We need a fair Pay Rise

and a share of Profits.


01-06-18 Negotiations began
26-07-18 Telstra walked away from negotiations

26-07-18 Telstra advised going to ballot
29-07-18 Proposed EBA published to members
05-08-18 Access period for EBA ends
06-08-18 First Ballot opens
10-08-18 First Ballot closes
10-08-18 First Ballot Declared - workers win
18-08-18 Negotiations begin again
01-10-18 Non EBA 1.5% Pay Rise Introduced
22-11-18 New Offer no better
06-12-18 Fair Work Approves Industrial Action Ballot
06-12-18 See Fair Work Decision
06-12-18 See Fair Work Orders abandoned
09-12-18 Amended FWC Orders
21-01-19 Ballot Opens
25-02-19 Ballot Closes
25-02-19 AEC declares results - EBA Defeated
2019 Numerous negotiations

11-11-19 4 Branches agree to ballot, 3 do not agree
04-12-19 Ballot result
04-12-19 2019 EBA Second Ballot Version

What is a Protected Action Ballot
How is a Protected Action Ballot counted
History in Detail - INDEX to Bulletins

2019 EBA Second Ballot Version
2018 EBA First Ballot Version
2018 EBA Telstra EBA Fact Sheet
2018 EBA Telstra EBA FAQ
2015 EBA Telstra

How to join the Telstra Branch


Follow progress by Subscribing to our weekly free bulletin. Go to our home page for details See the INDEX to Bulletins for the history


If the Telstra briefing jargon is correct, you will not be Telstra employees from July next year.

The signs are that you will be in a subsidiary, possibly InfraCo Pty Ltd. (See the Telstra Investor Day reports in our bulletins.)
This week the Telstra EBA was approved. For a miserable 1.8% pay rise, we lost, for example, the right to stay as a Telstra employee and the right (in our view) not to be directed to take LSL.
Our Branch, together with the 2 Vic Branches recommended a NO vote. The other 4 CEPU Branches actively campaigned for a YES vote, somehow convincing their members and others that this was a fantastic deal. It's not.
Telstra staff, traditionally ATEA (now T&S Branch) members fought hard for better conditions. "Concession bargaining" was never in our language. We gave up nothing. Last EBA this same leadership agreed to reduce redundancy by 4 weeks, by agreeing to include notice in the 80 week cap. This EBA we lost have lost our guaranteed job with Telstra. But, wait for it, we can be forced into a subsidiary. Refuse and there is no redundancy. Supporting an agreement where we had to give up conditions was never our way - and it is not now!
Historically ATEA led the way in Australia with the 36.75 hour week, breaking a pay freeze, technological change, consultation rights and redundancy.
The amalgamation with postal workers has not worked. Telstra members are always up for a fight provided that the leadership is smart and competent. It is lacking. While the postal leadership infamously did a 1% deal with Post and a secret deal in 2015 to keep payroll deductions, the Telstra members have higher aims and ideals. Postal members also need control of officials.
It's time to restructure our union so that Telecom and Postal members can make their own decisions.

Telstra has advised that 65% of employees voted YES. Some 63% of the total pool of eligible voters participated. The EBA must now be submitted to the FWC for approval.

Following over 500 days of bargaining, Telstra workers across the country have voted to support their new EBA. The Agreement will now be lodged with the Fair Work Commission, by Telstra - a process we hope will not be overly delayed, given the time of year. The Agreement will come into force seven days after being approved by the Fair Work Commission and will nominally expire in September 2021 - allowing a return to bargaining no later than May 2021.
National President Shane Murphy said that whilst the pay offer was disappointing to SBU representatives, the Agreement as a whole had come a long way. "We continue to maintain that the wage offer falls short of where we believe it should've been," said Shane. "Members deserve to be paid fairly, particularly where we see the CEO lining his pockets whilst the company's performance continues to suffer. "We're satisfied to see it improved from where it was, however, we're eager to get back to the bargaining table to renegotiate in 2021, off the back of their T22 implementation.
"What we are truly excited about is the conditions our members have been able to lock-in," Shane continued.
"Clause 47 started out as Telstra's way of getting out of paying redundancy benefits - it ended as an employment lifeline for members who would otherwise have had to resort to sub-contracting, to remain in the industry.
"Similarly, our traditional long service leave provisions were being torn to shreds by an unfair, draconian style policy that was set to be introduced on 1 January. This agreement prevents that from happening.
"It also delivers parental leave equality to both parents, will end the abuse of casual employment arrangements and gives a head-start on placement processes to those members caught in surplus situations who want to remain employed with Telstra.
"Considering that one of the largest jobs purges in Australian corporate history served as the backdrop to this long and drawn out round of bargaining, members should be extremely pleased with what they have achieved by sticking together, without any trade-offs."

So, what's in the new Agreement?

Transfer of business and employment provisions under Clause 47 which will lock in the following conditions should employees be transferred to a subsidiary, under the process:
i) Work must be the same, or substantially the same;
ii) On terms and conditions considered, on an overall basis, no less favourable than the conditions held at Telstra;
iii) That provides no less than 15 days paid personal leave each year (pro rata for part-time employees);
iv) That provides your ordinary hours f work will be no more than an average of 36 _ hours per week;
v) That recognises service with Telstra;
vi) That provides for the continued eligibility for membership of the defined benefits superannuation fund, for employees who are existing members;
vii) That provides for redundancy in the same circumstances as under the Telstra EA; and
viii) That provides your retrenchment benefits with the new employer will be calculated:
a) In accordance with the Telstra redundancy scale (section 10) if your job with the subsidiary is made redundant and you are retrenched; and
b) By reference to your Fixed Remuneration at Telstra at the time the offer is made, or the fixed remuneration at the time you are retrenched by the subsidiary - whichever is higher.
ix) A guarantee on entitlements is provided by Telstra for transferring employees - meaning if the subsidiary, for any reason, was unable to pay transferring employees entitlements, Telstra would be legally responsible for paying anything owed.

Voluntary retrenchment processes that will provide for employees to volunteer for redundancy at an earlier stage than currently - allowing for greater scrutiny of processes, such as job swaps, to be fully exhausted, maximising the opportunity for an impacted employee who does not volunteer, to remain employed by Telstra.

The right for casuals, following 12 months of regular engagement, to request permanent employment that may only be refused on reasonable grounds - reducing the possibility for casual arrangement abuse and making work more secure for all Telstra employees

Long service leave arrangements based, largely, on a voluntary process - rather than Telstra's draconian policy which was due to be introduced on 1 January

Equal parental leave rights - extending 16 weeks of parental leave, on full pay, and up to 12 months of unpaid leave, to both parents

A pay rise of 1.8% and 2% over two years, respectively - with a 0.3% increase to be back-paid to October 2019, once approved by Fair Work.


  • Sun 24 Nov to Sun 1 Dec - Formal access period - for you to read the EBA
  • Mon 2 Dec to Fri 6 Dec - Voting by web site - Voting closes at 1pm.
  • Friday 6 Dec - declaration of result.

    Briefing 27/11/19 - where will these proposals leave the employees?
    (Before reading this, download the 40 page document sent to the Australian Securities Exchange which appears on the telstra.com.au web site.)
    Closer examination of the "Investor Day" briefing documents from last week gives us a bit of a guarded insight into Telstra's thoughts on where it will position itself over the short term. In between understanding "corporate/market coded" messages on power point slides, as well as some analysis done by James Fernyhough of the Australian Financial review (available on the Australian Financial Review website), the future for staff employed by Telstra Pty Ltd is even more confused. However, the InfraCo vehicle for dismembering Telstra is right there in your face. Telstra appears to be clearly moving to set up InfraCo Pty Ltd as something it can sell a little bit down the track. So if the EBA is voted up, the "Operation Break Up" will begin in earnest.
    A move to prepare InfraCo Business Unit (or InfraCo Pty Ltd for that matter) for future sale appears not out of the question, however the accounting speak such as "Asset adjustments" and "optionality" and "flexible business model" give current employees across Telstra very little comfort, if at all. It could well be a case of "precarious" employment in the future.
    Telstra need to come fully clean about it's future plans - clear, concise and cut the bean counting accountants' word smithing crap. Only then can the workers of Telstra start planning their working futures. The whispers and thought bubbles of senior management and the Board need to be spelled out, analysed and confronted. This was an incredible company, but now it looks totally like a train wreck, presided over by a Board and senior management who have no consideration of the staff they have used to historically place Telstra in a pre-eminent position, only to then rub their noses in the pile of excreta they have produced.
    In fact, the Management of Telstra, at both Board level and across the company, need to carefully reflect on the number of Australian jobs they have killed off, the value of the company to investors in its current operation, and a bunch of other issues that have become apparent under their watch.




    There is no industrial action in place at the moment. See CURRENT PROTACTED ACTION


    We have implemented a number of industrial actions following approval by members. We have a special page which will be updated immediately shoul;d any change occur.

    The CURRENT protected action can be found at this page CURRENT PROTACTED ACTION Watch this page for further changes.


    Telstra workers demand better pay and conditions
    Workers at Telstra are fighting for better pay and conditions after being offered pay increases well below inflation - effectively a pay cut.
    Australian workers have been facing record or near-record low wage growth for years. This is not normal, it's a national crisis brought about by the failed trickle-down economic policies of the Morrison Government.
    If all working people had to wait for generous bosses to gift them pay rises, they will be waiting for a long time. Union members have other options available to them, sticking together and exercising their collective power.
    Quotes attributable to ACTU Secretary Sally McManus:
    "Management denying workers a pay rise whilst taking home millions has become all too common; Telstra workers deserve a pay rise.
    "It is disgraceful Telstra is offering a real wage cut while their top six executives collectively take home what would take the average Telstra worker 200 years to earn.
    "Because Telstra workers are union members they are able to fight back. They are able to exercise their right to take action and make Telstra listen.
    "The union movement supports CEPU members in their fight for fair wage increases."
    Tuesday 12 March 2019


    Members have overwhelmingly approved industrial action. The AEC declaration stated on 25 Feb 2019::

    Number admitted to the roll				3275
    No of envelopes returned					1861
    No of envelopes rejected					  24
    No admitted to scrutiny initially				1837
    No admitted but did not contain a ballot paper			   3
    No admitted to scrutiny final					1834
    Percentage of persons who voted					 56%
    No of YES votes							1630
    No of NO votes							 203
    Informal							   1
    Percentage wh0 yoted YES					 88%


    The Telstra EBA Protected Action Ballot (CWU members only) will commence Mon 21 Jan and close on Monday Feb 25. The AEC will conduct the ballot.
    Nationally, we must achieve
    1) greater than 50% of votes returned, and
    2) greater than 50% of the returns in the affirmative.
    You may be contacted by members of our Committee of Management and other activists encouraging you to return your ballot paper with a YES vote. We want a high return rate to demonstrate CWU members endorse this action. That will enable the commencement of a period of Protected Industrial Action, in order to pressure Telstra to properly negotiate an improvement on the terrible 1.5% p/a offer they have currently tabled.


    The CEO and Management might want to reduce the redundancy benefits but they have a problem. There is a law in place called an Enterprise Agreement (EBA) which states that the redundancy benefit is 80 weeks max or 81 weeks if over 45. Union members have protected this benefit for many years now. The Fair Work Act states that after the nominal expiry date (NED), the EBA stays in force until replaced or terminated.
    EBA Replacement:
    We are currently trying to replace the Telstra EBA. It had passed the NED but remains in force. Telstra is not seeking to change the redundancy benefits (at this stage). Union bargaining power is critical in this campaign. Our Protected Action Ballot will close on Monday 25 February.
    EBA Termination:
    There is a remote possibility down the track that the EBA could be terminated. The FWC is involved and would decide the matter. If the EBA is terminated, then you fall back to your Telstra Modern Enterprise Award. See https://cwunion.net/telecom/eawd500.htm. This is a safety net Award setting minimum conditions. The maximum redundancy in the Award is 44 or 45 weeks. This was established by a Full Bench several years ago. Note that this is a far better safety net compared to the majority of Awards which are 12 weeks max plus notice.
    The best way to protect your conditions is to strengthen the bargaining power of Union members with 100% membership. Make sure that the Redundancy is protected by joining us - ask your fellow workers to join you in this campaign. Go to https://cwunion.net/cepu/cepu303.htm to join CWU. Only a Union can protect these conditions.


    Our Divisional Office finally made an application for a protected action ballot. The Fair Work Commission (FWC) approved a ballot to commence on 17 December. See the Decision and Orders of 6 December. Then the Divisional Office had second thoughts. It wanted to postpone the ballot because of Xmas. On 8 Dec (2 days later) the Divisional Office advised that the ballot had been cancelled. We will seek a new ballot in January.


    The following is written by Telstra and was copied from Yammar

      Yesterday we met with the unions and other bargaining representatives to discuss Telstra's formal proposal. To recap this included the following key elements:

    • A 2 year agreement with a 1.5% pay increase (Workstream employees) /1.5% pay pool (Job Family employees) for each year of the agreement, including that paid in 2018;
    • Preservation of our industry-leading terms and conditions (i.e. full-time hours of work at 36.75 per week; 80-week redundancy cap and current accruals, the Telstra Additional Day; a minimum 10% guaranteed superannuation contribution ( which is higher than legislative requirements) etc);
    • Removal of Clause 45 - Transfer of Business/Transfer of Employment to support the principle of minimal proposed changed;
    • Performance bonus for Workstream employees to guarantee this payment for achieving a rating of 4 or 5 for the current performance year (1 July 2018-30 June 2019);
    • Inclusion of the Annual Bonus for FY ending 30 June 2019 Workstream employees, which mirrors the company STI in terms of its key elements; and
    • Key drafting changes to improve clarity/flexibility that have been negotiated and already agreed between the parties retained.

      The unions have advised that they do not accept Telstra's proposal and said that they will put a counter-proposal to Telstra in writing. As outlined, we do not intend to move to a vote on a new EA at this time without the endorsement of unions.


    No. The ability of union members to take industrial action significantly improves our Union bargaining power. It is all about bargaining power. Bargaining power is usually enough to get a fair agreement. The threat of industrial action is a powerful power to have. Particularly when the threat is real and the action is potentially effective. These days, highly targeted industrial action, not across the board action, can be very effective. Our Branch will press the union to prepare for action, and hope that Telstra read the mood of staff and offer fair terms and conditions.


    We have many AWA members. For many years you could not get a job with Telstra unless you signed an AWA. While the AWAs expired many years ago they remain in force. Telstra see the AWA members as potential strike breakers because the AWA members cannot, by law, easily join a union strike (Thanks to Workchoices). We will develop a kit to assist AWA members to join other workers and/or refuse to do the work of non AWA workers. It is a legal minefield to do this without union assistance. Watch for our kit.


    Our unions are now more empowered. Telstra will be forced to significantly improve their offer if they want staff to vote it up.

    To further our bargaining power, Unions will go through the complex steps to have protected industrial action available - should it be necessary!

    Further we want to empower members and staff on AWAs so that they can also elect to support industrial action if necessary. Telstra see the AWA workers as people with no bargaining power and no ability to press for better conditions. We will show that they are wrong.



    22-08-18 - Telstra EBA - Pay Rise

    Hi Team,
    Earlier this month many of you had the opportunity to vote on a new Telstra Enterprise Agreement (EA) for our Australian based employees for the period through until 2021. The results were recently announced and the majority of eligible employees voted against the proposal.
    I appreciate that for many of you a critical factor influencing that outcome was that the pay increase put forward was lower than previous EAs. That pay offer was made in the context of the current challenges Telstra faces, including the impact of the nbn rollout and the intensifying competition in fixed and mobile. To balance the lower pay proposal however, we offered to preserve core and industry-leading terms and conditions including redundancy payments, leave accruals and hours of work.
    It appears highly unlikely at this point we will be able to reach agreement on pay in the coming weeks. Where there is a no vote, it is not unusual for companies to opt to hold pay at current levels until such time as there is an agreement. However, I believe it is important for us to go ahead with the pay offer as outlined in the recent EA offer so that you receive a pay increase as soon as possible. Therefore, we will begin paying the increase under company policy with effect from 1 October, 2018.
    This will mean Workstream employees will receive a 1.5% pay increase and a pay pool of 1.5% will be distributed to Job Family employees. Telstra will take the same approach for AWA, ITEA, Band 1 & 2 CLC employees. Eligible employees will also continue to receive incentive payments, including those under the Short Term Incentive program, with payments to be made in September.
    As I shared previously, this is a challenging period for the company and this is having a range of impacts, including on pay. Last week I announced there would be no increases in fixed remuneration this financial year for me or any of my executive leadership team, other than on appointment or promotion to a new role or a significant increase in accountabilities.
    Telstra's objective remains to reach a new EA and we are open to continuing our discussions with unions and other bargaining representatives. For further information on these discussions, please continue to see the Yammer Enterprise Bargaining 2018 site.

    10-08-18 - Telstra Enterprise Agreement 2018-2021 - Vote Outcome

    Hi all,
    Telstra has received the official and audited vote result from our vote provider on the proposed Telstra Enterprise Agreement 2018-2021.
    Details are as follows:
    Total number of eligible voters: 25,276
    Total number of votes received: 15, 537 (61%) response rate
    Total 'YES' votes: 2,890 (19%)
    Total 'NO' votes: 12,647 (81%)
    We are open to continuing discussions with the unions and other bargaining representatives. At this stage we are seeking to meet with you next Thursday 16th of August at 3pm if that is suitable for you all. I will send through a meeting invite.
    Our employees will be receiving communications from 4pm on the vote outcome today.
    We too seek to meet with other bargaining representatives but would like the opportunity to meet with you all first and foremost.
    Thanks and have a good weekend.
    Regards, Jess O'Donnell Employee Relations I Operations & Governance Transformation & People

    10-08-18 - Bargaining 2018 - Employee Update - Vote Outcome

    Hi everyone,
    As you know, this week eligible employees had the opportunity to vote on the new proposed Telstra Enterprise Agreement (EA) for 2018-2021.
    The majority of eligible employees who voted in the ballot for the proposed Telstra Enterprise Agreement 2018-2021 have voted against it. This means the proposed agreement will not come into effect.
    Of the 25,276 employees eligible to vote, 15,537 voted. Of those who voted, 81% voted no and 19% yes.
    Telstra's objective has been to achieve a fair enterprise agreement which delivers on the needs of our customers, employees and shareholders. Given the competitive and challenging operating environment, we put forward an EA with a lower pay increase than in previous EAs, whilst protecting core terms and conditions of employment. However, the vote was ultimately up to our employees.
    What happens now?
    Telstra remains committed to maintaining a fair outcome for our employees. We will consider the approach we take from here, and expect to continue to talk to the Telstra unions and other bargaining representatives. We will share next steps with employees in the coming weeks. In the interim the current EA will continue to operate until replaced or terminated at some future point.
    Will I receive a pay increase in October?
    The proposed EA covered pay increases from 1 October 2018 for all Band 2 - 4 employees on the EA. There are no further pay increases covered by the current EA and we will be considering our position.
    The approach for pay increases for AWA and ITEA employees also needs to be considered. We will keep employees updated.
    Incentive pay, such as STI, is not affected by the EA vote outcome.
    Where can I get more information?
    You can get more information by contacting the bargaining team via ! Telstra Bargaining. Information is also available on the Bargaining intranet site.
    Thanks to all of those who participated in the EA ballot process.

    Kind regards Darren Fewster People Executive, Operations and Governance


    Telstra suffered a massive loss in the first ballot. Their rush to get a vote up and to prevent the union from gaining bargaining power backfired.

       No of Voters     25,276
       No who Voted     15,537    61.5% 
       Voted NO	    12,647    81.4%
       Voted Yes	     2,890    18.6%


    The nominal expiry date of the Telstra EBA was 30 Sept 2018. Negotiations with Telstra began in the first week of June 2018. They ended on 26 July 2018 when Telstra (as predicted) walked away and went to ballot without Union support.

    Telstra were very confident that staff would welcome a 1.5% pay rise (per annum) and having their Redundancy benefits put at risk. The unions mounted an urgent "Vote NO" campaign. See Some photos! Watch this space


    For a bit of fun, here is a very short audio outlining our position. WARNING Billy Connolly is not known for his literary softness. If you are easily offended this is not for you!

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