TECHNICAL AND SERVICES BRANCH WEEKLY BULLETIN 2023
19 November 2023
ARE YOU A MEMBER?
We will be providing our weekly bulletin only to members shortly as we review and rebuild our email lists. Past members will not be affected. To join our Branch see the
online application page.
ESTA MENTORING ALLOWANCE FOR ALL STAFF
We won this case in the Victorian Magistrate's Court several months ago. All staff who undertake mentoring will be entitled to the allowance. While ESTA agreed to certain sums to be paid to our two members who we used as test cases, and ESTA agreed to a penalty of thousands of dollars, ESTA has now appealed the decision.
The Federal Court will hear the appeal. So far the case has not progressed and it could be some time before the appeal is listed for hearing.
POST STRUCTURES - MELBOURNE
After many delays Post in Melbourne has appointed or had in place the following:
A Technical Manager
4 x Team Leaders for North West.
4 x Team Leaders for South East
4 x 2IC staff at North West.
4 x 2IC staff at South East
3 x Engineering Leads
2 x Planners (SE and NW)
6 x SME positions
POST STRUCTURES - SYDNEY
I have been speaking with Normie at least weekly lately seeking that Post do something. We have no active Technical Manager. Post unwisely delayed for no apparent reason. Then they decided to advertise again, and I am told are still doing interviews with outside applicants.
I was advised that Post had appointed 3 x PTO7 in Sydney and was advised of their names about 2 weeks ago. To my surprise, the successful applicants were not told of their success. Again to my surprise, local staff had not been advised. Presumably, the unsuccessful applicants were not told either. What a circus!
I have been seeking a JCC to raise a growing number of matters that members have raised. These include shifts, number of TLs, backpay, SMEs, poor maintenance, etc. It appears that no one is running the show and no one seems to have the ability to achieve results.
Of greater concerns are the number of serious OHS incidents (One causing hospitalization) , the failure to provide safety training, safety directions, clarification of role of unlicensed staff, working alone restrictions. There has been no JCC for 12 months, despite requests. Post appears to have breached OHS laws and an urgent independent inquiry is needed to develop guidelines. The practice of running shifts with one person must cease.
We are following up these matters and considering referral to the FWC as Post is risking the health and safety of staff, and underpaying staff.
Below we refer to a national meeting and we will try to use that to wake up NSW.
POST TECH REVIEW
The National Engineering Consultative Forum is meeting on 7 Dec 2023. We seek your agenda items or claims.
Backpay for new PTO7 shift leaders and higher duties for those who have been undertaking the duties.
Backpay for new 2IC positions and higher duties for those who have been undertaking the duties.
PTO5 for staff at outstations
Shift arrangements at Sydney
SME and EL positions at Sydney
National Engineering structure (Away from Operations)
Already on the Agenda is the following:
OPTUS LONG SERVICE LEAVE UNDERPAYMENTS
As reported last week, Optus is to be fined for breaching LSL entitlements. To understand this response, reread our report. Optus has advised as follows.
We write in relation to Optus' compliance with the Long Service Leave Act 2018 (Victoria) (LSL Act). Over the past few years, Optus has been proactively reviewing its payroll practices following a number of changes to legislation, processes and systems.
As part of this ongoing review, Optus has been reviewing historical long service leave payments.
Whilst the review is still continuing and therefore not yet complete, we have decided to make a payment now to employees who took, or were paid, long service leave on or after 1 November 2018 and who may not have received their full entitlements. This amount is paid in satisfaction of any long service entitlements, and in the event that upon the conclusion of the review it is established that lesser money is owed to the employee than what has already been paid, Optus will of course not require the return of the difference.
We have commenced contacting the relevant employees to arrange for the payment to be made.
In parallel, Optus have also been engaging with the Wage Inspectorate Victoria (WIV) in relation to concerns raised with regard to the LSL Act. Shortly, we are expecting the Court of Appeal to hand down its decision as to whether the WIV can treat charges against Optus for breaching the LSL Act as "continuing offences".
We value the contribution of our amazing people and we are committed to ensuring everyone receives their correct entitlements, and remediating any impacted individuals promptly.
REDUNDANCIES TELSTRA IMO
Telstra advised as follows:
We announced a final decision to proceed with the proposed changes in Incident Management Operations (IMO) within Global Networks and Technology (GN&T). Following 6 weeks of consultation (including meeting with representatives from your unions on two occasions), we have made the decision to proceed with:
Aligning the Global Operations Manager and IT Operations Manager roles across the Major Incident Management (MIM) & IT Command Centre (ITCC) teams.
Moving the IT Incident Management team to a 6-week rotating roster, and aligning their shift hours to the Major Incident Management team (moving from 12.15 hours to 8.15 hours shifts). The original roster which was announced on 4 October went through several iterations as a result of feedback from our employees. Most recent of which would see a nightshift moved to ensure employees receive an additional work-free weekend within the roster cycle. Following your feedback, we also had these rosters fatigue assessed by our health and safety team, and they have been given a `low risk' rating. Further, we originally proposed that the new roster would begin 2 months following a final decision, and that we would provide our affected employees with a 2 month shift penalty maintenance payment. Based on feedback, the new rosters will not begin until February 2024, and we have expanded the shift penalty maintenance payment to compensate for any penalties lost up until 30 June 2024.
Seeking 1 x EOI from the IT Incident Management team to move from standard hours to shift hours; and
Expanding the MIM branding to include the IT Command centre and propose to call it MIM IT.
Lastly, this decision means we will be proceeding with the reduction of 3 x Senior Operations Service Specialist roles (band 2) in Melbourne via a Group Selection process (11 roles to 8). Given the close proximity to Christmas/New Year and to ensure employees have the best opportunity to find alternative roles in Telstra, we are proposing that employees who are unsuccessful in the group selection process (or who are selected as a result of volunteering through the Group Selection process) will have the option to defer their redundancy until January 2024, where they will then enter their Placement Period.
Authorised by Dan Dwyer Secretary
- CWU Telecommunications & Services Branches.