In the run up to the start of EA negotiations, CWU national officials have issued a statement regarding the Telstra redundancy entitlements. It can be found on the national website at the Telstra Enterprise Bargaining 2015 section - titled:Telstra Redundancy Entitlements: The Facts
Telstra members are urged to take the time to read this statement. It addresses the misinformation on this issue that is being spread within the union during the run-up to the coming union elections.
Members in some areas are clearly being encouraged to believe that their redundancy entitlements have been put at risk by the recent award modernisation process.
This is simply not true.
The new modern Telstra award does not determine your redundancy benefits – your Enterprise Agreement does. And that agreement can’t change unless you and other Telstra employees vote for such a change.
How likely is that?
Stronger award protections.
What the modern award actually does is create a minimum “safety net” entitlement to underpin bargaining– a much stronger one, in fact, than existed before.
The old Telstra awards have never had any redundancy payout – zero. Now you have 40 weeks. How does this make you worse off or more at risk?
What’s more, the maximum payout available under all other private sector modern awards is 16 weeks, which is what Telstra originally wanted. The CWU has done very well in this area compared to other unions.
You can see this for yourself by going to the Fair Work Commission website at www.fwc.gov.au/awards-and-agreements/awards/find-award/modern-awards-list.
But the main thing to remember is that none of this reduces your EA-based entitlement. That remains protected by the EA and by you, the union members. It can’t be changed by a few union officials – only by Telstra employees.
An early answer.
Your EA redundancy payout has not in fact been put at risk. But to set members’ minds at rest, your EA bargaining team will be seeking formal agreement from Telstra on this issue early in the negotiations.
In the meantime, members wanting further clarification of the facts can contact the national office at firstname.lastname@example.org.