CWU T&S WEEKLY BULLETIN NO 2020 /
15 Nov 2020
This week we heard of a proposal that was almost decades in discussion - Telstra will be broken up into 4 entities. At the top is a small legal structure described as the Telstra Group. This entity will own 3 subsidiaries. They are described as:
Telstra Group will sit over 3 subsidiaries: InfraCo Fixed, InfraCo Towers and ServiceCo
These have been described in several documents released by Telstra so we need not repeat them. Telstra has also explained the effect of clause 47 in the EBA.
Telstra agreed with me when I asked them - Will the "vast majority" of staff move to a subsidiary next year?
TELSTRA - THE CONSPIRACY THEORY
So far Telstra is claiming that it is early days and that they do not know much more. I asked several questions re the EBA position in each of the 4 legal entities. For example:
- our current EBA may continue with Telstra Group - which will not have any staff covered by the EBA?
- our current EBA may not cover any subsidiary where current staff will go?
- new subsidiaries will have new EBAs with lesser conditions for new staff
- the safety net Award may not be the Telstra Enterprise Award.
Despite their expensive legal advisors, Telstra suggested that these might be conspiracy theories. Maybe I have been too consumed with Trump junk!
TELSTRA - YOU NEVER NEEDED A UNION MORE
The uncertainty ahead will require strong action by us to ensure that we do not have a two tiered workforce. Your protection is best protected a new EBA's covering subsidiaries that contain your existing conditions. Clause 47 has a role but that EBA will cease to apply at some stage.
Assuming that clause 47 is effective and will continue to apply, how will it be enforced? What will happen to new staff? We are talking about redundancy, weekly hours, personal leave, public holidays, etc.
This will be a serious challenge. We need bargaining power. Now is the time to talk to your colleagues about membership and SIGN THEM UP.
KENT ST EXCHANGE
We have written to Telstra seeking action to clean the building. Our Letter stated
Members are complaining that no cleaning is occurring at the Kent St P1 exchange.
It is at a point where looks unsafe from an OHS point of view, and staff should not work there.
The last cleaning was 31 Oct. Issues are
- toilets, entry, floors, rubbish bins
- no COVID cleaning
Telstra responded as follows:
We are in the process of switching to a new service cleaning provider and there have been some issues with the transition. Our facilities team are working closely with the provider to close out and the P1 sites are a key priority.
We will follow up this week.
We have written to Post seeking resolution of the complaints about overtime allocation at SPF. Our letter stated (in part):
I am writing to follow up on our several conversations re overtime at SPF (Technical Staff).. The situation now is intolerable. The overtime offers and arbitrary decisions are making a mockery of the agreed principles of transparency.
Even more importantly, the mediated agreement continues to be breached. We are now considering returning to the Fair Work Commission as Post has appeared to have repudiated its commitment in the mediated agreement. We have an agreement established by mediation. The agreement states (inter alia):
4. Data on the actual overtime worked by each individual technician and team leader will be provided in a list which will be updated at least fortnightly and available to each team and to the JCC.
Members have been asking for the actual overtime data for some time. This has not been provided to the teams at any time - a clear breach of the agreement. Our inquiries reveal that this is the result a decision of (the manager), not team leaders. .Our members are raising many instances of interference in the allocation of overtime. The agreement reached in mediation deliberately inserted the provision of actual overtime hours as a transparency measure.
The goal expressed at the mediation was that overtime be evenly spread between all staff, so that any unscrupulous measures will be exposed. We urgently seek:
1. A copy of actual overtime worked each fortnight since implementation of the agreement.
2. An undertaking that actual overtime worked will be provided fortnightly in the future.
3. Verification from a team leader that the overtime figures are correct and derived from work brain.
4. A meeting within 2 weeks with yourself, the 4 team leaders and our branch of the union to discuss their understanding of the agreement.
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Our Branch represents employees in Telecom industry. You have direct access to the Branch Secretary (a lawyer and former tech) where you can obtain professional and confidential advice. Download a
Membership Application Form
Authorised by Dan Dwyer Branch Secretary
CWU Telecommunications & Services Branch, Sydney City, NSW.