Weekly Bulletin


Number 9       10 March 2024


This week we spent 3 days arguing in the Melbourne Magistrates Court, seeking reclassification of a CFW4 in Optical Fibre Maintenance. We commenced this last year. Telstra strongly defended the case and was represented by a powerful legal team, led by King's Counsel. The decision has been reserved and may take a number of weeks.


Our Union dues will be increasing from 1st April 2024. The increases for the most part are under 3%. TZV fees will not increase.
Postal members in Victoria will have larger increases following our decision to align the fees with our NSW Postal members. It also follows pay increases of over 12% in the past2 years.
Note: any member facing hardship can apply for a (confidential) waiver of membership fees and our Committee of Management can approve this.


We are unique in the CWU Branches in that we have the most experienced staff of all. Sue Riley, John Ellery and Dan Dwyer have worked in telecommunications for many years and have been involved in the union for many more years. We are governed by a large Committee of Management comprising 20 members from a wide range of roles and employers.
And our Branch Secretary is a practicing industrial lawyer who you can call directly for advice. His mobile is below. Do not hesitate to call.


Bargaining has commenced with Ventia. Your Union has this week submitted a log of claims which reflects the needs of our members. Below is a summary of those claims. We invite further comments from members.
1. On call/call back - claim to increase this from $147 per week to $200.
2. Annual leave - increase annual leave from 4 weeks to 5 weeks
3. Shutdown - with greater consultation around the annual shut down.
4. Increasing personal, parental and family violence leave entitlements.
5. More consultation regarding working away from home durations.
6. Increasing redundancy payouts to a maximum of 60 weeks.
7. Site agreements benefits to reach EBA employees.
8. Increases and broader scope for payment of height allowances.
9. Stronger higher duties clause.
10. Changes to daily travel arrangements - reduce to 40 min each way instead of 60 before ETT kicks in.
11. Overtime rates to apply to ETT when traveling outside of ordinary hours.
12. Pay increase - reject 2% per year, claim is for a minimum 4% per year with a CPI safety-net.
13. Meal allowance - increase to $35, increases each year in-line with pay increases.
14. Travel - increase to $280 for regional and $340 for capital cities for accommodation
15. Travel - increase the incidentals allowance to $120.


Bargaining with Telstra continued this week with 2 meetings, during which Telstra proposed changes it described as being geared towards employee flexibility.
Telstra have proposed a change to rostering arrangements, which would see a reduction in the minimum engagement period for a shift. Currently, the minimum engagement period is 2 hours for casuals, 4 hours for contact centre employees and 6 hours for field employees. Under Telstra's proposal, employees could work shifts of a shorter duration, with a safeguard that these shifts would need to be chosen by the employee and not at the behest of the employer. Whilst the change is intended to be mutually beneficial, we have a number of concerns about its operation and the resilience of any safeguarding clause. The Union have committed to discussing the matter further once Telstra provides further detail and clarity around the issues raised.
Telstra also proposed to simplify the Agreements to reflect a more generous practice around overtime eligibility - particularly for casual retail store employees. The Union supports this proposal, in principle, subject to receiving the full details of the proposal.
The Union has sought further information on Telstra's proposal to harmonise terms and conditions for Telstra Purple employees and aligning them to the Job Family model. We have requested information explaining the proposed method of aligning the classification levels of Telstra Purple employees into the Telstra framework as well as how Telstra Purple policies, which differ significantly from Telstra policies, will be treated in the harmonisation process.


Bargaining for EBA11 has commenced with Australia Post, with meetings being held over Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.
These 2 meetings focussed on talking through the process and setting protocols around the way we bargain, Post's operational challenges and their forecasted financial outlook.


We have some reservations over the roles now being established in NSW. There is a NSW JCC next Friday and we seek any other agenda items. We wrote to Post as follows:
It appears that proposals are being put forward about a changing role of the upgraded shift leaders. We have received some feedback indicating that staff have concerns with the change from shift leader PTO7 and second in charge PTO6.
We ask that no further action be taken on this until we see the full proposal (hopefully at the JCC) and have had time to consult out PTO6 and PTO7 members.

  • 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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