CWU T&S WEEKLY BULLETIN NO 2021 /
1 August 2021
TELSTRA EBA REPORT
The following are extracts from the report of John Ellery, See the
EBA Latest Full Report
1. Telstra announced from the outset that while bargaining for a new agreement meant that all matters could be negotiated - they wanted to assure employees that the 36.75 hour week, personal leave entitlements of 15 days and the redundancy framework would be maintained as is regardless of how negotiations unfold.
2. Telstra detailed its proposal to negotiate four different EBAs - one for each of the areas proposed under their planned structural changes. The unions prefer one agreement.
3. Telstra has proposed changes to the Agreement that would allow employees to work more "flexibly". What is encompassed in the word "flexible" could mean very different understandings, depending on which side of the bargaining table you are on.
TELSTRA SW CONSTRUCTION ROSTERS
We have arranged for a meeting with Telstra on Monday to learn more about the proposal to alter the 12 hour shift agreement. We conducted member meetings on Thursday and found that members supported total rejection of the proposals. The proposals would alter the well settled lifestyle arrangements and cut income by at least 15%.
We will have another set of meetings with members on Monday 2 Aug at 3pm and 8pm. (same Zoom details apply)
MEMBERS STRONGLY ENDORSE AMALGAMATION PROPOSAL
At the close of the survey of members on Friday, members strongly supported the proposed amalgamation of the two T&S Branches. The results are:
YES vote 94%. NO vote 6%.
Importantly 51% of eligible voters voted - a remarkable participation.
Optus continues to shed staff with another round of redundancies. There are a total of 49 roles affected by the changes with 29 in NSW. If you have any concerns please contact me by return email or phone (below).
OPTUS QUESTIONS RE VACCINE JABS
Optus is asking staff to advise whether they have been vaccinated. There has been no consultation with us on this issue. We do not know the reason for the request. Some members are concerned with the request. First, our current view is that Optus cannot require a staff member to disclose such private information. We have written to Optus seeking an explanation, and, in particular, what they will do with the information.
Anon: It's pretty unfair to run redundancies while Sydney's on restrictions. We can't even look for a new job.
TWU MEMBERS WIN OUTSOURCING CASE AGAINST QANTAS
The TWU has had a huge win against Qantas today, with the Federal Court ruling against Qantas' axing and outsourcing of 2,000 ground workers' jobs. Baggage handlers, ramp workers and cabin cleaners are now hoping to get their jobs back as soon as possible. The court stated Qantas fired workers to prevent them from exercising their rights to bargain for better wages and conditions and to take industrial action. Justice Lee referred to evidence presented in the court showing Qantas saw the pandemic as a "transformational opportunity". 77% of those sacked by Qantas want their jobs back. The ACTU supports the TWU in calling for the Federal Government to hold Qantas to further account over illegal outsourcing.
"The TWU's win demonstrates the power that working people have when they stand together, even against businesses like Qantas, who are using the pandemic as an excuse to reduce the pay, conditions and jobs of their loyal workforce.
"The Morrison Government's role in this case must be examined as they pumped $2 billion of public funds into Qantas while allowing the airline to wage a war against workers in a bid to drive down wages.
"Qantas' CEO Alan Joyce received $10.74 million in annual earning last year and cannot hide under the guise of the pandemic to strip workers of their pay and conditions." ACTU.
POST EBA - REPORT FROM TECHNICAL BARGAINING AGENTS
A number of Technical Bargaining reps were individually appointed by Postal Techs in NSW and Victoria to progress technical issues and claims in the A/Post EBA. This is their report for your information:
A list of 20 items (the "log of claims") was presented to the A/P reps at a number of meetings. The main negotiators for A/Post in these meetings were Scott Murphy and Tony Stavropoulos (HR). After receiving and analysing the 24 item formal response from A/Post it is pretty clear that there is a rejection of almost all of the claims from the tech bargaining agents.
As such, the Tech Bargaining Agents have each formed an opinion that there is nothing in this proposed EBA for the Technical workforce, and as such, should be rejected by ALL technical staff across Australia. This is despite a decision by 4 of the 7 branches of the Divisional Executive of the CEPU Communications Division (WA, SA/NT, Qld, and NSW P&T) to support the EBA in its current form. It is notable that the Victorian T&S, NSW T&S and Victorian P&T voted not to support the EBA at that Div Exec meeting. The Victorian and NSW T&S Branches represent the majority of the postal Techs across Australia. We await Post's reaction to this, and whether they will "cut and run" and put the EBA out for a vote. We understand there is a bit of a difficulty in a number of states due to the Covid outbreaks, and the historically standard "face to face" joint management/union hard sell of the Agreement will be slowed up.
A further development is that the Tasmanian Branch of the Electrical Trades Union (where all the A/Post members from Tasmania are now members, following the amalgamation of the old Comms Division Branch and the Electrical Division Branch some years ago) have made a Fair Work Commission (FWC) application for a "Protected Action Ballot Order" (PABO) in order to start the process for seeking endorsement from their members to undertake specific "Protected Industrial Action", which, not surprisingly, has been challenged by A/Post in the FWC.
It is open to the individual Bargaining Agents to consider this approach as well. Each individual Bargaining agent can apply for a PABO, however, only on behalf of the Post techs who have endorsed them individually for the EBA negotiations. We think it would be a useful idea to show solidarity with the Bargaining reps and endorse the current reps in greater numbers. The method is simple - email the centralised A/P EBA email (email@example.com or try firstname.lastname@example.org if the first one bounces), (and advise that you are now endorsing Bargaining Agent "x" (ie nominate one of the undersigned to this report).
Further developments will be advised as they come to hand. Being solid and sticking together can really make a difference to the outcome here.
Nominated EBA Tech Bargaining Agents who attended EBA meetings: (Note, there were an additional number who were appointed by the Techs, but were unable to participate) Kevin Griffin (Vic), Garry Newbery (NSW), Ken Hardisty (Vic), Dave Ketchion (Vic), Keith De Soyza (Vic).
Authorised by Dan Dwyer Branch Secretary
CWU Telecommunications & Services Branch, Sydney City, NSW.