CWU T&S WEEKLY BULLETIN NO 2021 /
9 May 2021
POST SPF - NO AGREEMENT REACHED
The feedback I received on the proposed overtime arrangements and shift swap arrangements were very clear. Members would not support the proposals unless other matters are resolved. The proposals cannot proceed without member support. The two bullying matters will continue and are to be considered again in the FWC this Thursday.
PAY RISES NEEDED - ACTU
Australia - a country where everyone gets a fair go. Except - if the big business lobbyists and bosses get their way - the 2.3 million working Australians who rely on the minimum wage or an Award wage.
Big business bosses have joined forces to try to PREVENT a wage increase for Australia's lowest paid workers in this year's Annual Wage Review. The union movement is standing up and fighting back against big business greed
The FWC sets the minimum wages each year after considering submissions from unions and business. We argued for an increase of 3.5% - or $26.38 per week - for a full-time minimum wage worker. Employer lobby groups are pushing for a wage freeze. We await a decision.
TELSTRA AWA TERMINATION
We received some complaints from members who have had their AWAs terminated. Some members have had a choice of Job Family and Workstream. Telstra has set out the pay offers available to these staff. We wrote to Telstra seeking explanations. Their response below.
TELSTRA RESPONSE - AWA TERMINATION
As you know, the Workstream and Job Family models have entirely different remuneration constructs.
The minimum fixed remuneration (FR) for each Workstream and band under the Workstream model is outlined in Appendix B of the Telstra Enterprise Agreement 2019-2021 (Telstra EA). It does not include an incentive component. In contrast, the Job Family model enables Telstra to consider market rates, each employee's individual performance, skillset and experience to determine an appropriate rate of pay for each member of the team - and to differentiate where it makes sense. It also provides Telstra will the ability to reward employees for strong performance through incentive arrangements.
The majority of employees who are part of the AWA/ITEA process were not entitled to a dual offer. Where they were, we provided offers that were:
+ in accordance with the Telstra EA, and
+ in accordance with how remuneration can be constructed under each work model.
I have provided responses to your questions below:
Question 1: The amounts offered in workstream are significantly less than then their current pay. How is this justified?
Employees entitled to a Workstream offer were provided the appropriate FR for their Workstream and band in accordance with Appendix B of the Telstra EA. Only a small number of employees had a Workstream minimum FR that was lower than their current FR under their AWA/ITEA.
Employees in this situation would have also received a Job Family offer which would have either maintained, or in some cases increased, their remuneration under their AWA/ITEA.
Question 2: Telstra offered a guarantee that staff would not be worse off after termination of the AWA. Does Telstra stand by that guarantee?
We have been clear with employees since announcement that an offer under the Workstream model may result in an increase or decrease to their current remuneration. This was also discussed with you and the rest of our unions in our initial meeting in January. I have attached the email we sent you, which included the FAQs available to employees which explicitly addressed this point (see question 24).
We maintain that employees are not disadvantaged overall, as employees eligible to receive a Workstream offer are also eligible to a Job Family offer. Under the Job Family model, their remuneration would be maintained (and in some cases increase).
Question 3: How can Telstra offer a lower salary to Workstream staff for the same job?
All Workstream employees receive the same FR if they are performing the same job, in accordance with Appendix B of the Telstra EA. Conversely, the Job Family model considers the market as well as an employee's skills, experience and performance when determining an appropriate rate of pay.
Question 4: Is this the deliberate Telstra policy?
It is the organisation's long held position that we want to remunerate and incentivise employees based on their performance (pay for performance), which is the construct under the Job Family model.
Where an employee received a dual offer, we have offered the Workstream minimum FR rate and also provided the employee with a competitive Job Family offer. However, only a small number of AWA/ITEA employees received a Job Family offer where the FR was higher than the Workstream minimum FR offer they were entitled to.
Question 5: Is this the action of managers failing to understand the EBA provisions and basic discriminatory action?
This process has been managed by a central project team with input from our COEs and the business. We strongly reject any claims that this process is discriminatory. Employees have been provided offers in accordance with the Telstra EA Job Family and Workstream models.
AUS POST EBA TALKS RESTART
The National office agreed to a wage freeze and alternative delivery arrangements last year
in return for some benefits mainly for Delivery Officers.
Alternative delivery is supposed to end on 30 June.
EBA talks recommence this week.
The national office of the union has decided that technical staff will NOT be represented at the EBA talks at all.
We say that technical staff are critical for the successful operations of Post
and need to be represented by technical and not operational representatives.
Further Post is having great difficulty recruiting quality technical staff because of wages do not reflect current market rates.
A number of members reacted and have nominated themselves as bargaining agents to try to get some justice for techs.
TRIPLE 000 - PRIVACY BREACH
Telstra are still evasive in their language when responding to our concerns. Their response stated:
Our investigations do not indicate that any employee information has been shared beyond that which has already been outlined in my previous response. In regards to this information being linked to a job advertisement, again this access is not specific to the job advertisement, the information is simply available to those that have access to internal employee directories (Microsoft Outlook and Workday).
The specific incident that was raised as a suspected privacy breach was investigated and resolved. The manager had set a single feedback instance to `public' when they had intended to make this private. Consequently the feedback was removed from public view and the issue was resolved. We can advise that this was the only change that the systems team made in relation to the matter, other than the addition of the notification alert box to assist in ensuring that those submitting feedback publicly have intended to do so. If staff are reporting they can no longer see the information, I suspect this was because they were referring to this particular feedback instance which has now been removed.
We take privacy matters very seriously and if anyone has an example where they are accessing personal information other than that which is intended by the system as outlined previously, we would ask that this be shared and we will certainly investigate further.
As we have not found evidence of a privacy breach, we do not intend to brief staff further than those who were affected by the individual feedback instance. However as we enter into the period of annual reviews, our corporate communications will remind users of how the Workday feedback functionality works.
BULLYING AND WORK HEALTH - ACTU
The ACTU has joined with mental health advocates and academics, releasing a joint statement calling on Minister Michaelia Cash and all Work Health and Safety Ministers to vote to support key reforms recommended in both the Boland Review of Model WHS Laws and the Respect@Work report on sexual harassment in the workplace at an upcoming meeting of state, territory and federal WHS ministers.
Both reports, commissioned by the Work Health and Safety Ministers and the Federal Government respectively, recommended the inclusion of a psychological hazard regulations in the Model Work and Health Safety Act. Such a regulation would require employers to treat hazards to mental health - such as stress, occupational violence and aggression as well as bullying and sexual harassment - in the same way as physical hazards in the workplace by identifying specific risks and addressing them.
Reforms to our WHS laws require two-thirds (6 out of 9) of WHS Ministers to agree to changes. It is likely that Minister Cash will be the deciding vote at the meeting which is scheduled to take place on the 20th of May and has the power to dramatically improve workplace health and safety laws in all Australian workplaces with regard to mental health.
"There should be no difference between the way an employer is required to address a hazard which might impact workers' mental health to that which impacts their physical health.
BIDEN TELLS THE WORLD - UNIONS BUILD STRONG COMMUNITIES
Times are pretty strange, right? Like when you hear an American President stand up on the floor of Congress and say the following, you know things have changed.
"Wall Street didn't build this country. The middle class built this country. And unions built the middle class. And that's why I'm calling on Congress to pass the Protecting the Right to Organise Act and send it to my desk to support the right to unionise."
These are the words of President Joe Biden reversing decades of hostility, indifference and neglect of America's working people, and telling the world what we already know - unions improve the lives of workers, their families and communities.
On the Jobspoke with ACTU Secretary Sally McManus who was delighted to hear President Biden giving voice to the urgent need to protect the rights of workers to organize, and the acknowledgement of the role of unions as a force for good in civil society.
"After a thirty-year project of attacking unions, the US under President Biden has done an about face. Attacking unions has led to massive inequality and a huge class of working poor," McManus said.
JOB VACANCIES - AUS POST
Technical Officer Gr 4 $65,904 - $81,721 - contact Post 0429 157 142 or call us for more information. Closes 14 May.
3 positions available. 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. May be required to travel to another facility.
Authorised by Dan Dwyer Branch Secretary
CWU Telecommunications & Services Branch, Sydney City, NSW.