Telstra’s failure to maintain its exchange buildings has left many in a disgraceful state according to CWU officials.
The union continues to receive reports from members, both Telstra employees and contractors, about the poor levels of cleanliness and overall maintenance of exchanges.
Members in NSW have recently documented dirty washrooms, blocked toilets and broken floor tiles in the buildings. But the problems are not confined to NSW – they have become commonplace throughout the national network.
Orderly exchange buildings were once the pride of the thousands of technicians who worked in them but as automation and centralisation has emptied many of any constant human presence they have been allowed to deteriorate. As a result, workers who have to enter the buildings have to deal not only with a likely lack of amenity but, at worst, significant health and safety hazards.
CWU President Shane Murphy says the issue was raised during the most recent round of enterprise bargaining and undertakings were given that the problems would be systematically addressed. But obviously not enough has happened.
“Telstra doesn’t seem to have been taking this issue seriously,” he said.
“While there has been some action since we raised it with them again last month, we are dealing with years of neglect here and progress in addressing that is slow.”
“The CWU will be reminding members that they have the right to refuse to work in situations that pose a threat to their health and safety. The evidence suggests many exchanges could come into this category.”