Your letter of employment
An Award, read with the NES, contains your minimum conditions.
The BOOT test - The FWC compares your EBA with the Award and NES to make sure that you are Better Off Overall before certifying an EBA.
INFRACO & SUBSIDIARIES - THE INDUSTRY AWARD
Do not confuse the "Telstra Modern Award" with the "Telecommunications Industry Award". There is a Telecommunications Modern Award which covers the Telecom industry (Telstra is in that industry).
The Award has a 38 hour week, redundancy of 12 weeks and other lesser conditions compared to the Telstra Modern Award. More on that later.
INFRACO & SUBSIDIARIES - AWARD HISTORY
This will give you an insight into what Telstra wants.
The Fair Work Act in 2009 began an award overhaul to essentially reduce the large number of awards then in existence. The new thrust was industry Awards.
I was the Divisional Secretary of the Communications Division at the time so I fought the fight.
The FW Act provided for industry awards but allowed in exceptional circumstances "enterprise awards". Telstra was an enterprise. It took 2 Full Bench Cases to achieve the outcome. More next week
MEMBERS COVERED BY AN AWA OR ITEA - TELSTRA PROPOSAL
Telstra has advised members on an AWA or ITEA that Telstra wished to terminate those agreements immediately. Telstra said (in part):
As you know, by the end of this year our intent is to have restructured Telstra into three separate legal entities within the Telstra Group - InfraCo Fixed, InfraCo Towers and ServeCo. While this doesn't mean there will be any change to our management structure or the way we work today, if the restructure proceeds, you may be employed by a different entity within the Telstra Group.
We'll soon ask the Fair Work Commission to terminate your AWA/ITEA and transition you to the Telstra EA.
We've made the decision to move you to the Telstra EA with its industry leading terms and conditions.
We'll keep you informed as we progress. Part of this will be providing you with an overview of your terms and conditions under the Telstra EA (which would apply following the termination of your AWA/ITEA). However, day-to-day you can expect minimal change - your pay won't be reduced, and your span of hours and hours of work will be the same. And depending on your role and when your AWA/ITEA expired, you may be able to choose from the Job Family or Workstream model of the Telstra EA - we'll let you know what your options are and what they mean for you as we proceed.
MEMBERS COVERED BY AN AWA OR ITEA
The Telstra notice has raised concerns from members on AWA and ITEA conditions. We have not been consulted on this as yet but will seek immediate talks. The EBA gives you far more definite conditions compared to an AWA. But the EBA is under threat as you will be moved to a subsidiary this year. More importantly, your salary, bonuses, RDO, super etc needs to be protected. We will seek more info on this. Despite the Telstra language, you can object to the termination of your AWA or EBA.
MEMBERS COVERED BY AN AWA OR ITEA - CURRENT POSITION
A number of members are still covered by an AWA or ITEA. These members are not covered by the EBA. All AWA/ITEAs have passed their nominal expiry dates - a number of years ago. Under current law, the AWA/ITEAs can be terminated by consent of both parties, or unilaterally in certain circumstances. A number of members were on AWAs and have terminated the agreements. Telstra has not opposed applications by members.
The Liberal Government recently introduced a new package of controversial laws. In it is a proposal to cancel these AWA/ITEA instruments by July 2022. Once cancelled, you will be covered by the EBA and Award. These laws have not been passed and are likely to be strongly opposed unless amended.
Authorised by Dan Dwyer Branch Secretary
CWU Telecommunications & Services Branch, Sydney City, NSW.