Discussions with Optus over the content of the Optus modern award have resumed following a Fair Work Commission conference convened to discuss certain unresolved issues.
At the conference, Deputy President Smith indicated that it would be best if the content of the award could be settled between the parties rather than having it referred to a Full Bench for decision.
Optus and the CWU are currently working towards reaching such a resolution. At present the major sticking point is the payment of allowances, including those that cover expenses incurred in the course of work (.g. for travel, or relocation).
The CWU argues that a number of these allowances should be specified in the new award while Optus wants to have such payments, where applicable, determined by company policy.
Both parties are working towards having these issues settled before negotiations for a new Employee Partnership Agreement (EPA) start in the second half of this year. However, as is the case with all modern awards, it will finally be up to the FWC to determine the content of the new award, not Optus or the CWU.