement is pleased to see that the Australian government has heard the voices of millions of workers and we hope to work with them to make the program even better. We also want to see workers who have been let go re-employed. A wage subsidy program needs to have safeguards to ensure people are kept in employment and that any taxpayer money flows to the workers. The government has made clear that this is a wage subsidy and not a wage replacement program and we would expect to see people maintain their wage levels during this program. Three weeks ago, the Morrison Government wouldn't even consider the notion of a wage subsidy. They dismissed any suggestion of it. But we didn't take no for an answer.
TELSTRA DIRECTION TO TAKE LEAVE
We asked Telstra to confirm that Telstra does not have the right to direct staff to take leave (apart from excess leave and shut down situations). Their response is below. On our reading they confirm our view. However Telstra does appeal to you take leave to help Telstra.
Telstra has been upfront with our employees that we need to take reasonable steps to manage our costs and reduce unnecessary demand on our services during these challenging times. A practical response to these challenges is the expectation that all permanent employees take 2 weeks leave between now and September (and all people will accrue 2 weeks between now and then). As you know most employees will take a week's leave over the Easter period (where it makes sense) and we then expect that employees will take an additional week's leave before the end of September. For those employees needing to work through the Easter shut down the expectation remains that they will also take 2 weeks before September. Importantly this period through to September also covers the same period in which, unlike almost all other employers, Telstra is guaranteeing to keep our permanent workforce in their jobs - this is a significant commitment for any organisation to make to their employees at this time. This was also discussed with, and fully supported by the CEPU. I encourage you to speak with your national leadership to confirm their ongoing support for this initiative.
Note: It was not discussed with our Branch. Nor have we seen any CEPU National Executive decision to that effect.
TELSTRA DIRECTED TO USE LSL?
Telstra responded as follows: Use of LSL - If an employee is eligible to take Long Service Leave, as per the LSL Policy, they may take LSL instead of Annual Leave during all or part of the Easter Break Shutdown period or to fulfil the expectation of 2 weeks leave up to September, however they will not be directed to do so. That being said if they have over 90 days LSL they may be directed to take it in line with Policy.
TELSTRA - 10, 9, 8 OR 6 DAYS LEAVE
Telstra clarified as follows:
8/9 day fortnight and 12 hour shift:
I acknowledge that we need to be clear on this point so I will be updating the company FAQ's shortly to reflect that:
- 9 day fortnight employees will only need to take 9 days leave over the 2 weeks between now and September.
- 12 hour shift workers will only need to take 6 days leave over the 2 weeks between now and September.
IT WAS A BLUFF - NO NEED TO ENTER LEAVE BY 10 APR
Telstra responded to our question as follow - it was all a misunderstanding! They said:
The communication that all leave needs to be entered in by (10 April). I understand this this was a misunderstanding and the request was for team leaders to discuss with employees their leave plans by yesterday. If you do get any further concerns please reach out to me with details and I can follow up with individual team leaders.
WORKING FROM HOME TAX CONCESSIONS
The Australian Taxation Office announced special arrangements this year due to COVID-19 to make it easier for people to claim deductions for working from home. The new arrangement will allow people to claim a rate of 80 cents per hour for all their running expenses, rather than needing to calculate costs for specific running expenses. See the ATO site for
POST SPF - OVERTIME
The dispute was conciliated last Thursday. The outcome was as follows:
Overtime Scheme - The FWC recommended that the locl working group meet as soon as possible to discuss the issues.
Shift Swaps - Post agreed to abide by the agreement reached some weeks ago and intermediate managers will be reminded of the agreement.
Future - the FWC will reconvene if the matters cannot be resolved.
You may soon be asking about your superannuation. The share market has taken a big hit, affecting super funds significantly. What does it mean for us? The answer depends on your super arrangements. First you can be assured that the funds have ample cash to pay members. Secondly defined benefit fund members will still get their defined benefit - no change. Those with accumulation funds have been hit (falling and rising wildly), but unless you need to cash out now, history tells us that the funds will grow again. We will expand on this in future bulletins. (Note: We do not give financial advice)
VIP - CONTACTING US - NEW PHONE NUMBER
Please note the following changes as we simplify our phone numbers
0428 942 878
Dan Dwyer Secretary/Lawyer - for industrial matters & advice
0447 365 443
Administrative eg payments, applications, change of details
Authorised by Dan Dwyer Branch Secretary
CWU Telecommunications & Services Branch, Sydney City, NSW.