CWU T&S WEEKLY BULLETIN NO 2021 /
15 Feb 2021
MIRAIT EBA TALKS BEGIN
We commenced EBA discussions with Mirait this week. Detailed negotiations will commence next week and we expect weekly meetings thereafter. Dan Harpley and I will represent our members.
This matter of pre filling ARL for staff will proceed to the FWC. It has been delayed by two other applications we have before the FWC
POST SPF SHIFT SWAPS
We were unable to meet last week. We expect the meeting this week. The matter overlaps a bullying application that is currently before the FWC.
INFRACO & SUBSIDIARIES - RECAP
Recap - When you move to a subsidiary of Telstra, your employment ceases with Telstra. You become a new employee of the subsidiary. The first consideration is the transition plan. Several are relevant. The first is Transfer of Business. We will deal with these issues in several articles.
INFRACO & SUBSIDIARIES - TRANSFER OF BUSINESS
There are provisions in the Fair Work Act that cover the transfer of business. These are mandatory and will apply to you.
A transfer of business occurs when the business or part of a business if transferred from one employer to another. We will not consider the details. We take it as agreed that the movement of staff from Telstra to a subsidiary fulfils the definition of a transfer of business as defined in the FW Act.
The Fundamental Position:
When you move from one employer to another (Telstra to a subsidiary), then most of your conditions will continue to apply (for a certain time - see later). In your case if you are moved to InfraCo Pty Ltd or ServeCo Pty Ltd, then you will take the Telstra Award and the Telstra EBA conditions with you. So far so good. (This is not Clause 47 in operation but the FW Act)
For How Long?
You will keep your Telstra EBA terms and conditions until a new EBA is done in InfraCo or ServeCo. When a new EBA is done in InfraCo or ServeCo, then your terms and conditions under the Telstra EBA cease, and you are then bound by the terms and conditions under the new InfraCo or ServeCo EBA.
When will there be a new EBA in InfraCo or ServeCo?
A new EBA (after your transfer) in the subsidiary could be several years away. Our guess is that Telstra is expected to do an EBA in the subsidiaries before you transfer over. That way they may be able to persuade a few new employees in the subsidiaries to vote up a poor EBA that will apply to you. It will be in force for several years. As you will not be transferred to the subsidiary by then, you will not get the opportunity to vote. This is the standard way some unscrupulous employers get poor EBAs certified. As we stated above, it is the EBA after you transfer that raises a concern.
Where is the problem?
We restate that it may not be a concern for several years. When a new EBA is certified after you transfer and if the terms and conditions under the new InfraCo or ServeCo EBA are inferior compared to the Telstra EBA (as we saw in Telstra Purple) then you lose. For example, if the new EBA has only a 12 week redundancy (as in Purple), then you will be stuck with a 12 week redundancy instead of the 80 week redundancy.
What about Clause 47?
It is argued that Clause 47 will now kick in and protect your Telstra conditions. There may also be other solutions. We need to discuss this further in later bulletins.
Can I refuse movement to a subsidiary?
Yes - but this is for a later bulletin item.
Should I get out now?
No, there is no reason to panic. We need to know a lot more and if we are an effective union, we can protect your back. Talk to friends - join the union - get bargaining power - it was always this way.
TELSTRA PURPLE - A SIGNPOST FOR INFRACO AND SERVECO?
An extract from Telstra chat line: (Darren Fewster)
Purple people are not covered by the Telstra Award or EA. Telstra Purple is a relatively new company that is largely made up of professionals in IT/software/data/cloud from different companies. Different Awards apply to them. And legislation like the State long service schemes applies to them (and always has) because the Telstra provisions in the Government Long Service Leave Act cannot apply - that's just the law. If some terms are different for Purple, so what?? They also have additional benefits relating to their industry and jobs (like tools/equipment for their specialist work).
The Purple terms are different - a 38 hour week, 12 week's redundancy, 10 days sick leave etc. Our national union did not campaign for a better EBA.
We need to campaign in ServeCo and InfraCo for Telstra conditions.
NEW LIBERAL LAWS TO REDUCE BARGAINING POWER - ACTU
New report confirms that Morrison Govt's proposed workplace law changes will hand huge powers to employers to remove job security and cut wages. The Centre for Future Work released an important report that confirms the worst fears about Scott Morrison's plans to change workplace laws.
The report clearly shows how the new laws will remove the "Better Off Overall Test" that protects workers conditions and pay from being worse than the legal minimums. If this happens, workers will have fewer protections to stop employers from removing job security and cutting wages. The report says:
"The government's hopes of an economic rebound depend on tenuous predictions of increased business investment and surging consumer spending. But how will workers buy more if their incomes are stagnant?"
When the Liberal Government under John Howard removed a similar protection back in 2006 under Workchoices, employers immediately started removing job security protections and cutting wages. And of course, they made mega-profits while doing so. Removing the Better Off Overall Test is one of the primary goals of the big business lobby and corporate executives to weaken the ability for workers to improve their pay and conditions.
We need to stand up and stop these laws from passing the Senate.
Australian Unions - Home
Will you add your name to pledge to stand up for workers?
The Australian Unions Team
Authorised by Dan Dwyer Branch Secretary
CWU Telecommunications & Services Branch, Sydney City, NSW.