The CWU expects to begin enterprise bargaining negotiations with Lend Lease later this month.
Lend Lease has not negotiated a new agreement for work in the telecommunications industry for several years. The current relevant agreement was made when the company was operating in the sector as Bilfinger Berger and reached its nominal expiry date in October 2011, so an update is well overdue.
Renegotiation is all the more important because Lend Lease is among the companies which recently won contracts for the NBN HFC roll-out. The others are Broadspectrum (formerly Transfield), Fulton Hogan, Downer, ISGM and BSA.
These contracts are for 4 years, up to the expected completion date of the roll-out in 2020. The CWU understands however that the contracts are dependent on the companies involved meeting agreed roll-out targets. The NBN HFC roll-out schedule is ambitious so there will undoubtedly be considerable pressure on working conditions.
There is also the interesting question of what labour costs have already been built into these companies’ tender prices.
These issues can be expected to come into play when formal negotiations begin. In the meantime, it is important that CWU members in Lend Lease contact their state branch immediately so as to have input into the bargaining process.