TECHNICAL AND SERVICES BRANCH WEEKLY BULLETIN 2023
25 Apr 2023
OPTUS SHIFT HANDOVER REPLY
We reported earlier of our complaint to Optus re shift handover. Optus responded with an ambiguous statement:
Where an employee is directed to perform work, they will be remunerated for that time.
Can you please advise which area of the business this concern has come to light?
Of course they would say that. Many extra hours are not "directed' but authorised and/or expected. And work on a Public Holiday must be requested.
OPTUS SHIFT HANDOVER REPLY FROM OUR BRANCH
We responded to Optus as follows:
We note your very deliberate answer that restricts your response to "directed work". Our question was not about overtime generally, but about the daily situation where shift staff must attend and / or conduct a 'shift handover' briefing.
Clearly this is expected by management and does in fact occur.
Therefore we expect to see pay slips for shiftworkers that refer to short periods of overtime caused by handovers.
Could you please advise of the situation at Belrose where satellite staff work shifts and where shift handover is a routine requirement.
TPG STANDBY ALLOWANCE
TPG has responded to our inquiries (see Bulletin No 13) as follows:
Clause 20.9 of the Telecommunications Services Award (TSA) states:
"(a) An employee who is required to remain in readiness for a return to work outside their normal working hours will be paid an allowance of 20%of the ordinary hourly rate for their classification for each hour they are required to stand by.
(b) While receiving the appropriate overtime rate, the stand-by allowance will not be paid."
The highest ordinary hourly rate under the TSA Technical Stream is $31.30. Therefore, the highest stand-by rate payable under the TSA is $6.26.
TPG Telecom is proposing to pay a rate of $7 which exceeds the highest obligation under the TSA. This rate will be indexed annually to ensure it remains above our TSA obligations.
The above is technically correct. However the issue is that the employment contracts were recently altered, which reduced the allowance from 20% of your actual pay - which is significantly higher that the Award rate - to just above the award rate. A salary of about $70,000 will give you an allowance of $7.00 per hour. If your salary is above this then the change in the contract has reduced your allowance.
Please contact us at our CWU if this has occurred.
TPG has responded to our inquiries (see Bulletin No 13) as follows:
Clause 20.2 (c) of the Overtime clause under the TSA states:
"In computing overtime, each day's work will stand alone." The TSA further defines a day as "midnight to midnight".
By resetting the overtime allowances at midnight, TPG is complying with its obligations under the TSA.
We have concerns with this interpretation and will be following up.
AUS POST TECHNICAL RESTRUCTURE
We met this week to hear of the Post action to implement the restructure in Sydney. We are yet to hear about Vic and other states. Post will brief staff this week. We are meeting again as we raised some issues. The main features are:
Sydney will have one Manager instead of two.
The Manager position will be advertised as vacant.
The Team Leaders at SPF and SWLF will be PTO7 (only SPF affected)
We sought that the SPF TLs be directly nominated.
The second in charge positions will be PTO6 at SPF and SWLF. SPF will be advertised.
We await your comments following the Post briefing this week.
AUS POST - HUNDREDS OF JOBS TO GO
The following media reports are extracts from The Age Newspaper
Hundreds of head office roles at Post will be cut by the end of the financial year as the postal carrier looks to streamline its operations in the face of rising financial pressures. While the group has not confirmed the exact number of roles that will be axed, it's understood around 400 roles will be affected by a review to streamline corporate support office operations.
The move comes as the group warns that ballooning losses in its letters business is leading to significant financial headwinds that threaten its long-term sustainability. Post is heading for a full-year loss this year for the first time since 2015, and the federal government is currently consulting on a range of measures to support the carrier, including lifting the cost of stamps and reducing the frequency of letter deliveries.
"With ongoing letters losses, and parcels growth moderating, a new operating model for Australia Post's corporate support office is being introduced to simplify our business and operating support structures. This will, in part, help Post respond to the financial pressures it is facing," an Australia Post spokesperson said.
`All options on table' as Australia Post fights death of the letter
Consultation on the `Postal Services Modernisation' discussion paper is open until April 27.
POSTAL FUTURE - THE AGE
Post expects households will be receiving less than one letter a week by the end of the decade as it faces the fallout of an unstoppable decline in snail mail, but the group still has high hopes about the growth of parcel delivery volumes.
The postal carrier's chief executive, Paul Graham, said mail deliveries were a major drag on the company's business and all options were on the table, including reviewing the frequency of letter deliveries. He is optimistic, however, about the prospects for parcel post thanks to the boom in online shopping.
"All options are on the table," Graham said. "The simple fact is that Australians are not sending mail and not receiving mail. A lot of the mail that people receive, the vast majority is business-related, it's bank statements, it's your electricity bill. All those companies are moving to digital - we have no control over that.
"We are looking at all avenues to ensure we have a sustainable mail business. That includes the way that we structure operations, that includes the frequency, all those things are on the table."
WORKPLACE DISCRIMINATION - ACTU
From 7 Dec 2022 all working Australians, across every industry, are more protected against discrimination from their employers. There have been 3 important additions to the protected attributes of the Fair Work Act. These protections are for:
Trans and gender non-conforming people
People with intersex status
It is now unlawful for a workplace to discriminate against a worker because they are a breastfeeding person, or based on their gender identity or intersex status. This means that an employers cannot treat you adversely, including taking actions like terminating your employment, based on you having a protected attribute.
If you have any concerns, please contact us at CWU.
Authorised by Dan Dwyer NSW Secretary, Sue Riley Vic Secretary
- CWU Telecommunications & Services Branches.