CWU T&S WEEKLY BULLETIN NO 2021 /
29 August 2021
NSW STATE OF CONFUSION AND COVID
What is happening in the LGAs of concern and what to do about work?
The position seems to change daily. eg the rapid test option was removed before it started. There is no clear information on the Service NSW website yet.
I think this is today's position:
The NSW Govt is mandating that essential workers must have a 1st Covid shot in order to leave the LGA to work. BUT the starting date is not clear. The work permit information is not clear.
If you do not have the jab, or cannot have the jab, what is the position?
If you have to report to work outside the LGA, then it is the NSW Govt preventing you from attending work.
If it occurs, then for most of our members, it seems reasonable and practical for your employer (eg Post and Telstra) to assign work to you within the LGA. For others, we are here to keep you from being disadvantaged.!
COVID - DIFFICULT TO ADVISE
Every labour lawyer is trying to answer a multitude of questions about Covid. There are few definite answers. And the environment is changing.
The fundamentals are easy. The pandemic is real. It threatens lives. Several vaccines now exist. Other mitigating measures exist such as masks, distance, lockdowns and work from home.
Members report their concerns that they may contract the virus at work and take it home to family members, some in vulnerable health. So they want a safe workplace.
The approach of Governments and employers, so far, avoids mandating a jab. Instead they are discussing restrictions if you do not have the jab. A real legal problem to resolve.
BIG BONUS FOR THE BIG BOYS AT POST
The Bulletin reported as follows: (Josh Taylor Wed 25 Aug 2021)
Some 345 managers paid an average bonus of nearly $82,000, the equivalent of 16 Cartier watches, data provided to Senate estimates reveals. Hundreds of Post's senior staff have been paid generous bonuses worth far more than the Cartier watches that led to the departure of Christine Holgate.
According to the data provided by Post in response to a Senate estimates question on notice, 345 senior employees were paid $28.2m in bonuses in the 2019-20 financial year. More than 37,000 Post staff earning under $200,000 a year received a share of $63.4m in bonuses.
Last year, the prime minister, Scott Morrison, said he was shocked and appalled at the then CEO Holgate buying four Cartier watches costing an average of $5,000 each. Labor's shadow minister, senator Kimberley Kitching, said the communications minister, Paul Fletcher, "seems incapable of getting board members to crack the whip on executive bonuses."
BIG BONUS AT POST
Oh to be one of the few. When it comes to a bonus, 345 goes into $28.2m a hell of a lot more than 37,000 goes into $63.4m. That's 82,000 for each boss and $1,700 for each worker. And no pay rise last year for the worker. It makes the EBA 3% pay offer look like a joke. Pity it got voted up!
BULLYING IS NOT TO BE TOLERATED
We have filed an urgent anti bullying application in the Fair Work Commission. These matters are usually heard without delay. The matter arose in Enhanced Services.
SE CONSTRUCTION MAINTENANCE ROSTERS
We sought a further meeting with Telstra re the proposed changes to the 12 Hour rosters. No agreement was reached. We will have a meeting of affected staff by Zoom on Wednesday. Look for our notice.
OPTUS COVID RESPONSE
Optus has provided a comprehensive outline of its Covid response. Here main points:
Vaccination Support and Return to Site Survey
Today we will be inviting employees to participate in a voluntary survey... This survey will help us understand:
How supported our people feel and identify what else we can do
Expectations our people have to ensure a safe return to the workplace
Progress of our people towards COVID-19 vaccination
How `Health Hubs', which will safely administer COVID-19 vaccinations and testing, can create a safe return to the workplace
The survey is completely anonymous, and gives us the opportunity to share how many of us have been vaccinated, are booked in to be vaccinated or intend to be vaccinated.
Voluntary disclosure of vaccination status
In addition, we will be inviting our employees to voluntarily record their COVID-19 vaccination status.
NSW Public Health Order
We have also been putting in place the appropriate steps to ensure compliance with the recent NSW Public Health Order in relation to those residing in the affected 12 LGA areas of concern who work outside of their area.
Until further notice, Optus will be providing rapid antigen testing (RAT) on our main sites to enable our people come to work who reside in an area subject to the Public Health Order. If an employee is able to meet the requirements of providing evidence of at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, or a medical contraindication certificate, they will not be subject to RAT.
We have made it clear to our people who are subject to the Public Health Order, that Optus will not be providing these services on an ongoing basis and so it is critical that employees do not rely upon this as an alternative solution to being vaccinated in order to come to work, and that they should be working towards complying with the Health Order through vaccination.
Support to attend COVID-19 vaccination appointments
We continue to encourage all our people to try schedule vaccination appointments at a time that does not disrupt their work commitments. However, if this is not possible, all Optus employees will continue to be paid for the time that it takes to attend a COVID-19 vaccination appointment, if this occurs during working hours. Time will not be deducted from existing leave balances.
Authorised by Dan Dwyer Branch Secretary
CWU Telecommunications & Services Branch, Sydney City, NSW.