The CWU has commenced Enterprise Agreement consultations with members in Silcar/Thiess Communications.
The purpose of these consultations is to canvass views about the way forward for Silcar/Thiess employees now that that company has been merged into the new mega-organisation, Ventia – or Visionstream as it is still known for trading purposes.
In the case of the former Silcar Telepower, the Ventia board has obviously accepted that there is an argument for a separate enterprise agreement, given the specialised nature of the work of those employees (largely exchange battery maintenance and facilities management).
But Silcar Communications employees perform much the same work as those working under the Visionstream Field Workforce Agreement.
That agreement reaches its nominal expiry date in 2018 and it is clearly the intent of management to establish one common set of wages and conditions for these two groups of workers at that time if not before.
That’s not going to be an easy task, given the differences that currently exist between the two current agreements, especially in relation to wages but also in relation to some conditions. The current Silcar Communications Agreement, for instance, pays all overtime at double time rates.
The CWU expects that Silcar/Thiess will soon be commencing a formal negotiation process. All CWU members will of course be represented by their national officials in these negotiations.
However, the union is also proposing that, following these current consultations, members in each state nominate a CWU rank-and-file representative to allow direct membership input into negotiations.
Nominations should be forwarded to your state branch which can also assist you with the nomination process if you wish.