TECHNICAL AND SERVICES BRANCH WEEKLY BULLETIN 2022
9 March 2022
The FWC has certified the new EBA last week.
POST SUPER MERGER
APSS has today announced that it intends to proceed with the merger with the Australian Retirement Trust on 30 April 2022. This decision was made following a review to ensure that such a merger would be in the best interests of APSS members - providing more services and choices, whilst continuing to safeguard members' APSS entitlements. This includes continuation of the defined benefit.
The current formula and calculation of members' defined benefits will not change - Post and associated employers will continue to cover the cost of administration and providing death and disablement cover for employee members.
Talks continued this week as we work through each clause. Many questions have been raised as representatives seek explanations of each clause. It is fair to say that at this stage, many believe that the EBA will not be a positive step forward.
However it is early days, and the outcome will depend on the bargaining power of members. Union membership is critical if staff want a pay increase.
The next meeting is on Tuesday 22 March.
POST TECH REVIEW
A further meeting took place this week as we discussed the changes to the structure. So far the is consensus that letters and post structures will be the same, meaning that SPF TLs will be upgraded. (Nothing is yet agreed). It will also mean that shift 2IC positions will be created.
We have pressed for changes at the PTO4 level, particularly with the difficulty of attracting qualified staff at that level. Our position is that the PTO5 level must be opened for most on the current PTO4s, based on a number of arguments. Negotiations will continue.
TELSTRA EBA - CURRENT STATUS - ELLERY REPORT
Most Telstra staff will have seen Darren Fewster's "Progress report" last Friday (4th Mar) on the state of play with the EBA. That report infers that the EBA deal is imminent, based on Telstra's "wish list" of 4 separate EBA's. At no stage has the issue of 4 separate EBA's been resolved.
The joint Unions' position on the 4 separate EBA's has been to oppose that arrangement, and that we should only have 1 EBA for the whole of Telstra, rather than the divided up arrangement. This arrangement still hasn't been approved at a regulatory level, which explains why the trumpeted "contract issue" has not gone forward - everything is delayed.
Neither has the "carve up" been approved by the shareholders at an AGM or suchlike.
In the same way, the main item for discussion at the EBA talks and current focus is on the separate EBA for "Retail". This encompasses the Telstra owned T Shops plus the now imported VITA group franchises (sometimes known as the Phone Zone shops).
These VITA staff are becoming Telstra employees as a result of Telstra's buy out of the Vita Group shops. For these approximately 1200 people the takeover is a windfall in terms of employment conditions, and as such, they will likely support any relative improvement in their conditions.
Telstra therefore has a block of votes from the VITA staff, which could swamp the current T Shop employees vote. The VITA staff are currently on an expired "Greenfields" agreement from the days of John Howard's much hated "Workchoices" ultra conservative right wing IR policy.
These now expired agreements of that era are characterised by low wages and conditions, and clearly have been overtaken in the years since. The problem in the Retail area is that Telstra want to utilise the incoming VITA staff to endorse the retail conditions offered in this PROPOSED Retail EBA. This will enable Telstra to bring in things like junior rates into T Shops (which we have opposed), an increase in the span of hours, and some other employment conditions.
We are still to see the colour of Telstra's money (typically the last thing we get to), bearing in mind the projected CPI increases over the next few months and years.
The above EBA % payments made after the October EBA expiry, plus a small one early this year, still mean there is a long way to go on the wages and superannuation outcome.
In Unity, John Ellery
Should you be higher classified? Are you doing higher duties? Are you working unpaid overtime?
Lurking in the depths of payroll systems all across Australia, there's an evil that hides in plain sight, ready to prey on unsuspecting vulnerable workers...This monster is known as wage theft.
The ultimate guide to getting paid what you're owed - Australian Unions
In recent years, there's been no shortage of news headlines revealing the extent to which wage theft is robbing workers across jobs, industries and employers.
So how do we ensure that bosses pay their workers what they're entitled to? Empower workers. Through unions.
DAILY MAIL - VERY INTERESTING
Barefoot Investor issues urgent warning to EVERY Australian worker
Stephen Johnson, Economics Reporter for Daily Mail Australia
Australian workers are being warned they will effectively become poorer unless they succeed in getting a significant pay rise from their boss this year. Bestselling author Scott Pape, also known as the Barefoot Investor, said employees needed to get a wage rise that was double last year's increase to keep up with inflation.
'If you don't get at least a 5% pay rise this year, you'll be going backwards,' he said.
'That's because the prices of things are inflating at the fastest rate in years . and they haven't stopped climbing.'
Last year Australia's headline inflation rate, also referred to as the consumer price index, climbed by 3.5%, putting it well above the Reserve Bank's 2 to 3% target.
Wages in 2021 meanwhile went up by just 2.3%, with pay clearly failing to keep pace with living costs like petrol and higher rents.
Daily Mail Web Page
Authorised by Dan Dwyer NSW Secretary, Sue Riley Vic Secretary
- CWU Telecommunications & Services Branches.