Telstra is continuing its consultations with employees about the introduction of a new Drug and Alcohol policy that will involve mandatory testing.
The policy is being introduced in response to the Commonwealth government’s Building Code, designed to regulate the construction industry.
It requires random testing of employees working on projects involving Commonwealth funding of upwards of $5 million which would of course include Telstra’s NBN-related contracts.
The CWU has also been consulting members about this policy and based on their feedback has made representations to Telstra about a number of issues:
Telstra has agreed to this and will reflect this in its messages to employees and managers.
Consideration has been given to an electronic selection process such as the one used by Australia Post but this has been found unsuitable. Telstra and the CWU are continuing to work towards an agreed process.
Telstra has agreed to the change of wording. It also agrees that there should be mechanisms to ensure that information the testing agency may gather about prescription medication use cannot be made available to a third party ie the employer.
The improvements the CWU has been able to negotiate with Telstra in this area reflect employee input. The CWU recommended that company- wide consultations take place and Telstra acknowledges they have been valuable.
The consultations close on Wednesday 4 May. We encourage any members who have not already done soto participate by responding to the survey.