Weekly Bulletin


Number 07       25 February 2024


Wage Price Index in Australia Dec 2024. Seasonally adjusted, wages grew 0.9% in the December quarter 2023 and 4.2% over the year. The annual increase is the highest recorded since March quarter 2009. The public sector rose 4.3% over the 12 months to the December quarter 2023, tracking slightly above the private sector [4.2%] for the first time since December quarter 2020. The public sector annual rise was the highest for the sector since March quarter 2010 [ABS].


We are preparing for bargaining on your behalf for new Enterprise Agreements across the Telstra Group of companies. The Enterprise Agreements determine the pay, conditions and entitlements of Telstra Group employees.
Under current legislation, employers are required to advise employees of their rights to appoint a representative to bargain on their behalf. As a CWU member, we are automatically authorised to represent you and there is no need to complete this.
As always, we look to our membership for their views - to understand the issues most important to you.
We already have some major issues 1. A serious pay increase 2. Maintain all existing conditions including redundancy. 3. Proper recognition in the classification 4. Ability to opt out of Job Family.
We look forward to your issues by return email.


This case is to be heard Monday week in Melbourne. We are claiming that the member of the Optical Fibre team should be classified at the CFW5 or 7 level, not CFW4. This is of course a complex case given the state of the 1998 Job Descriptions that still apply. Telstra is using the best lawyers and Barristers to defend their position.


ACMA staff (a Federal Government Agency) have approved a new EBA after a long set of negotiations. The pay increases are as follows:
4.0% 1 March 2024
3.8% 1 March 2025
3.4% 1 March 2026


Optus has advised of redundancies in Customer Solutions (59 jobs), Customer Success (12 Jobs), Networks (17 Jobs) and TV & Content (2 jobs). If any member needs assistance, please contact us by return email.


Telstra has advised as follows:
In Nov 2022 an Occupational Hygienist team conducted an "Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) Assessment" in the E000 Centre in Sydney. It provided any recommendations in relation to;
- Indoor Air Quality
- Workplace Noise Level
- Workplace Lighting Level
The results of this report have been reviewed by the business and the "Safety, Security and Wellbeing" Manager. A summary of the findings is below.
The Telstra Properties Team also conducted a site inspection on the 17th January 2023 following the receipt of the report.
Indoor Air Quality - A number of guidelines and benchmarks were used in assessment in relation to indoor temperature and variations. Benchmarks in relation to the guidelines used were all met, though it was noted the "many factors, such as personal activity and clothing may affect personal comfort". Action - Nil required.
Workplace Noise Level - Noise monitoring activities conducted in general, concluded that the static noise spot readings within the Triple Zero Call Centre were within relevant standards. It was noted that noise could be heard from the Foyer/Internet Kiosk area though still within relevant standards. Action - Nil required.
Workplace Lighting Level - Overall illuminance at the majority of operators' workstations and workspaces were either below or above the advisable range for the general task or activities carried out in this Call Centre . The workstations in the "above" category were next to windows e.g., Desk 218 and Desk 212.
Above light/lux level range - Consider lowering the light levels by the use of window shading
Below light/lux level range - Continued use of the electric dimmer to improve illuminance.
Action - The business is sourcing quotes for secondary window blinds that will "diffuse light/glare" yet won't compromise the outside view capabilities. The dark window blinds will remain and can be used as per normal.


(From the Fair Work Ombudsman)
Optus Retailco Pty Limited is back-paying more than $7.8 million including interest and superannuation to underpaid employees nationally, and has signed an Enforceable Undertaking (EU) with the Fair Work Ombudsman that includes contrition payments.
The company, which operates Optus retail stores across Australia, is a subsidiary of Singtel Optus Pty Limited, the second largest telecommunications provider in the country.
In April 2021, Singtel Optus self-reported underpayments of Optus Retail to the Fair Work Ombudsman following an internal review.
The underpaid employees were engaged as retail consultants and store managers around Australia between January 2014 and March 2020.
Poor payroll and time and attendance systems, human resources and governance practices led to employees not receiving their full lawful entitlements under the Optus Retail Agreement 2013, the General Retail Industry Award 2010 and the General Retail Industry Award 2020.
These errors included failing to:
 undertake annual reconciliations to ensure that employees were not paid less under the enterprise agreement overall compared to the Award's minimum entitlements;
 pay retail consultants for work performed before or after their rostered start and finish times;
 pay part-time and casual employees for a minimum of three hours per shift, as required by minimum engagement rules, regardless if they worked for less hours;
 apply a higher classification and pay rate for retail consultants who engaged in higher duties like opening and closing a store and regularly managing the store in absence of a store manager.
As a result, employees were underpaid various entitlements including base rates of pay, weekend loadings, public holiday loadings, meal allowances, overtime rates, no break penalty rates, and annual and personal leave entitlements.
Optus Retail also failed to correctly calculate the mandated six-monthly reconciliations for employees who worked in stores that operated with extended trading hours.
Optus Retail is initially back-paying 3,744 current and former employees more than $7.8 million, including more than $5.4 million in wages and entitlements plus more than $2.4 million in superannuation and interest.
It has already back-paid the large majority of employees, including all it could find, and under the EU must back-pay all impacted staff.
Back-payments range from $11 to approximately $34,000. The average back-payment is about $2,100.
Optus Retail is also required to undertake an assessment of wage payments for retail consultants and store managers, and the six-monthly and annual reconciliations between January 2020 and July 2023 and must back-pay any impacted staff where underpayments are identified.
Fair Work Ombudsman Anna Booth said an EU was appropriate as Optus Retail had cooperated with the FWO's investigation, undertook a broad review and demonstrated a strong commitment to rectifying underpayments.
"Under the Enforceable Undertaking, Optus Retail has committed to putting in place stringent measures to ensure all its workers are paid correctly. These measures include undertaking another review of employee entitlements covering January 2020 through to July 2023, and commissioning independent audits of its future compliance with workplace laws over the next two years," Ms Booth said.
"This matter shows the importance of employers placing a high priority on ensuring they are meeting all their workers' lawful entitlements, including larger employers who have opted to enter into their own enterprise agreements.
"Employers with enterprise agreements need to put in place proper systems and regular checks to ensure ongoing compliance with all their obligations, rather than taking a 'set and forget' approach.
"Optus Retail's lack of investment in human resources and poor governance led to long-term breaches and underpayments of its staff, and large rectification costs.
"Boards must treat the lawful payment of their employees as a core governance requirement," Ms Booth said.
Under the EU, Optus Retail must make an initial contrition payment of $450,000 to the Commonwealth's Consolidated Revenue Fund. The company will also make an additional contrition payment equal to 4 per cent of the total underpayments found in the next review.
The EU also requires Optus Retail to provide FWO with evidence of systems and processes it has put in place to ensure future compliance, including workplace relations training for payroll and human resources staff and mechanisms for regular reporting on compliance with workplace obligations to its parent company Singtel Optus' board of directors.
The EU further requires Optus Retail to establish a telephone helpline for all current and former employees who worked during the relevant period to make enquiries; send an apology letter to all underpaid employees identified in the March 2020 to July 2023 review period; and provide a signed letter of assurance to the FWO from its Chief Financial Officer, confirming it is now compliant.
Employers and employees can visit www.fairwork.gov.au or call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 for free advice and assistance. An interpreter service is available on 13 14 50.

  • 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.

    NSW Web

    VIC Web

    Index to Bulletins


    Bulletin Index

    Bulletin 06
    Bulletin 05
    Bulletin 04
    Bulletin 03
    Bulletin 02
    Bulletin 01

    Bulletin 43
    Bulletin 42
    Bulletin 41
    Bulletin 40
    Bulletin 39
    Bulletin 38
    Bulletin 37
    Bulletin 36
    Bulletin 35
    Bulletin 34
    Bulletin 33
    Bulletin 32
    Bulletin 31
    Bulletin 30
    Bulletin 29
    Bulletin 28