Weekly Bulletin


Number 40       26 November 2023


Our National Office has arranged for a meeting of Branches next Monday to discuss the review. This is the first meeting on the matter. This is a big deal. We will continue to report via these weekly bulletins.


Big news this week. Telstra announced to staff that it is reviewing the CFW structure. The structure is determined from agreed Job Descriptions (JDs). These JDs cannot be changed without union agreement. They were written in 1998 and are outdated. (Remember dial up internet, early mobile phones.) Meanwhile, we have pursued a case where we say staff are working at higher levels in jobs not anticipated in the JDs.
The JDs are legally binding on Telstra - but what about new jobs, new responsibilities and new critical roles. This is the reason we are in Court suing Telstra over some Optical Fibre gradings. The hearing is set for March 2024. We are using the old JDs as that is all we have. Telstra faces fines should we be successful - as it is effectively wage theft to pay below the proper classification.


Members have reported a number of matters outlined by Telstra managers. These include comments from Beba Brunt:
- Only Workstream is affected
- Its (suddenly after 25 years) a "good time" to review the JDs
- Negotiations will be held with the CWU
- Individual staff will not have an opportunity to have representation.
- A working group will start next week.
- The review will be complete by 31 March 2024.
- Telstra will not issue weekly updates
- Telstra will use Viva Engage to communicate with staff
- Pay will be grandfathered if a job is reclassified down.


(This is from our Divisional Office - not our Branch)
We are pleased to announce that Telstra and the Communication Workers Union (CWU) are coming together to commence a review of the Core Job Descriptions for our Field Services roles (CFW/TW). This includes office-based roles that are in direct operational support of the field.
Core Job Descriptions underpin the job classification framework (also known as your Workstream and Band) for our Workstream population under the Enterprise Agreement (EA).
During bargaining in 2022, Telstra and the unions agreed that that they needed a refresh, as they have not been reviewed in many years. Our overall objective for this review is to make sure they are up to date, easy to understand and reflect the work required of our roles today. Both the CWU and Telstra are invested in this review, and we know that it's critical in setting Telstra up for a successful future.
We know some employees are under the Job Family model of the EA. While the Job Family job profiles won't form part of this review process, Telstra will ensure that any necessary updates are made to them so they remain up to date and consistent.
Our next steps
We are working together to finalise agreed principles and approach to the review.
We will set up a working group with representation from Telstra and the CWU. We will also involve subject matter experts who are deeply knowledgeable about the work on the ground.
The working group intend to have an initial meeting in the coming weeks. We expect this review to take some time, as we work through the detail to reach the right outcomes, however, we have set a goal completion date of 31 March 2024.
We encourage you to share any feedback with us through Telstra's Core Jobs review mailbox, the dedicated Viva Engage channel, or your union representative.
We are committed to keeping you regularly updated on the progress. Telstra will do so through the dedicated Viva Engage channel. Please join the channel so you are notified of the announcements. The CWU will keep members updated through usual channels.
Beba Brunt, Shane Murphy


We met with Normy this week demanding an urgent JCC as it has been over a year since the last one. The next JCC is set for Friday 1 December. Our local job representatives will attend with me. I gave these agenda items to Normy to consider.
1. Teams allowance
2. PTO4 step 7 to PTO4 Step 8
3. Apprentices RDO
4. Apprentices not PTO1- Electricians
5. Sunday Overtime SPF
6. Overtime - several issues re allocation
7. Filling shifts
8. Directions to work at other sites
9. Tech Lunch Room
10. Teams without Electrical Licences
11. OHS Committee and workshop
12. OHS need to create policies
13. OHS Working alone
14. OHS clear Connect/disconnect guidelines
15. OHS Teams without Electrical Licences
16. Structure Issues - fill now, Higher Duties, backpay
- Technical Manager
- 4 x Team Leaders for SPF.
- 4 x 2IC staff at SPF
- 4 x 2IC staff at SWLF
- 3 x Engineering Leads
- 2 x Planners (SPF, SWLF)
- 6 x SME positions


Do you have any agenda items for the meeting or any comments about the above agenda items? Please advise by return email, by phone or discuss with one of our reps.


A National Consultative Meeting is set for 7 December. Several of the above NSW matters will flow to the National meeting. Vic members will be joined in the claim for backpay etc. Do you have any agenda items for the meeting or any comments about the above agenda items? Please advise me or John Ellery.


Australian workers are working $131 billion of unpaid overtime according to a new survey released today by the Centre for Future Work at the Australia Institute, to coincide with "Go Home on Time Day".
This year's survey also found that casual and temporary workers perform 3.9 hours unpaid overtime per week, worth around $6,300 per year, based on their median wage.
A significant amount of this unpaid work is likely to constitute wage theft.
The Closing Loopholes Bill, currently before Parliament, would make a significant contribution to addressing this crisis of unpaid work by:
- Criminalising intentional wage theft, and significantly increasing the penalties for others forms of wage theft,
- Introducing a clear and practical definition of casual work to better protect workers, and
- Providing minimum pay and conditions for digital platform workers, 55% of who report having to work unpaid hours in a recent ABS survey.
ACTU Secretary Sally McManus:
"The Closing Loopholes Bill will impose higher penalties on those employers who think they can get their staff to work for free. Billions are stolen from workers every year.
"There's nothing complicated or controversial about making sure the workers get paid for the work they do, it's just the right thing to do, especially in a cost-of-living crisis.


This week is National Asbestos Awareness Week, where we take some time to acknowledge the ongoing impact of Australia's deadly asbestos legacy. Asbestos was finally banned on 31 December 2003, in no small part thanks to the campaigning efforts of unionists. But the job is not yet done - far from it.
Still today, more than 4,000 deaths are attributed to asbestos every year, making Australia one of the deadliest countries when it comes to asbestos-related deaths. The best way that we can honour those whose struggle and sacrifice led to the 2003 ban is to continue their work to eradicate asbestos from the built environment today.
The story of asbestos in this country is one of corporate greed. But it was because the activism undertaken by workers, raising awareness of the dangers of the product, which meant these companies cannot not make the same profits anymore.
We cannot sit idly by and watch history repeat itself.
Having witnessed the alarming increase in workers diagnosed with silicosis in recent years, the union movement is campaigning for stronger rules in all workplaces as well as a ban on the importation and use of engineered stone. Evidence reveals engineered stone as a deadly fashion product leading to too many deaths and life-altering silicosis diagnoses for workers.
Unionists simply won't stand for businesses putting profits over the lives of workers. Never again.
It's time to step up again and ban engineered stone, so that silicosis isn't in our future.

  • 0428 942 878 dan.dwyer@cwunion.net Dan Dwyer
          Secretary/Lawyer - industrial matters & advice
  • NSW Home Page
  • 03 9663 6815 cdtsvic@cwu.asn.au Administrative
          eg payments, applications (Open 8am-4pm MTWT)
  • Vic Home Page
  • Authorised by Dan Dwyer Secretary - CWU Telecommunications & Services Branches.

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