CWU T&S WEEKLY BULLETIN NO 2021 /
03 October 2021
UNION SHOPPER - YOU ARE A MEMBER
The ACTU is endorsing Union Shopper as their preferred member benefits program. Union Shopper has grown exponentially over the last few years and our brand has become synonymous within the union movement. A major attraction of the service, cited by the ACTU, is our ongoing core values and objectives. We remain 100% union-owned run solely to benefit members.
To celebrate the announcement of this endorsement by the ACTU, we will shortly be making a special offer for union members. Members of unions that are affiliated with Union Shopper will enjoy a 10% discount on Coles and Woolworths gift cards, purchased through the Union Shopper website. See Union Shopper for more www.unionshopper.com.au or contact
SEC SHIFT CHANGES - TELSTRA WANTS MAX DELAY
We asked Telstra to expedite this dispute to the FWC (See last weeks Bulletin) - Telstra says no way - Telstra wants maximum delay. Their response below. We will need to take the long path. It says a lot about "genuine" consultation. They refused to listen!
As you are aware Telstra consulted on the changes to SEC shiftwork as per Section 6 Clause 23.4 of the Telstra EA. Consultation was extensive, it was open for a period of two months, and we met with employees and the unions in regards to this change on numerous occasions. Feedback received during consultation has been genuinely considered and responded to. Additionally, following the close of consultation, Jason has further committed to continuing to collaborate with his teams over the next few months towards the most suitable rosters for all parties.
You say you are raising a dispute, however the basis for the dispute is not clear. In our view, Telstra has met our obligations under the Telstra EA and relevant Telstra Policy.
You go onto request that you wish to bypass Step 1 and Step 2 of the dispute resolution process (Clause 25 of the Telstra EA), as you believe these steps will be a `waste of time' and `seen by staff as petty' (amongst other things). Telstra takes this process and it's respective steps under the Telstra EA seriously. Steps 1 and 2 of the process are critical in facilitating discussion between Telstra leaders and employees. We are obligated to consider the individual circumstances, preferences and concerns when resolving a dispute. It therefore follows that in order to work through an employee's concerns we need to know which employee(s) are raising the dispute, and what specifically the dispute is about.
Telstra does not agree to waiving these initial steps and requires this dispute to be formally raised as per Step 1 of the dispute resolution process outlined in the Telstra EA. This will enable us to understand the nature of the dispute raised and attempt to resolve it as effectively as possible.
If an employee wishes to raise a dispute and you wish to assist this employee(s) we will be more than willing to address the issues when raised
TELSTRA FORCED LEAVE - QUOTE NOT DISCLOSED TO HR
We asked HR:.
Is it denied that the words below were sent out to some staff?
"3 staff have RDOs that will need to be moved to accommodate the AL/TD day off"
During my investigation of the matter I did not sight an email that contained this quote. Once again, if you (or your member) wish to forward me a copy of the email you have containing this quote (redacting names if you wish), or tell me who it was sent by, and when they sent it, then I can investigate further.
TELSTRA FORCED LEAVE - 1 OCT - HR WANT RAMBO MANAGERS OUTED!
The following email was sent to managers/Team Leaders. Did your manager/team leader do a Rambo and defy HR?
Subject: Friday 1st October: Team,
Just to be clear on any potential confusion around the leave day offer for Friday 1st October - this is purely a take one get one free offer, it is not a mandatory leave day. There is no monitoring or enforcement of this, it is absolutely a personal choice to take up this generous offer from the business. Can you please ensure that this messaging is cascaded to your teams.
TELSTRA FORCED LEAVE - 1 OCT - RESPONSE
The Telstra response to our email (See last weeks bulletin):
Sorry for the delay in replying. We have attempted to retrieve the email with the quote you have supplied below, but there is no evidence of it. If you would like to provide a copy of the email, with names redacted, I can revisit the advice below.
Notwithstanding the above statement I have investigated the two claims you made and sighted related emails:
(a) using "naming and shaming" techniques to coerce staff to take ARL - there has been no "naming and shaming" emails sent by Mr Leclair. The messages that I have sighted are from a peer in the team and is in line with a straightforward communication of roster arrangements. The email highlighted those that have not taken up the opportunity for an additional day offer, as a reminder. I have been advised that the discussion with the team has been positive, with the reference to RDO's included so our employees could consider the opportunity to get an extra day (e.g. potentially construct a 5 day weekend for themselves by moving their RDO's). To reiterate, while there was encouragement to make the most of Telstra's offer, there was no evidence of mandating a change to RDO's.
(b) by mandating that leave must be taken on 1 Oct 2021 - there is no evidence of 1st October leave offer ever being mandated. Once again during team discussions there was encouragement to make the most of the initiative, there was no evidence of coercion or enforcement. As a follow-up action, and to avoid any confusion, Wayne Lee has forwarded a message to be cascaded to all staff reinforcing our messaging around this offer being voluntary.
TELSTRA BRANDED RETAIL STORES
We received the following advice from Telstra:
In February this year, we announced our intention to transition all Telstra Branded Retail Stores to a direct ownership model. We are well progressed on the transition of our independent licensee stores, with 40 stores already transitioned and the remaining stores expected to transition by July 2022.
Today we are pleased to confirm that Telstra and Vita Group after a 26 year partnership, have now entered into an agreement for Telstra to acquire Vita's Retail ICT (inclusive of the North Queensland TBTC) and Sprout business. This is subject to Vita Group shareholder approval, as announced by Vita Group to the ASX today.
If approved by Vita Group shareholders, we anticipate the transition to occur in early November 2021. Transition will see all Vita store and contact centre teams, the North Queensland TBTC, field leadership team, the Retail ICT support team, and the Sprout team continue their employment with Vita People as part of Telstra, under their existing terms and conditions initially.
We are focused on ensuring a successful transition and are looking forward to welcoming the Vita People team to Telstra and creating a new future together.
FURTHER UNDERPAYMENTS IDENTIFIED AT OPTUS
In March we wrote to members about underpaid superannuation benefits to thousands of current and former Optus employees. We have learned of further underpayments when reviewing Optus' compliance with the Retail EBA - affecting payments made between 1 January 2014 and 17 March 2020.
All current and former employees covered by the Agreement during this period were included in the review, which found an average underpayment amount of $757.02, excluding interest and superannuation, which will be paid in addition.
Optus will be communicating with affected employees, former and current, detailing the error and will make rectification payments on or around 1 October 2021 for current employees and December for former employees.
Following the last round of payment anomalies, Optus established a dedicated contact centre to assist affected current and former employees to understand the underpayments and make arrangements to alter payment details. This facility will be again made available to those affected by this discovery.
If you believe you have been underpaid at Optus, please contact us asap.
CASUAL WORKERS LOSE RIGHTS - MORRISON GOVERNMENT
The Fair Work Commission has implemented the Morrison Government's changes to casual employment outlined in the IR Omnibus Bill leaving many casual workers worse off. One of the key changes was a new definition of casual employment which placed higher emphasis on contracts signed at the commencement of employment. This would give employers much greater power to simply deem workers `casual' even if they have regular hours and rosters or other indicators that would, by any reasonable definition, constitute a permanent worker.
Authorised by Dan Dwyer Branch Secretary
CWU Telecommunications & Services Branch, Sydney City, NSW.