08 Feb 2021

The FWC conciliated the dispute last week. The FWC provided clarification of the rights of members and the powers of management. Given this we agreed to a final meeting with Post at a national level. It will be held within 2 weeks and if the matter is not settled, we will go immediately to mediation and arbitration.
We maintain our position with rules that clarify:

  • No reason is needed for a swap
  • It is wrong for a manager to ask you to justify a swap
  • Managers must act reasonably
    We are developing a new set of rules to reflect our position.

    Andy Penn announced another 1,425 jobs to go today. In a BAU fashion, the usual statements were made. The usual reply is that you do not grow the business by cutting staff! At least the T22 labelled cuts will end soon and we can then expect a new staff cutting label. We reproduce most his full statement below.

    Recap - when you move to a subsidiary, of Telstra, your employment ceases with Telstra. You become a new employee of the subsidiary. What happens to accumulated benefits and conditions? We will deal with these issues in several articles.

    There are several pathways to consider here so an understanding helps. Without transition paths, your move to a subsidiary involves two theoretical steps:

    • Termination of employment with Telstra: You are technically redundant. Telstra would need to pay you out in accordance with the redundancy agreement. You would be paid out your accrued annual leave and long service leave. You are unemployed.
    • Employment with the Subsidiary: After termination, you get a new job with a subsidiary. You are a new employee and so you have no annual leave, no LSL as you need to qualify again, no sick leave and so on. You have a new boss!
    The above will not occur as transition rules exist to give you some protections.

    There are several matters to be considered when moving to a subsidiary. The key matters to consider are:

    • The Fair Work Act contains provisions known as "Transfer of Business". These offer protections from unscrupulous employers. We will deal with each in following bulletins. We consider that the actions of Telstra fulfil the preconditions to attract these provisions. So we will not address the qualifying rules. Transfer of Business applies.
    • Your employment contract: Whenever you join a new employer, you always have an employment contract. This is normally in the form of a long letter setting out your employment conditions. This will be a critical document when you move to a subsidiary.
    • The Award and EBA applying to the new employer: The new employer may not have an EBA. These are your minimum conditions.
    • Clause 47 of the Telstra EBA: This is an interesting clause and may guide the future. It will only assist current Telstra employees under the EBA. The AWA and ITEA employees will soon be EBA employees.

    Just when we thought Super would not be an issue with subsidiaries, we have information that there might be a problem. A member asked about super and received the following response:

      Question: With the changes with "our legal structure". How does this affect the Superannuation of staff on Defined Benefits?
      Response from Fewster, Darren: We will work closely with Telstra Super to ensure ongoing access to Defined Benefits (DB) Superannuation. We have also set this out in the Telstra EA in terms of an offer to work with a subsidiary. If we cannot ensure you have ongoing DB membership, then you would be able to decline an offer to move to work with a subsidiary and instead be retrenched and receive redundancy benefits as set out in the EA. However, I am confident we will work this out with Telstra Super.

    This appears to say that if you do not accept whatever is offered, Telstra will make you redundant. Sadly, some would say "Good". We will follow up.

    The EBA defines Workstream Employees as follows

      You are a Job Family Employee if you are not a Workstream Employee.
      You are a Workstream Employee if:
      • ...
      • you terminate an AWA or ITEA which had expired prior to 24 September 2010, you did not work in a retail outlet at that date and you elect to be a Workstream Employee; or
      • you terminate an AWA or ITEA which applied to you, you perform work which would fall under the Customer Field Workstream or Technical Workstream were you a Workstream Employee, and you elect to be a Workstream Employee.
      • ...

    Following a meeting with Telstra, we received more detail. Here are a number of extracts. The next significant development will be the issue of letters in mid-April.
    Breakdown of AWAs/ITEAs per Functional Unit

    Functional Unit	                   Approx. # per Functional Unit 
    Consumer and Small Business 	               500
    Global Business Services 	               650
    Networks and IT 	                      1200
    Product and Technology 	                        60
    Strategy and Finance 	                        70
    Sustainability, External Affairs and Legal 	20
    Telstra Enterprise 	                       550
    Telstra InfraCo 	                       400
    Transformation Communications and People 	60

    Employees eligible to move to Workstream - process for job mapping to Workstream
    For those employees eligible for a Workstream offer, we have set up a central project team for the purposes of correctly mapping all employees to their appropriate workstream and band.

    The workstream and band is determined by assessing the work an employee is required to perform and mapping this to Telstra's core job descriptions. To determine the correct core job description (and corresponding workstream and band), we will:

    • utilise Telstra's Career Framework and our current job profiles as a preliminary step;
    • draw on our existing understanding of these areas and the work performed by roles in these areas;
    • leverage the expertise of our remuneration team, who understand Telstra's job evaluation and classification system; and
    • engage business stakeholders, including senior leaders, functional design leads, and one-up managers of the affected employees, to assess day to day activities.
    Letters provided to employees mid-April
    The letters provided to employees in Mid-April will reference an overview of the terms and conditions of the Telstra EA. For some employees, these letters could also reference certain conditions under an employee's AWA or ITEA which Telstra is committing to recognise.
    Once the AWA or ITEA is terminated, the Telstra EA applies, and its terms and conditions are enforceable through that instrument. For those where the letter is also recognising certain AWA or ITEA conditions, the letter will make it clear that those terms will be in addition to any benefits under the EA and it will form part of an employee's future employment conditions at Telstra Corporation. These terms will be enforceable. This is no different to other instances where we provide employees certain additional benefits, for example paying for training/courses through our Study Assistance program. We note that if Telstra Corporation were to fail to comply with any terms in the letter, employees would also be able to rely on various legal claims (for example, the doctrine of estoppel) to seek to enforce the terms in the letter.

    Telstra advised further as follows:

      On the 18 January 2021 we notified you we would be consulting on issuing a tablet to our N&IT Construction field workforce teams who use Promise, Field Pro and associated applications (Apps). During consultation, we met with you (on Monday the 25th), as well as with those employees impacted by the proposal. Following consultation, we have now made a final decision to proceed with the changes. Please see below the rollout plan for when tablets will be distributed and the associated Go Live Dates.
    State Tablet Distribution Date Go Live
    QLD From 2 February 2021 17 February 2021
    NSW From 14 February 2021 17 February 2021
    ACT From 14 February 2021 17 February 2021
    All other States From 4 March 2021 8 March 2021

    These members are covered by our Branch and work shift and overtime. We can provide more details:
    Postal Technical Officer (PTO4) - Sydney Parcel Facility Chullora,
    Reference Code: 53656388 , Position Number: 00719368
    Work Type: Permanent - Full Time, Salary Range: $65,904 - $81,721
    Position Purpose: Under limited direction assist the Duty Technical Team Leader and Technical Support Officer to co-ordinate plan and conduct the maintenance activities associated with the Mail Processing Equipment working closely with the operational management to assist the achievement of mail services and production standards at Sydney Parcel Facility. This is an inline position working rotating /fixed shift or non-shift, which reports directly to the Duty Technical Team Leader. Shift Details: 24hours x 5 days (Monday though to Friday) Note: Day, afternoon and night shifts ( shift duration 8hours 10min), Sunday rostered overtime.
    Notes: This Position has approval for fixed term and casual applications. For vacancy enquiries, please contact Post on 0429 157 142. Closing Date: 12th Feb 2021

    Telstra finally twigs to collectivism, but not equity in pay
    Telstra are seeking to terminate all expired AWA/ITEAs at the FWC. In general, the union agrees with the notion because we disagree with individual contracts, where there is no bargaining power and prefer collective Agreements where employees are on the same conditions (generally speaking). Unfortunately in the early 2000's, Telstra created their own problem where employees were provided options to transfer to various workplace instruments. First were individual contracts such as AWAs and then ITEAs, and Non Union collective agreements [ECA's], in addition to the Union negotiated Enterprise Agreement which has two pay classifications - Job family (2i 2ii, 3i, 3ii etc) and Workstream (CSSW,SW,CFW,TW and TFW).
    Job family was created to save Telstra money, as when you're on job family the pay increases are from a pay pool, whereas Workstream employees receive the annual increase of the Union negotiated pay increase in the EBA.
    Unfortunately this created a division with employees that we still have to live with, as some employees were enticed to sign individual contracts on the promise of better pay. Basically Telstra's intention was to de-unionise and destabilise collectivism.
    So now, Telstra have decided to terminate the individual contracts. This means your instrument of employment is the EBA. However, you will either be on Job family or Workstream.
    We suggest you:
    1. Check your contract (expired AWA/ITEA). We know most of them were a standard form of contract offered on a `take it or leave it' basis, and there was no negotiation, which was never the intent of so-called individual contracts, they were all the same. However some individuals had certain conditions written in to their contract such as unlimited sick leave or job search provision. Telstra are stating that if any individual raises their particular circumstance with them they will honour it. It is not yet determined how this will occur. They initially suggested a letter outlining the special conditions, however this is not binding or enforceable. (more on this later)
    2. Find out what your equivalent position is in Workstream and Job Family. Telstra will write to every impacted individual in April and notify them of their classification. There is nothing stopping you initiating this now and we encourage you to do so. To be eligible for Workstream after termination of AWA/ITEA, your contract must have expired before 24th Sep 2010; you did not work in a Retail outlet, and you perform work in Customer Field workforce (CFW) or Technical workforce (TW). Unfortunately many of you will not have a choice i.e. if your job falls into CSSW, TPW or SW. (See section 15 of Telstra Enterprise Agreement 2019-2021)
    By law, Telstra need to notify impacted employees of their intention to unilaterally terminate all remaining AWA's and ITEAs, however the process (termination) will take 90 days from the date of their Application. There will most likely be a Full Bench hearing. (Individual terminations by agreement are more expedient.) So, there is plenty of time to assess job classifications. It is important that you understand how this is arrived at and that there is a mechanism to appeal this classification if you disagree (more on this later).
    It is your right to object, appeal or be heard at Fair Work, however the process is largely administrative.
    There will be no change to years of service, redundancy and leave entitlements, and defined benefit superannuation.
    The current Enterprise Agreement expires this year on 30/9/21 and bargaining should commence 4 months prior. First priority should be to dissolve two rates of pay!

    A message from Andy Penn: proposed role reductions and updates on our Agile and operating model
    Team, as you all know, last year we put ourT22 job reductions on hold when COVID hit. We did this to give you as much certainty as we could during a very challenging time. We also said we would have to move ahead on these early this year as we continue to transform the company and complete our T22 journey. Today we are proposing up to 1,425 net role reductions.
    Adding today's proposals we expect to be more than 90 percent through our T22 commitment to reduce our overall workforce by 8,000 net roles by 30 June 2021 and have completed or nearly finished by the end of this calendar year.
    We will need to continue making organisational changes, which will likely include role reductions beyond T22 as our business changes - just as we did before T22. This is because the makeup of our workforce will continue to change as customer needs change, more go online and nbn volumes reduce further, and as we realise the benefits of our significant investments to digitise and simplify our business and how we work.
    We will also go ahead with closing our contact centre in Cebu in the Philippines today, which we announced in October as part of our plan to answer in-bound calls from consumer andreeze for permanent and contract roles until the end of this financial year. The only exceptions will be frontline customer-serving and specialised roles, which we have been unable to fill internally.
    Our plans for our Agile and company-wide operating model
    Today we are also proposing changes that will get us a lot closer to the goals we set for ourselves with Pillar 3 to greatly simplify how we are structured and how we work.This will see us shift more teams to full-scale Agile and start the design of our next cross-company chapters...
    By the end of 2021 our company-wide operating model will mean we can better plan, prioritise and allocate people and funding to our strategic priorities. This does not mean everyone will be working in a full-scale Agile team, but it does mean that by the end of the year we expect to have aligned every one to one of the following:
    1. A cross-company chapter area-made up of people from across the company with capabilities aligned to particular areas, such as software engineering or process design.They will be deployed to missions and non-agile work based on our company priorities set through the QBR process.
    2. A Centre of Expertise (COE)-made up of people with deep domain expertise who set standards and frameworks that teams operate in, such as our customer journey framework, as well as provide specialist advice, such asLegal or Employee Relations.
    3. An operational area-these include our contact centres, stores and field teams who look after volume-driven work and service existing products, solutions and services delivered to our internal and external customers.
    4. One of our adjacencies like Telstra InfraCo and Health.
    This is in no way related to our legal restructure. Our functional model and the accountabilities of our CEOLT will not change. All chaptersand COEs will serve cross-company, but will sit under a function. For example, our new WOW and Program Delivery chapter will sit in TC&P but serve across the business.
    Our company-wide operating model will improve our end-to-end planning so that we have a single view of all the work we have prioritised, the people needed to complete it and the funds available.quickly.This means everyone will be working on the things that contribute to delivering our strategy, you will have clarity on what you are accountable for, and resources to get the work done.
    It will also get rid of things you have told us get in our way - like duplication and siloed working - so we can all work together to get stuff done a lot faster for our customers - and in a way that is much simpler for us.
    Transforming a company of Telstra's size, legacy and complexity takes a huge effort. We have done a lot of the hard yards by moving to a functional model, getting around 11,000 people working in full-scale Agile teams and moving to a quarterly planning process so we focus on the most important work. This has been on a scale not seen before across the world.
    There is still a lot of heavy lifting to do this year to align our structure, ways of working and operating model. But at the same time we will also start to realise some of the benefits, and so too will our customers.


  • Transferring to Telstra subsidiaries
  • Terminating AWAs in 2021
  • Forced ARL Fact Sheet
  • Forced LSL Fact Sheet
  • Telstra EBA Notes
  • Telstra EBA19 Undertakings
  • Superannuation Fact Sheet
  • Optus EBA18
  • Post EBA9

  • 0428 942 878 dan.dwyer@cwunion.net Dan Dwyer
    Secretary/Lawyer - industrial matters & advice
  • 0447 365 433 reception@cwunion.net Administrative
    eg payments, applications, change of details
  • Authorised by Dan Dwyer Branch Secretary
    CWU Telecommunications & Services Branch, Sydney City, NSW.

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