CWU T&S WEEKLY BULLETIN NO 2020 /
26 APR 2020
TELSTRA SUPPORTS FLU SHOTS
Telstra advised that all employees who are unable to work from home as part of their role (e.g. those in a store or field team, as well as contact centre consultants who don't have the option to work from home) can contact their local pharmacy/chemist or GP and arrange to be vaccinated. The cost of the vaccination will be covered by Telstra.
HILLS REFUSES TO ALLOW WITHDRAWAL OF PAY CUTS
Some members at Hills who were rushed to agree to pay cuts have attempted to withdraw their consent to the pay cut. Hills refused stating that there must be agreement to restore their contracted rates - and Hills will not agree. However we intend to challenge the original "agreement" to cut pay by a minimum of 15%.
SUPERANNUATION - PART 3
There are many ways to describe superannuation funds. They fall into three main categories. By far the most popular is an "accumulation" fund. Some workers will belong to "defined benefit" funds. There is a smaller category of "pension" funds. The brief description of each is as follows:
Accumulation Benefit: Your benefit is a lump sum and the amount depends on contributions by you and the employer, and by the performance of the investments.
Defined Benefit: Your benefit is a lump sum and the amount is determined by a formula - usually based on final salary and years of service. - Fund performance does not affect your benefit.
Pension Benefit: Your benefit is a pension and the pension usually depends on your final salary and years of service. This is often complex. Some pensions are determined by a defined benefit.
Many members in Post and Telstra will be members of the company "defined benefits" funds. These are the Telstra Super Scheme (TSS) and the Australia Post Super Scheme (APSS). A small number of members will be members of the Commonwealth Super Scheme (CSS).
It is important to note that members who belong to these employer scheme will have membership of both the" defined benefits" scheme AND an "accumulation" scheme. (To be continued - Note: We do not give financial advice)
POST SPF OVERTIME TALKS
We are meeting this week to discuss the discredited new system of overtime allocation. Our survey had 16 replies which unanimously rejected the new system and supported the old system. The most obvious comment was that staff did not trust management. This comment succinctly summoned it up:
Old system easier to manage and it's transparent to everyone and cannot be manipulated.
AUS POST CHANGES DELIVERY
Post will reduce letter deliveries in metropolitan areas to just once every two days as part of a major service overhaul. The postal service is also set to retrain 2,000 motorbike posties in a bid to combat unprecedented delivery demand during the coronavirus crisis. Priority letters will be scrapped and letter delivery reduced to once every two days in metro areas.
Australia Post says existing delivery standards will remain in rural and remote locations. Priority letters will be scrapped and letter delivery reduced to once every two days in metro areas.
The postal service says volumes have almost doubled in the past 4 weeks as more and more Australians shop online as they self-isolate. Passenger plane routes being slashed amid the pandemic has also decimated Australia Post's air freight capacity.
CEO Christine Holgate says most of the 1.8 million parcels being sent each day are too large to be delivered by traditional means.
"To action the changes announced today we will retrain up to 2,000 motorbike posties to process or deliver parcels in vans," Holgate said. "This will enable posties to carry more and relieve some of the significant pressure on our parcel delivery drivers, who have been swamped with huge volumes. It will also enable parcels to be delivered every operational day across the country."
ACTU - COVID OHS RESEARCH
Polling reveals that one in five workers are reporting that they do not have appropriate social distancing protocols in the workplace. Like with our public health measures it is important that our OHS measures apply the highest, and most effective, set of controls to ensure workers' exposure to COVID-19 is reduced to the lowest level possible. This `hierarchy of controls' ensures that businesses apply a range of measures that are practical for their work with a particular focus on measures such as physical distancing.
The public health measures currently in force around Australia ensure that the public maintain appropriate physical distancing, however, this is not the case for many workplaces, where workers are expected to work in close proximity with each other. In many of these workplaces it is possible, and indeed practical, for better physical distancing to be applied.
These results suggest many Australian's are being placed at risk of contracting Covid-19 in the course of their work and that many workplaces, without direction to apply the hierarchy of control, have not adequately addressed the risk of Covid-19. Social distancing, PPE and proper cleaning are essential measures to keep working people safe and healthy during this crisis, but many workers, and especially those in insecure work, do not have the support they need.
In addition, 43 per cent of Australian workers who need Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to keep them safe from COVID-19 in their workplace do not have it according to the research conducted for the ACTU.
ACTU Asst Secretary Liam O'Brien:
"Employers always have a responsibility to provide safe work for working people and applying the most effective controls possible to prevent workers contracting COVID-19. This crisis is again highlighting gaps in the workplace safety arrangements in many businesses.
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.