Weekly Bulletin


Number 1       16 January 2022

Welcome back to the fight. There is a lot in this year so we will appreciate your support again. Here is the news:


This matter is set down for a 4 day hearing commencing 1 March. We have 20 witnesses and are preparing to file our case this week. Telstra is also expected to have several witnesses. Hence we have been very busy. The dispute is about Telstra's ability to direct staff to work shiftwork, including 12 hour shifts.


We have some progress with the EBA with Mirait agreeing to consult each year over the review of wages. Otherwise there is no progress. Mirait is going to have another ballot with a slightly improved pay offer. Given the lack of a suitable guaranteed pay increase we cannot support the EBA proposal. The consultation clause says:
MTA will provide a high level summary to the Union annually on wage increases applied to Employees who have hourly rates greater than their respective classification rate. MTA will also provide the Union with a summary on the rationale underpinning those increases.

The access period will commence on Tuesday the 18 Jan. A briefing by Mirait will be held on Mon the 24 Jan at 7 am. Voting will take place on the 27 Jan from 7 am to midday.


We have had a number of meetings now with Optus to develop a new EBA. We have agreed on many issues but two of the most important matters are unresolved. They are the lack of a guaranteed pay increase each year and the new Optus proposal to be able to direct you to take leave at Xmas and other times, and to simply reduce your leave. WE will probably have a final position this week. Optus wish to go to a vote in early February.


TPG is proposing to commence bargaining in February. WE will shortly arrange for a hook-up of members to discuss out position and claims.


ABC News recently carried the following story (extracts only):
Businesses are being warned to plan ahead for staff to take more holidays next year, as the pandemic has led to an increase in the amount of leave on companies' books.
- Payroll data shows a 32% increase in annual leave balances compared to 2020
- Workers can challenge unreasonable directions to take leave
With plenty of work to do and few opportunities to travel, staff also weren't taking as many breaks during the year.
With international borders closed through the year, and persistent state border closures and sporadic lockdowns, holiday plans have been disrupted.


Annual leave for employees began in Australia in 1935 when the Printers Union won one week of paid leave. Four weeks paid leave began in 1974, again achieved by the union movement. But while most workers get holiday leave, an increasing number of casual and contract workers are missing out. Some estimate that up to a quarter of the workforce now miss out on paid holidays.
The United States mandates no minimum paid leave, treating it as a perk rather than a right.
Now major employers like Telstra and Optus are demanding the right to tell you when to take annual leave. WE have opposed this development as it waters down one of the most important rights that you have - the right to a long break from work with family and friends- not a series of long weekends.


A lot of people have been contacting us regarding their employer insisting they turn up to work when they are either sick with COVID, or symptomatic and cannot access a test to prove they have COVID. These are your rights in this situation:
Regardless of whether or not you have COVID, if you are unfit for work you have a right to leave.
Every worker has a right to leave and employers must not coerce employees into not exercising this right.
Employers can be penalised or fined and you could be awarded compensation if they try and coerce you in threatening your job, your pay, work opportunities etc. See Section 343 of the Fair Work Act.
Every employer has a duty to ensure the health and safety of their employees. All workers have a right to stop work if work is unsafe.


Woolworths continues to turn a blind eye as one of its major suppliers, Teys Australia, forces its workforce at its abattoir in South Australia to turn up for work even though they are infected with the Covid virus. These infected workers are working, under duress, in the same facility as negative workers, using the same bathrooms and working in the same common areas, required to wear coloured hairnets to indicate their Covid infection status.
Woolworths must be held to account for acquiescing in this demeaning and degrading practice. Woolworths is Teys biggest and most important customer, doing $380 million of business every year. This exposes Woolworths' claims to be a good corporate citizen as nothing more than a cynical exercise in PR spin.
Workers are worried about standing up to Teys individually. Many are here on temporary visas, with Teys controlling their pay cheque and their passport. They are fearful of losing their job and being kicked out of the country if they complain, which would be financially devastating.

  • 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
  • Home Page
  • 0439 762 455 SRiley@cwu.asn.au Sue Riley
          Secretary - industrial matters & advice
  • 03 9663 6815 cdtsvic@cwu.asn.au Administrative
          eg payments, applications, change of details
  • Home Page
  • Authorised by Dan Dwyer NSW Secretary, Sue Riley Vic Secretary - CWU Telecommunications & Services Branches.

    NSW Branch

    VIC Branch

    Index to Bulletins


    Bulletin 5
    Bulletin 4
    Bulletin 3
    Bulletin 2
    Bulletin 1