Number 14 20 April 2022
Bear in mind that only Union members can apply the protected industrial action. The load and cost of pursuing an industrial campaign is borne by the Union membership, and the non-members take whatever comes along as a result of Union members' endeavours.
A no vote has to be taken with the possibility of a targeted protected industrial campaign that aims to even up the current bargaining power of the boss. There is a long way to go before we get there, because there needs to be a preparedness to apply for protected industrial action which requires the support of our Communications Division executive.
This may take the form of carefully constructed bans and limitations, and is balloted by Union membership. If the "no" response is in the majority of returned votes the PABO (Protected Action Ballot Order) is made.
Clearly, minimising the costs to the Union membership is the key, and simple, day long "stop works" which are merely responded to by the boss by docking your pay, should only be considered in certain strategic circumstances.
The NSW and Vic T&S Branches, and the Vic P&T Branch have all recommended a "Vote NO". This is due, in the main, to a very poor wage offer at the very time that inflation - as measured by the general CPI number - is on the increase. The remaining 4 CEPU branches (Qld, NSW P&T, WA and SA/NT) have decided to "run dead" and not recommend any vote to their members (i.e. neither Yes or No).
To analyse the outcome in CPI, you have to drill down into the measured areas that provide the CPI figure. There are some stark reminders that certain "cost of living" increases are much higher than the latest figure of 3.5%, taken from Dec 2021. The next CPI figure is due to be released on 27 April, however the Budget papers indicate CPI will be 4.25% at the end of June 22.
The CPI is clearly rising. By the time our next programmed pay increase of 2.5% is due on Oct 1, 22, the CPI rate will be way in advance of that pay rise, possibly even to the extent of going backwards by up to 5% (i.e. the difference between CPI and the Oct 2022 wage proposal. In the international field, the most recent figure from the March quarter show CPI in the USA is running at about 8.5%, and in the UK 7%. Increasing prices around the world are becoming the norm, and Australia won't be immune.
The three CEPU Branches recommend a VOTE NO, to clearly reject the proposal from Telstra and place pressure back on Telstra to improve the offer. Your NO vote is vital.
SUPERANNUATION CONFUSION - DEFINED BENEFIT EMPLOYEES AND SUPER GUARANTEE
Telstra have clarified that, despite some words in official "Comms" that the future Super guarantee (proposed 0.5% in June 2021 and June 2022 ) will not appear in Defined Benefits staff Fixed Remuneration amounts (if the super guarantee increases are resumed by the federal government).
Clarification from Darren Fewster is as follows:
"Here is the detail shared with me by Rem and (after reviewing a bit more closely) I will ensure people are updated on Corp Comms:
Do the superannuation changes operate the same for people in a Defined Benefit Fund?
If you are a member of a Defined Benefit superannuation plan, the Government's proposed changes to minimum superannuation contributions will not affect the calculation of your superannuation entitlements. The superannuation guarantee legislation does not apply to Telstra's contributions to Defined Benefit superannuation.
As your superannuation does not change in July 2022, your Fixed Remuneration will also not change as a result."
Authorised by Dan Dwyer NSW Secretary, Sue Riley Vic Secretary - CWU Telecommunications & Services Branches.