The CWU met with Telstra on Thursday 18 December to discuss the operation of the new Enterprise Agreement when employees opt for voluntary redundancy.
The Divisional Office has received reports of employees not being paid what the CWU regards as their full entitlements in business areas that have called for large numbers of such volunteers.
In particular, there appears to be a problem with Global Contact Centre (GCC) employees being required to leave the company (ie effectively being retrenched) before they have completed 4 weeks in the Placement Period and then being denied payment for the balance due to them in lieu of notice.
The CWU recommended that its members reject the latest EA, largely on the basis of changes to the redundancy provisions.
It is probably fair to say, however, that the focus of union concerns was the requirement that employees accept redeployment, whether they wanted to or not, rather than the provisions around voluntary redundancy.
It is now clear, however, that the practical consequences of the provisions in this area of the EA could be to short-change employees, depending on how certain clauses are interpreted and implemented.
Meanwhile, in other areas of the business, employees who have opted for redundancy and who wish to leave the company before Xmas so as to look for new jobs in the New Year are being told they can’t leave until well into 2016.
Telstra has agreed to examine promptly the immediate problems which have arisen in GCC. Further discussions around the voluntary redundancy procedures will be held early next year.
In the meantime, any member considering accepting a voluntary redundancy should contact their state branch for advice on their options.