24 October 2021


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Once again we have had to demand action by Optus to stop their unlawful practice. Please let us know asap if you have been pressed to take leave.
Our letter stated in part:

    I refer to the earlier dispute re Optus forcing staff to take leave. The threats are continuing.
    In one recent instance the manager advised staff that if they do not meet "their KPI of 8 days and under for annual leave count by March 2022" then they will "receive an automatic PDR 4"
    In another recent instance, Optus "HR Central" advised staff that the manager will be provided with "a report highlighting those (staff) with high leave balances" and that the manager will be asked to "present your plan to reduce high leave levels within your team".
    In another direction, staff have been told that if they are not taking leave for the Xmas period, then they would "need approval from Director level justifying" their refusal.
    We have discussed this matter before and the matter has been to the FWC for resolution. In these circumstances, we require the following undertaking within 7 days:
    1. That a memo be sent to all Optus staff advising:
    (a) That Optus cannot direct staff to take any annual leave.
    (b) That Optus must not threaten staff with disciplinary action or KPI reductions if they do not take annual leave.
    (c) That Optus does not have a KPI or target amount of leave to be reached in March each year.
    (d) That Optus faces penalties if it were found to have directed and/or threatened staff over the taking of annual leave.
    (e) That if any staff member has booked leave because of a direction or threat, then the staff member is free to cancel that leave.
    2. That Optus apologise to staff for the situations where staff have been threatened if they did not book leave and/or directed to book leave.
    3. That any staff member who has taken leave at the direction of Optus be re-credited with that leave.
    4. That Optus confirm that all staff have been advised in accordance with the above.
    Should the undertaken not be given, we will take whatever action is necessary to protect members' rights.


Following our rejection of the last offer, we received the response below. The offer overall does not improve the situation.

    As shared during our discussions to date, as a business we cannot commit to conditions that are going to further risk jobs being lost. Unfortunately the proposal you recently put forward would do exactly that. Instead, what we would be willing to agree to is the following: 3 year term (instead of 4 years), 1.5% upfront increase for all (instead of 2.5%) and all other conditions are as outlined (earlier).


We to Telstra wrote seeking better privacy as they store Covid Certificates on the widely accessible Workday platform. Their response avoided the question: We have found that Workday has information that appears to be available to any staff member or contractor with Telstra access.

    We have introduced this policy because Telstra has an obligation to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our people (and customers who come into contact with our people). Vaccination is one of the most effective ways of preventing serious illness arising from COVID-19. Therefore, our position is that vaccination is the best approach to managing risks and that it is required for roles where there is regular contact with customers or other employees.
    In developing our policy all relevant legal obligations have been considered, including our obligations with respect to privacy. As the policy outlines, proof of vaccination is required for certain employees to perform their role for both reasons of safety, and in accordance with State health directives (e.g in Victoria and New South Wales, the collection/storage of this information helps to ensure compliance with these orders).
    We have and will, of course, protect and maintain any personal medical data in accordance with the Privacy Act and our employee privacy statement.


We wrote to Telstra 1-up managers seeking to start the dispute resolution process. Our letter said (in part):

    . I have been authorised by our members to seek a meeting as soon as possible to discuss the dispute. We realise that there have been meetings over many weeks to discuss the shift changes without result. We need to move through step 1 to comply with the Dispute Resolution Procedure.
    We repeat our position:
  • The proposed changes to the existing arrangement are fundamental and substantial, and cannot be treated as minor amendments.
  • The staff involved in the existing arrangement were not "engaged" as shift workers and are not shiftworkers.
  • Staff not engaged as shift workers can opt into and opt out of shiftwork.
  • The existing arrangement arose under the 1990 agreement and is grandfathered by the terms of the current enterprise agreement.
  • The existing arrangement was an agreement and cannot be unilaterally varied, only terminated and a new arrangement agreed.
  • That extended shifts, if proposed, must be accompanied by a flexibility agreement.
    As discusses on previous occasions, our members are seeking that the current roster arrangements continue.


Telstra responded with the predictable suggestion (insisting that they were taking it seriously)-

    . could you please ask your member(s) to raise their specific disputes with me directly, and I would be more than happy to work to a resolution

We responded -

    . It is not appropriate that each staff member have a chat with you about a matter initiated by management and already extensively negotiated with much higher level managers including the national HR. We outlined some of the issues that need to be resolved and our interpretation conflicts with the HR interpretation of the EBA. Nevertheless, we propose a meeting to discuss the matters. We represent the 18 members (named). We will invite all those members available to attend the meeting with you.

Telstra responded

    . we believe that having a meeting with all 18 employees at once will not be effective allowing us to address all 18 employee's individual issues. we propose 4 meetings next week for each team.

We could challenge this in FWC but it will be quicker to play their game. We will meet next week.


  • Transferring to Telstra subsidiaries
  • Forced ARL Fact Sheet
  • Forced LSL Fact Sheet
  • Telstra EBA Notes
  • 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.


    Fact Sheets


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