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2019-11-21

EBA2019

EBA UPDATE: OVER TO YOU

Legal Review

Following our last bulletin, we instructed our legal team to conduct a review of Telstra’s final draft Agreement.

The review, undertaken by lawyers instructed by the Union, has confirmed that the intent of outcomes negotiated by the CEPU and the SBU are indeed accurately reflected in the draft document and are legally enforceable.

It must be noted that although it was, and remains, the position of the SBU that whilst the pay offer is not where it should be, the agreement has come a significant way forward and subject to the legal review, the SBU resolved to not oppose Telstra putting their final draft offer to a vote of employees should the review confirm the intent of our negotiated outcomes.

Given that this review has concluded the SBU, representing the CEPU/CWU, Professionals Australia and the CPSU, will today inform Telstra of that position.

Over to you

When notified of our position today, it is expected that Telstra will move quickly to initiate an access period where employees will have the opportunity to review the document themselves prior to a ballot on the offer taking place.

Some of the main points have been reproduced below.

“Clause 45”

What has been known as “Clause 45” will actually be contained in Clause 47 of the draft document. It will not apply to all surplus situations – only those that occur due to work transferring from Telstra to a Subsidiary.  Where this occurs, the employee undertaking some or all of the transferring work may have Clause 47 apply to them – resulting in an opportunity to ‘follow’ the transferring work in employment with the Subsidiary. Telstra’s obligation to pay retrenchment benefits can only be displaced if the offer to move to a Subsidiary is a “suitable” offer. A suitable offer is a written offer of employment with a Subsidiary of Telstra:

  1. To perform the same or substantially the same work;
  2. On terms and conditions considered on an overall basis, no less favourable than the conditions held at Telstra;
  3. That provides 15 days paid personal leave each year (pro-rata for part time employees);
  4. that provides your ordinary hours of work will be no more than an average of 36¾ hours each week;
  5. That recognises service with Telstra;
  6. That provides for the continued eligibility for membership of the defined benefits superannuation fund for employees who are existing members; and
  7. that provides that your retrenchment benefits will be calculated:

      i.    In accordance with the scale in section 10 if your job with the                                  Subsidiary is made redundant and you are retrenched; and

      ii.  by reference to your Fixed Remuneration at Telstra at the time the                        offer is made, or the fixed remuneration at the time you are retrenched                  by the Subsidiary, whichever is higher.

Furthermore, a guarantee on entitlements must be provided by Telstra for transferring employees – meaning if the Subsidiary, for any reason, was unable to pay transferring employees’ entitlements, Telstra would be legally responsible for paying any entitlements owed to those employees.

If any of the above are not part of the offer to move to the Subsidiary, the offer is not deemed “suitable” and the provisions of Clause 47 will not apply.

Long Service Leave

Telstra’s LSL policy commencing from 1 January 2020, effectively enables Telstra management to direct employees to take up to 24 days of LSL in any 12-month period, if they have more than 90 days accrued.

The alternative negotiated outcome contained in the draft Agreement will instead place an expectation on employees who have more than 90 days of LSL accrued to make application to avail of 9 days of LSL per year at a time suitable to them. Such application must be made before 30 June in any given year. If an employee has had two applications for LSL rejected, then Telstra cannot direct the employee to take the 9 days of LSL in that calendar year.

If the employee does not make an application or the employee makes only one application by 30 June and it is rejected, then the manager and employee will work together to decide on a suitable time for the employee to take the expected 9 days of leave. If agreement cannot be reached, management can then direct an employee to take the 9 days during the same calendar year, so long as they employee is provided with at least 3 months’ notice and the manager has taken into account the personal circumstances of the employee.  No changes will be made to the LSL policy during the life of the proposed Agreement.

Pay

The pay proposal is 1.8% and 2% respectively over two years. As 1.5% was paid to employees on 1 October 2019, there would be a top up payment of 0.3% back paid to 1 October 2019.  The 2% increase becomes payable from 1 October 2020.  Job Family employees with a rating 3 or above will receive a guaranteed minimum of 1% and increases will apply to allowances.

We will be distributing detailed information to members ahead of any ballot occurring to assist you in deciding whether you will, or will not, support the agreement. However, in the meantime if you require any further information please contact your Branch Official.

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