CWU T&S WEEKLY BULLETIN NO 2021 /
31 Jan 2021
AWA , INFRACO, SERVECO, PURPLE INFORMATION
We have special web pages where all our information is collected.
See InfraCo and Subsidiaries Fact Sheet
See Terminating AWA Fact Sheet
Despite the uncertainty ahead, we believe that there is no immediate threat to your conditions.
MEMBERS COVERED BY AN AWA/ITEA - SOME FACTS
We met with Telstra this week to discuss the unilateral termination of all AWAs and ITEAs. We learned that about 2,500 staff are involved.
Once terminated, you will revert to the EBA. Telstra says
- If your AWA/ITEA had passed their nominal expiry date before 24 Sept 2010, you will have a choice to fall back to Workstream or Job Family. (about 50% will have a choice here)
- Otherwise you will revert to the EBA as Job Family.
Telstra will send an advice to you in mid April 2021 setting out your conditions, including their offer to you under Workstream (if you have that option) and their offer to you under Job Family.
Telstra is saying that it is not looking to disadvantage you and that pay and conditions will not be reduced.
When terminating the AWA/ITEAs, the FWC will only check that all boxes have been ticked in the process. The FWC will not address the merits if an argument exists.
The terminations are not likely to occur until June or July.
MEMBERS COVERED BY AN AWA/ITEA - WHAT IS COMING?
We and the Vic T&S Branch (and CPSU) had a number of questions. Here are our observations:
- The real action will come when you get the offers in April.
- As far as Telstra is concerned, these are not offers but their decisions.
- Telstra says that if you revert to Workstream, you may have a pay cut.
- Telstra says that if you revert to job stream, you will have the same conditions.
- Telstra says that this also applies to bonuses and other pay in job family.
- Telstra says that it will continue to recognise special conditions you may have in the AWA/ITEA.
- If you revert to workstream, Telstra will be "mapping" your work to determine what they think is your classification. This could result in a pay reduction. Any dispute can be taken through the dispute resolution process in the AWA or EBA. It appears that we need to assist you on this.
- Superannuation may be affected only if your pay is reduced or certain allowances are not recognised as salary for superannuation purposes. We need to wait to determine this.
- Telstra was unsure when I asked how these promises would become enforceable clauses in your contract of employment. Telstra said that they would advise me later. (We will advise you of their response.)
POSTAL TECHS LOCKED OUT OF EBA TALKS
Late last year, the CEPU blocked representation from the two largest technical branches with Post Technical members. Our Branch and the Vic T&S Branches proposed that we be directly represented in EBA negotiations affecting technical members.
Then the CEPU entered into a Memorandum of Understanding agreeing to a pay freeze for 12 months. (In the normal cycle you should have had a pay rise on October 2020.)
Some technical members have nominated bargaining agents to negotiate separately with Post. By law officials of our T&S Branches cannot be bargaining agents.
POST SHIFT SWAP MATTER
There have been no talks of substance with Post. The matter is listed for conciliation in Fair Work next Thursday 4 February. Gary Newberry and I will represent members. If you have any comments, please contact us.
BATHURST AND OBERON EXCHANGES
We have written to Telstra as follows:
Bathurst Exchange has been without water since the 13th of Jan. The water main, Telstra side of meter, has split and is leaking into cable chamber. It appears that Telstra's solution is to leave the water turned OFF!
This exchange is a major exchange containing switching, Transmission and NBN equipment.
The site is regularly visited by local techs plus enhanced and construction staff. These staff as well as local staff are required to attend this site regularly both during the day and on planned events at night or urgent recalls to restore equipment.
This obviously presents many challenges, both hygiene and safety are placed at jeopardy. The safety issue includes the need for water when performing battery routines (acid wash).
Oberon Exchange has a leaking sewer main. Raw sewerage was flowing into a nearby cafe. Telstra have shut off the water and boarded up the toilet at this exchange. As a number of staff need to visit and work there, this must be rectified.
INFRACO & SUBSIDIARIES - AWARD HISTORY - FIRST FWC CASE
(continued from last week)
As the Divisional Secretary I made an application for Telstra to be bound by a special "enterprise award", not the industry Award.
Telstra strongly opposed our application and argued that you should be covered by the (industry) Telecommunications Modern Award. Several others attempted and failed to get an enterprise Award.
We eventually ran a case before the Full Bench of the FWC and won. The Full Bench held that we could create an enterprise Award. This was the first enterprise Award to be made so it was an important precedent.
But is was only the start.
INFRACO & SUBSIDIARIES - AWARD HISTORY - SECOND FWC CASE
While we won the right to have an enterprise Award, we could not agree on the content of the Award. We wanted the 36.75 hour week, the then 84 weeks redundancy etc. Telstra wanted the 38 hour week and 12 week redundancy, and effectively the industry Award content. The matter again went to a Full Bench of the FWC.
We won all the better conditions that existed in the former Telstra Awards and EBA - except the full redundancy.
In 2015 the FB determined in private mediation 40 weeks as the maximum redundancy, plus the 4-5 week's notice on top of the 40 weeks.
We currently will have the best safety net Award in the land.
INFRACO & SUBSIDIARIES - BIG PICTURE #1
- We have heard about several Telstra subsidiaries, and there may be more:
- InfraCo Fixed,
- InfraCo Towers
- Telstra Purple
- It is expected that Telstra will be mostly emptied, by moving staff to subsidiaries this year.
- Telstra and the subsidiaries are separate legal entities and must be considered as separate companies and employers
- If you are moved to a subsidiary, you should consider the legal effect to be:
- that you have been terminated by Telstra and
- that you have been employed as a new employee by the subsidiary.
- New employees start with no leave, no redundancy, no seniority etc
- Telstra subsidiaries will only have the Industry Awards as a safety net. That is a 38 hour week and 12 week's redundancy.(We wanted to challenge this in Telstra Purple but our Divisional Office has not taken up the challenge)
- Telstra is certain to put forward a new EBA for each subsidiary with a 38 hour week and 12 week's redundancy - as they did with Telstra Purple.
INFRACO & SUBSIDIARIES - BIG PICTURE #2
Now you can appreciate what we are trying to protect. There are some protections. They basically are:
- A union with competent officials
- Bargaining Power
- Transfer of business laws and the limited protection they give
- For Telstra employees, Clause 47 of the EBA which also may have limited effect.
Existing staff are protected for the immediate future, so do not panic.
While there are uncertainties, we can protect you if we are organised.
We will elaborate on these in future bulletins.
Authorised by Dan Dwyer Branch Secretary
CWU Telecommunications & Services Branch, Sydney City, NSW.