TECHNICAL AND SERVICES BRANCH WEEKLY BULLETIN 2022
20 February 2022
TPG EBA NEGOTIATIONS TO BEGIN
This Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, TPG has scheduled meetings for bargaining agents and others to talk about their draft SBA. The EBA was circulated to most staff a week ago. There are multiple serious concerns with the EBA. In our phone hook-up members expressed concern about loss of conditions, allowances and pay. Membership will be critical to success in this exercise. Please encourage all staff to join you in this critical negotiation.
OPTUS EBA - SEND A MESSAGE - VOTE NO
As a vote is under way, our Union does not support the proposed Optus EBA. Our Branch has considered the proposed EBA and recommends that you vote NO. If the majority of voters do vote NO, we have bargaining power to improve the EBA!
OPTUS EBA - WHY VOTE NO
Optus has chosen to close negotiations for a new EPA and formally offer their proposed EPA to employees. Bargaining ended at a time when the Union felt that certain matters of importance to members remained unresolved. We point to two fundamental problems.
First Optus is asking you to agree that Optus can order you to take annual leave. Optus currently does NOT have that right. This is new and a major trade-off. Clause 8.1 states (in part).
Optus may require an employee to take annual leave in the following circumstances:
Secondly, you are not guaranteed any pay rise for the next 3 years. Minimum rates will be guaranteed an increase in line with CPI. But all staff are paid above the poor minimum rates, and Optus is not obliged to adjust take home pay.
== during the end of year summer break period; or other business or work area shut down. Optus will consider reasonable requests by employees who wish to take leave at an alternative time; or
== where an employee has accrued more than 8 weeks of annual leave (9 weeks for 7 day shift workers as defined at 6.9(f)), and the employee has not submitted a reasonable annual leave plan within one month of being asked to provide one. The amount of annual leave an employee may be required to take will be less than, or equal to, a quarter of the employee's annual leave balance. Optus will not refuse an employee's proposed annual leave plan if it ensures the employee uses within six months, a quarter of the amount of leave accrued, provided that it does not impact on Optus' operational delivery.
In negotiations we were able to wind back some of the annual leave rights that Optus sought. But not all. Optus would not guarantee take home pay increases. There were some improvements: the introduction of a Connect Day, the duration and scope of domestic violence leave, paid parental and partner leave, bereavement leave and compassionate leave, and the introduction of blood donation, gender affirmation and fostering and kinship leave
But to seriously improve bargaining power, Optus workers need to build collective strength at Optus
When it comes to negotiating successful outcomes in bargaining, the key to success is improving our membership density.
If your colleagues are not yet members, share this message with them and ask them to join the Union today, to ensure we can deliver better outcomes moving forward. . .
E000 EXCHANGE - COVID
You will have noted some significant changes in the last few weeks as we pressed for improvements following an outbreak in the workplace. We have reported our letters and the Telstra responses. So we thought we could take the matter to a different plane. See our most recent below, and the Telstra reply.
The Telstra response basically rejects our attempt to resolve the problems together.
What an insult for Telstra to invite us to meet regularly - and then insist that we use our rights under the (Fair Work Act) Right of Entry laws to get access! We will not do it that way!
E000 - OUR EMAIL TO TELSTRA
Thank you for your responses. I have circulated them and discussed the responses. There is a great gap between your claims and the experiences of members. The differences are significant and irreconcilable.
Nevertheless we are looking for a path forward.
First, I agree that we should meet. We propose that a staff meeting be held at an appropriate time so that interested staff can attend. Some staff believe that this would be positive. As discussed I would also attend. We can discuss further by phone.
Secondly, there needs to be a structured cleaning schedule for E000, complete with verification. This need not be complex.
A schedule of cleaning tasks should be prepared with times attached. Each day the cleaners should indicate that the tasks have been cleaned and the time. This should be visible to staff.
This will give staff the confidence that cleaning resources have been provided by Telstra and that it is actually carried out.
Again we can discuss by phone.
The above should occur asap. Would you kindly advise if you accept this approach.
E000 - OUR EMAIL TO TELSTRA - TELSTRA
First, I agree that we should meet. Paul's suggestion of a quarterly site visit can be arranged via the standard Right of Entry process, so please follow the usual steps to arrange that for future visits.
We propose that a staff meeting be held at an appropriate time so that interested staff can attend. Some staff believe that this would be positive. As discussed I would also attend.
Our Safety Security and Wellbeing (SSW) team have spoken to a number of employees individually, and some employees put forward suggestions on the best way to provide feedback given full team meetings are logistically difficult with 24/7 rosters and call readiness requirements etc. The SSW team took on this feedback and are currently creating an online Q&A forum to enable the broader team to participate and share their views/feedback. This Q&A should be available for the E000 team by late next week, and the SSW team will then manage/review all the responses.
Secondly, there needs to be a structured cleaning schedule for E000, complete with verification. This need not be complex. A schedule of cleaning tasks should be prepared with times attached.
Telstra currently has a commercial cleaning agreement with a vendor which has a detailed scope of works defined. The business is reviewing this agreement, based on the feedback that you and your members have provided, and where an improvement opportunity exists this will be modified and implemented. We can incorporate the feedback regarding date and time of cleaning at visible checkpoints in the workplace, and include this recommendation in the cleaning contract review.
ACCESS TO SUPER FOR OUR MOST DISADVANTAGED WORKERS
New superannuation provisions have been created.
Previously, workers had to earn a minimum of $450 per month before receiving super contributions from their employer.
This change will benefit our most disadvantaged workers the most: women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and low-income earners in insecure work.
Years of campaigning by workers and their unions have led to this achievement, which marks a significant step towards workers being paid super on every dollar earned. This win shows that union membership is so much more than just individual protection - it's about being part of a movement that drives positive change in the workplace and broader society.
Authorised by Dan Dwyer NSW Secretary, Sue Riley Vic Secretary
- CWU Telecommunications & Services Branches.