The redundancy entitlements in the new modern Telstra award represent an important gain for CWU members and all other Telstra workers.
A new entitlement of a maximum 40 weeks payout was agreed to during negotiations. This is in contrast to the maximum of 16 weeks that employees are entitled to under the Telecommunications Services Award which Telstra originally wanted to have apply to its employees.
It is also an improvement – to say the least- on what’s in the only other relevant award, the Telstra Employees Conditions of Redundancy Award, which contains no payout entitlements at all.
Of course even the new 40 weeks entitlement is not as good as the 80 weeks in the Telstra Enterprise Agreement. But that doesn’t mean that the 80 weeks entitlement is now somehow more at risk than it was before.
The opposite is the case – the award “floor” is now higher.
Some members have expressed concern on this point. What needs to be remembered is that the award provides a minimum conditions safety net for bargaining. The 80 weeks redundancy payout is protected by the Enterprise Agreement and can only change if that agreement changes.
And that can only happen if employees vote for such a change – which is hardly likely.
Meanwhile, the new 40 weeks provision represents the best result achieved to date in any private sector modern award.