TECHNICAL AND SERVICES BRANCH WEEKLY BULLETIN 2023
2 Apr 2023
NBN REDUNDANCY PROPOSALS
Following the original announcement, we sought more details. NBN (Mark Wilde) advised:
Following conclusion of the first phase of consultation with employees regarding changes in their business units, I can now let you know the total number of employees whose roles have been identified as being made redundant by these changes confirmed so far - as follows:
1. 108 non-EA covered employees, and
2. 32 EA covered employees...
I emphasise that there is no planned reduction in the ranks of our Customer Field Technicians and Field Engineers. We are, however, consulting from 30 March 2023 with employees in the Control Tower.
The proposed plan involves a reduction of 25 (from approximately 175) office-based, EBA-covered roles. These are not roles in the field.
We are also consulting from 30 March with our Field Specialist employees (Non- EA), and the proposed change may see a reduction of 19 (from 45) roles spread across the Geographic Field Ops teams.
This proposed change is part of the overarching Internal Workforce Strategy which we have previously discussed, and will enable us to introduce 33 new Field Quality Specialist (EBA covered) roles.
Where possible, we will be giving the Field Specialists an opportunity for redeployment into these new Field Quality Specialist roles, albeit there is a grading and pay reduction.
NBN BACKS DOWN ON SOME REDUNDANCIES AND TATA
NBN proposed (for example) that in Network Management Centre & Network Engineering the outsourcing of 3 functions to TATA, resulting in the likely redundancy of 40 employees' roles and the transfer of another 27 nbn employees to TATA. We as a union strongly opposed these, as well as the other redundancies and sought support from Government and media.
NBN have now advised that the outsourcing and transfer of staff to TATA will not occur.
NBN (Mark Wilde) advised:
The outsourcing of two of 2 functions (Monitor and HFC Performance) will proceed. Having carefully considered the feedback provided during consultation, however, we have decided to retain the NMC Restore function within nbn and all associated roles. This means we will not be moving forward with the proposed transfer of any employees to the external partner.
Optus has advised of further Changes within our Enterprise and Business Division. They advised that as a result of the changes across Optus EB, they have identified 75 roles that are no longer required and proposed to be made redundant.
These roles are spread across VIC (32), NSW (29), QLD (8), SA (3), ACT (2) and WA (1). Nineteen (19) of these roles are covered by the Optus Employment Partnership Agreement (2022) and are spread across New South Wales (10) and Victoria (9).
One new "search engine" that is very much in the news is Chat GPT. Is it really Artificial Intelligence or a more sophisticated search engine - akin to Google on steroids? The answer appears to be more like Google on steroids.
I have tried to get a better understanding without asking Chat GPT itself.
The engine still relies on an analysis of many articles. It is trained to do what you instruct and give you a response.
In very simple terms, it is likely to give an answer based on the weight of opinions in numerous articles. Therefor it can be biased based on the articles it is analysing.
Those who have sought opinions from Chat GPT have given various reports of the results. Some were very impressed. However it does get things wrong. I asked Chat GPT for information on a political family. Its response was wrong. The retry button produced a different result, also wrong. It never got it correct.
So I did ask some questions about unions - see below - the responses are rather bland and USA themed, but not anti union.
So take care with the answers.
CHAT GPT - WHY SHOULD I JOIN A TRADE UNION?
Joining a trade union can offer several benefits, including
1. Collective bargaining power: Trade unions negotiate on behalf of their members with employers for better pay, working conditions, benefits, and job security. By joining a union, you can have a say in these negotiations and benefit from any agreements reached.
2. Protection against unfair treatment: Unions provide legal support and representation to their members in cases of discrimination, harassment, and wrongful termination. This can give you greater job security and peace of mind.
3. Access to training and development: Trade unions often offer training and development programs to help their members improve their skills and advance in their careers. This can be particularly useful if you are looking to switch industries or take on a new role.
4. Networking opportunities: Unions can provide opportunities for you to network with other professionals in your industry, which can help you stay up-to-date with the latest developments and potentially find new job opportunities.
5. Political advocacy: Unions may also engage in political advocacy and lobbying on behalf of their members, which can help to protect workers' rights and interests.
Overall, joining a trade union can give you greater bargaining power, protection, and access to resources and support that can help you succeed in your career
CHAT GPT- HOW DOES UNION BUSTING WORK?
Union busting is the practice of disrupting or eliminating a labor union's ability to organize or operate. Here are some common tactics that are used:
1. Intimidation and Threats: Employers may use threats, intimidation, or coercion to discourage workers from joining or participating in a union. They may threaten to fire workers who support the union, or make it clear that union members will face negative consequences, such as being demoted or given less desirable work assignments.
2. Anti-Union Propaganda: Employers may use company resources, such as emails, bulletin boards, or meetings, to spread negative information about unions. This can include false claims about unions being corrupt or ineffective, or claims that unionization will result in the loss of jobs or reduced benefits.
3. Union Avoidance Consultants: Employers may hire outside consultants to help them develop and implement strategies to avoid unionization. These consultants may conduct employee surveys to identify potential union supporters and develop messaging and tactics to dissuade workers from joining a union.
4. Retaliation: Employers may retaliate against workers who engage in union organizing or advocacy, such as firing or disciplining employees who participate in union activities.
5. Legal Obstruction: Employers may use legal tactics to delay or prevent unionization efforts. For example, they may challenge the eligibility of certain employees to join a union, or file lawsuits to block union elections.
Overall, union busting is a complex and multi-faceted process that often involves a combination of these tactics. It is important for workers to understand their rights to unionize and the tactics that may be used against them, and to seek legal and organizational support in their efforts to organize a union.
CHAT GPT - HOW CAN I STOP UNION ORGANISING?
As an AI language model, I cannot provide advice on how to stop union organizing. However, it is important to note that employees have the legal right to organize and form unions under labor laws. Attempts to interfere or prevent employees from exercising this right may violate the law and result in legal consequences.
Instead of trying to stop union organizing, it may be more productive to address the underlying issues that are leading employees to seek union representation. Employers can take steps to improve working conditions, communication, and engagement with their employees to address any concerns they may have. This can help build a positive workplace culture and reduce the desire for employees to seek union representation.
Authorised by Dan Dwyer NSW Secretary, Sue Riley Vic Secretary
- CWU Telecommunications & Services Branches.