TECHNICAL AND SERVICES BRANCH WEEKLY BULLETIN 2022
20 March 2022
A BUSY WEEK
We skipped the usual Bulletin last week as we were involved in a major hearing (4 days) involving our members in Telstra. While that matter continues we will be back to other matters this week.
WHAT IS A FAIR PAY RISE?
The cost of everything is increasing - groceries, petrol, clothing. Interest rates are expected to increase shortly. The official measure, CPI, has increased sharply. The economy is suffering because of low wage rates. With CPI above 7% un USA, our CPI future is uncertain. And in our essential industry, you endured the Covid demands.
In real life, if your pay rise does not match or exceed CPI, they your wages are going backwards. The latest CPI was 3.5%.
Post members settled for 3% increases last year. They may not have done so this year. An increase of CPI plus is much fairer.
TELSTRA EBA - ZOOM BRIEFING
We want your feedback on the Telstra EBA. We will hold a Zoom briefing this week. John Ellery from our sister T&S Branch in Melbourne will attend to answer your questions. He is part of the small negotiating committee.
Time Wednesday Mar 23, 2022 7:30 PM
Join Zoom: see email
Phone in see email
SUPERANNUATION INCREASES FOR ALL
The superannuation guarantee will increase from 10% to 10.5% in July 2022. The Liberal Government has postponed this in the past but might have second thoughts doing it before the election in April.
TELSTRA EBA OFFER
The Union continues to engage in bargaining with Telstra for a new Enterprise Agreement.
There are 4 Draft Agreements, one for each separate planned Telstra Group. ServeCo, InfraCo and Retail. Most members will be in ServeCo. Although Agreements for each subsidiary may be structured differently and contain different terminology, each EA will roll over all existing terms and conditions contained in the current Telstra EA. So what is new?
Retail have a separate agreement and provision is being made for ex Vita employees.
Telstra has proposed a wage rise of 2.5% in Oct 2022, and 3% in Oct 2023. (This follows a 2% wage rise last year.)
For Workstream employees each pay increase is a guaranteed flat increase to your pay.
For Job Family employees this is a guaranteed Fixed Remuneration pool which is then distributed based on their individual performance rating and position in the pay range. Super increases to 10.5% will be covered by Telstra - see below.
TELSTRA EBA FEEDBACK
One member was very quick off the mark: Make sure unions don't accept this bulls***. The 2.5 % pathetic pay increase this should have a 4% next to it. They had a awesome profits over 3 years they gave us more work to do all wideband plus equipment installation and commissioning. They can do better than that.
Our view - you are worth more than that!
BROADCAST AUSTRALIA BAI EBA
The nominal expiry date of the Agreement is 25 June 2022. The last pay increase was on 1 July 2021.
Negotiations are about to commence to replace the EBA.
TELSTRA FORCED LEAVE UPDATE - EASTER
Telstra has advised (presumably because of the EBA vote coming up):
We won't be having an Easter shutdown this year or requiring that Telstra employees take annual leave beyond the public holidays, but there is a bonus leave offer to encourage taking leave.
If you take leave from Fri 15 Apr (Good Friday) - Mon 25 Apr (ANZAC Day) you'll get a bonus leave day to take on your next working day, immediately after your holiday. This means you could take 4 days leave between the public holidays (19-22 April) and enjoy a 12-day break.
TELSTRA FORCED LEAVE UPDATE - CHRISTMAS
Telstra has advised:
We'll have a summer shutdown in Australia for all but essential teams over the holiday period. We're proposing the shutdown will be from Fri 23 Dec 2022 - Friday 6 Jan 2023 (inclusive). This represents 8 days of annual leave for a 15-day break. We are giving you early notice of this so that you can plan ahead for a break next summer.
SE CONSTRUCTION FWC HEARING
The matter is now part heard with all witnesses completed. However the parties are now engaging in mediation.
We are currently engaged in bargaining with TPG Telecom for a new Enterprise Agreement (EBA). The EBA is a legally enforceable agreement setting out pay, and terms and conditions of your employment. It is renegotiated every few years.
TPG has provided a draft EBA to all representatives. It has several features, usually seen in EBAs where the employer is looking to slash pay rates. As we are in negotiations, this may be negotiating tactics - eg lower workers expectations. But they may be serious. Some features are:
The wages proposed are above the Award rates. However they have been increased in a trade off for allowances, penalty rates, overtime, annual leave loading etc. We are seeking a full list of the trade off provisions.
Proposed pay increases of only 2% to the base rates of pay contained within the EA
Not only does this translate to a pay cut in real terms, it only increases the base rate of pay. If you are on a salary higher than the base rate set by the EA, you will receive no increase at all - putting you and your family even further behind.
No increase to redundancy payments
TPG's redundancy benefits are already some of the lowest across our industry. TPG refuses to entertain workers' claims for a fairer, market comparable redundancy benefit.
An increase to the span of `ordinary hours'
TPG are attempting to expand the window of ordinary hours of duty. This means penalty rates will no longer be payable if any part of your shift falls within the hours of 7am-11pm Monday to Friday, 7am-7pm Saturday or 9am-6pm Sunday - further reducing your take-home pay.
Reduction to overtime rates
TPG is trying to cut your pay even further. Under TPG's proposal, overtime rates would be reduced to 130% of the base rate of pay (not your actual pay level) for the first two hours, and then 175% for any hours worked after that. The workers' bargaining team is seeking for overtime rates to be in-line with industry standards - 150% of actual pay for the first three hours, then 200% for any hours worked after that. On Sundays, 200% and on public holidays, 250%.
Ability to stand you down, without pay, for any reason they have no control over.
TPG are proposing a clause in the EA which would allow them to stand you down, without pay, due to reasons such as a power outage.
Telstra advised of changes in nbn Services. If any member has any concerns, please advise us asap. Telstra said:
There are proposed reductions in roles, reflecting the ongoing declines in the volume of work under the Definitive Agreements, and in the associated programs, as nbn focuses on the run/operate phase of its rollout. Smaller-scale targeted programs have replaced our former part in large-scale network build work.
The proposed changes would result in: the reduction of 34 permanent roles between April and December 2022; the merge of three teams into two (DA Account Management and DA Operations). Employees impacted are based across Australia including 12 regional locations.
We will still have ongoing involvement in areas such as extending the Fixed-line network into remaining regional areas of Australia, technology upgrade programs such as replacing FTTN with full fibre, building new commercial business opportunities utilising our engineering and technology skills, and providing Go-to-Market for InfraCo's range of new passive infrastructure products.
Authorised by Dan Dwyer NSW Secretary, Sue Riley Vic Secretary
- CWU Telecommunications & Services Branches.