CWU T&S WEEKLY BULLETIN NO 2020 /
22 Nov 2020
There is an old saying "Never waste a crisis". It appears that the Morrison Government will use our Covid situation to attack workers.
We have safety net conditions - guaranteed minimum standards - contained in the National Employment Standards and Awards.
The BOOT test uses these minimum standards as a platform.
Now we hear that, effectively, the guaranteed minimum standards are to be watered down. The minimum standards are important. Join the fight to save them.
See below. Sign the petition here
TELSTRA'S BREAK UP
Here is a bulletin item from out Vic T&S Branch:
By now the news will have been delivered to you that Telstra are proposing to be broken up into 4 entities. The parent Company, Telstra Group, will own 3 subsidiaries: InfraCo Fixed, InfraCo Towers and ServeCo. These have been described in several documents released by Telstra so we need not repeat them.
Their timeline allows for consultation until February 2021, then the final decision to proceed will soon follow. Offers will be made to employees from the subsidiaries, then you will transfer to one of them by December 2021. The Telstra Group will be effective 1st January 2022.
This proposal was clearly known to Telstra whilst negotiating the last Enterprise Agreement, which is why it was so important to them to negotiate a new transfer of business clause.
Notwithstanding the long term planning, there are still many unanswered questions.
Who stays? Does the current EA cover minimal employees in Telstra Group?
Does it get terminated? Will the EA cover the employees in the new subsidiaries?
It's possible the new subsidiaries will have new Agreements with lesser conditions for NEW employees, creating a 2 tier workforce. This is not what Unions do! We don't trade off conditions for new employees.
Employees with a Defined Benefits Superannuation scheme will be offered redundancies if their conditions are not transferable. DB is an unknown.
It is unknown which Award will apply. It may not be the Telstra modern Award.
When these questions were put to Telstra, it was suggested they were conspiracy theories!
The uncertainty ahead will require strong action by us to ensure that we do not have a 2 tiered workforce. Your protection is best protected by an EA that covers you and future employees containing existing conditions. This will be a
serious challenge. We need bargaining power. Now is the time to talk to your colleagues and sign them up.
LETTER FROM SALLY MCMANUS - ACTU
A few weeks ago, I went out to alert working people and the community of the risks that employer lobby groups were pressuring Scott Morrison and the Liberal Government to weaken workplace laws. If the employer lobbyists were successful, it would mean that they would be able to keep wages low and jobs insecure.
News outlets have reported that Scott Morrison gave a speech at an employer lobby group event that he decided to push forward with changes to our rights at work that could remove fundamental protections for working people.
"The Prime Minister hinted the changes would allow a more flexible interpretation of the BOOT."(AFR, 19 Nov 2020)
What is the BOOT? It's the "Better off overall test", one of the key laws that ensures that employers can't cut wages or working conditions below minimum standards. The employer lobby groups are hoping that this seemingly minor change will be easily passed through the Parliament early next year.
The employer lobby groups are hoping that workers and the community - who relied on workers to carry Australia through the pandemic - will ignore this change.
The employer lobby groups are hoping you won't care and they are given even more power. The employer lobby groups are hoping that people will forget that Scott Morrison promised that we "are all in this together".
I'm asking you to prove them wrong. We need to stand up against these anti-worker proposals and we need to do it now.
Punishing workers won't heal the economy. Add your name right now to send the employer lobby groups and Scott Morrison a message.
In unity, Sally McManus ACTU Secretary
Sign the petition here
Authorised by Dan Dwyer Branch Secretary
CWU Telecommunications & Services Branch, Sydney City, NSW.