Weekly Bulletin


Number 13       19 Apr 2023


We have written to TPG about the remuneration of technical staff including field staff. We believe that TPG may have been underpaying these staff in certain circumstances and has been underpaying the staff for some time. We sought clarification of the position. The first issue was the Standby Allowance.
We said to TPG

    The Telecommunications Services Award provides that the standby allowance is 20% of salary. TPG has changed the system to now pay a flat rate allowance instead of the Award provision.
    Can you please advise why this was done and whether the flat rate is higher than the 20% approach set out in the Award?

We will advise of the response and if further action is being taken.


We also raised this issue with TPG. Our letter stated:

    TPG has changed the basis of calculating overtime when the overtime spans midnight. TPG has taken the view that overtime effectively restarts at midnight. In that situation, and even though continuous overtime spans midnight, TPG will treat it as a separate overtime matter and pay only time and one half for the first three hours commencing at midnight.
    Can you please confirm that this is occurring. Our position is that this is an incorrect approach and members are being underpaid in those circumstances.

We will advise of the response and if further action is being taken.


A recent Federal Court decision regarding rostering team members on public holidays held that staff must be requested to work on a public holiday. Any employer who has not made the request is liable to penalties under the FW Act. The current FWO advice is as follows:

    Employees should be provided with the choice to work on a public holiday or not.
    Employers can request employees to work on a public holiday, but the request has to be reasonable. An employee may refuse a request to work if they have reasonable grounds.
    The following needs to be taken into account when deciding if a request is reasonable:
  • the nature of the workplace
  • the role and type of work of the employee does
  • employee's personal circumstances (including caring responsibilities)
  • employment status (full-time, part-time or casual)
  • an expectation that they might be asked to work on the public holiday.
  • any overtime, penalty rates or other payment the employee might receive
  • the amount of notice provided
  • any other relevant factor.


Section 114 of the FW Act relevantly states that:

    'Employee entitled to be absent on public holiday
    (1) An employee is entitled to be absent from his or her employment on a day or part-day that is a public holiday in the place where the employee is based for work purposes.
    Reasonable requests to work on public holidays
    (2) However, an employer may request an employee to work on a public holiday if the request is reasonable.
    (3) If an employer requests an employee to work on a public holiday, the employee may refuse the request if:
    (a) the request is not reasonable; or
    (b) the refusal is reasonable.'


We wrote to Post about concerns expressed by several members. Our email stated:

    I have seen various email exchanges re the overtime allocation system at SPF. I am surprised that changes have been planned by management. There is a formal agreement relating to overtime allocation at SPF. This was settled and endorsed by the FWC.
    Am I to assume that Post is unilaterally walking away from the agreement without advising the Union and FWC formally?
    Mr Gopi was present at the proceedings and gave formal agreement to the agreement.
    Will you please confirm that no change will take place unless agreed with the Union.
    We have not agreed to any change. We are available to discuss the matter should you wish to take that path.

Post responded as follows:

    We have not made a change to the overtime process. Discussion in the LWG is central to our change process.

We have since discussed the matter with Post and a meeting will be arranged to clarify matters.


Post has arranged for a meeting with us next Friday (21 April) to advise of their proposals arising from the national decisions on the restructure.

  • 0428 942 878 dan.dwyer@cwunion.net Dan Dwyer
          Secretary/Lawyer - industrial matters & advice
  • 0447 365 433 reception@cwunion.net Administrative
          eg payments, applications, change of details
  • Home Page
  • 0439 762 455 SRiley@cwu.asn.au Sue Riley
          Secretary - industrial matters & advice
  • 03 9663 6815 cdtsvic@cwu.asn.au Administrative
          eg payments, applications, change of details
  • Home Page
  • Authorised by Dan Dwyer NSW Secretary, Sue Riley Vic Secretary - CWU Telecommunications & Services Branches.

    NSW Branch

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