The CWU met with Optus on 17 March to discuss finalisation of the modern Optus award.
Last year, the Fair Work Commission agreed that Optus should have a modern enterprise award rather than being covered by the modern industry award, the Telecommunications Services Award. But it sent Optus and the CWU off to have further discussions about the award’s content.
The CWU supported Optus’ application for a modern enterprise award because, on balance, it considered that it would provide better protections in some key areas, especially redundancy.
The Optus award redundancy entitlement is (up to) 40 weeks’ pay, the same as that recently inserted into the new Telstra modern award.
The modern industry award, the Telecommunications Services Award, provides a maximum entitlement of only 16 weeks’ pay.
Optus is not seeking to change any of the current award entitlements and the CWU is seeking some improvements in a small number of areas. There is also a number of technical requirements relating to the minimum wage rates in the award that need to be addressed.
The CWU is optimistic about these matters being resolved before bargaining for a new enterprise agreement commences later this year. A further meeting with Optus is scheduled for 31 March.