CWU T&S WEEKLY BULLETIN NO 2021 /
1 Apr 2021
OPTUS SUPERANNUATION - MAJOR UNDERPAYMENTS FOUND
Optus has advised as follows:
In September 2020, the initial review was conducted for the period from 1 Apr 2014 through to 31 Mar 2020 and consequently we had rectified the shortfalls that were identified for this period. Optus has now completed an extended review from May 1999 to 31 Dec 2020 and identified further shortfalls over this period. Optus has calculated the individual shortfalls and have made the payments directly to the Australian Tax Office in accordance with the requirements of the ATO. In turn, the ATO will process the payments into the individual superannuation funds and we anticipate they will contact affected employees over the coming months.
Starting this week, Optus will be communicating with affected employees (former and current) in a similar manner as previously set out in our correspondence dated 15 Sep 2020. Affected individuals will receive a letter from Optus confirming the shortfall and a specialised contact centre has been set up for them to be able to contact to assist with any enquiries they may have.
OPTUS SUPERANNUATION - NEED HELP?
Our Branch has significant knowledge in the area of Superannuation. We have dealt with Optus previously re superannuation and may be able to help members understand what Optus is doing to correct the situation. Note that both employees and contractors may be involved. Contact us by email or phone directly on the number below.
Optus has advised of a small number (18) of redundancies in IT, Enterprise and Retail Sales. If any member has a concern please contact us asap.
TELSTRA'S PROPOSED LEGAL CORPORATE RESTRUCTURE
InfraCo Fixed, which would own and operate Telstra's passive or physical infrastructure assets: the ducts, fibre, data centres, and exchanges that underpin Telstra's fixed telecommunications network. This will provide important optionality to create additional value from these assets in the future.
InfraCo Towers, which would own and operate Telstra's passive or physical mobile tower assets, which Telstra is looking to monetise given the strong demand and compelling valuations for this type of high-quality infrastructure.
ServeCo, which would continue to focus on creating innovative products and services, supporting customers and delivering the best possible customer experience. ServeCo would own the active parts of the network, including the radio access network and spectrum assets to ensure Telstra continues to maintain its industry leading mobile coverage and network superiority.
Telstra announced the next steps in its proposed legal restructure to enable it to better realise the value of its infrastructure assets, take advantage of potential monetisation opportunities and create additional value for shareholders.
The proposed legal structure within the Telstra Group, expected to be completed by December 2021, includes the following:
Telstra also intends to establish its international business under a separate subsidiary within the Telstra Group to keep that part of the business, including subsea cables, together as one entity. The international assets will be transferred to the new subsidiary over time, subject to relevant approvals and engagement with appropriate stakeholders.
The establishment of a new holding company for the Telstra Group.
The creation of separate subsidiaries including InfraCo Fixed (which will be the existing Telstra Corporation), InfraCo Towers, ServeCo and Telstra International, and transferring the relevant assets into InfraCo Towers and ServeCo.
It is proposed that the establishment of the new holding company and the transfer of the relevant assets into ServeCo be undertaken by way of schemes of arrangement, and Telstra intends to seek shareholder approval of these schemes at this year's AGM in October.
Following the restructure, Telstra shareholders will own shares in the new holding company on a like for like basis with no change to their ownership levels.
Today's announcement sets out the process to enable the legal restructure, including:
AUS POST - POSSIBLE MERGER BETWEEN APSS AND SUNSUPER
Aus Post Superannuation Scheme (APSS) members should shortly receive correspondence from the APSS Trustee regarding a detailed review they are embarking on, in an effort to explore a possible merger of the APSS with industry super fund Sunsuper.
For some time, the Trustee board has been exploring options to provide APSS members with improved services and protection of the defined benefit that employee members currently enjoy. As more members reach retirement age and benefits are drawn down, it is critical that the fund remains sustainable in the long term.
After canvassing many different scenarios, merging with a super fund as large and as healthy as Sunsuper is seen by the Trustee as the most appropriate way forward to ensure the fund can continue to meet its obligations well into the future, and offer improved service offerings, advice and options for members who can then progress to savings, rollover and pension accounts.
The Union is not fundamentally opposed to the review, nor a possible merger, so long as members receive access to an improved product that continues to maintain the benefits members currently enjoy - this includes the defined benefit formula and continuation of Aus Post's support and funding of the defined benefit, administration fees and death and total and permanent disablement cover.
APSS has published a set of FAQs on www.apss.com.au and have established a dedicated helpline on 1300 360 373.
SPF SHIFT SWAP
We had a further conciliation with the FWC last week. We are to meet with again with Post next week. No agreed position has been agreed. However talks will take place again once a related bullying matter has progressed.
POST BULLYING APPLICATIONS
These matters have been set down for a hearing in May. The FWC has issued directions to file documents etc before the Hearings. There will be further attempts to resolve matters.
IT'S UNBELIEVABLE - SAYS ACTU
Scott Morrison has continued to promote big business lawyers and former Liberal MPs to the independent umpire the Fair Work Commission. Last week, we learned that former Liberal MP and corporate media manager Sophie Mirabella was appointed to the Fair Work Commission to be one of the umpires. You may remember Mirabella when she described John Howard's WorkChoices as `big but fair' and `significant and necessary'.
Now she has been hand-picked by the Morrison Government for the vitally important body which makes decisions every day about the pay and conditions of Australian workers.
This shows why workers need strong unions.
Sign the petition
We met with Mirait to respond to their proposals. Our response covered 11 areas. See the Mirait proposals to understand these brief comments. They will responsed within 2 weeks. The issues were:
1. Pay increases optional - want guaranteed increases for award rates and above award rates
2. Pay increases - ratchet clause to prevent reduction
3. Restore old CPI clause
4. Change in hours - seek a 9 day fortnight or 19 day month
- 9 day fortnight means 30 mins more each day
- 19 day month means working current hours
5. Clause 17(d) - reject - far too sweeping
6. Clause 17(e) - must be with pay - only investigation and no evidence at that stage
7. Clause 18(c) - reject - far too sweeping
8. Cl 21.1(d) - Mirait must take into account preferences of employee
9. TA Regional seek $200
10. Meal Allowance during O/T - eg every 4 hours
11. Need for method of adjustment of allowances
Authorised by Dan Dwyer Branch Secretary
CWU Telecommunications & Services Branch, Sydney City, NSW.