The end of year break is almost upon us – and not a moment too soon.
This year has been a busy one, with more of its share of challenges for CWU members and for working people generally.
On the national level, we have seen continuing pressures from business, supported by government, to weaken the employment conditions of millions of workers, many already poorly paid.
The employer campaign against penalty rates is the most obvious case in point. But the minimum wage is also in the gun from the Productivity Commission.
Meanwhile growth in real wages is at record lows.
Closer to home, CWU members have been asked to participate in a record number of ballots affecting everything from their own wages and conditions (in the case of the Telstra and Optus agreements) through to the structures of the union that represents them.
The level of participation in these ballots has shown that the CWU can still rely on an active and engaged membership ready to defend its rights and conditions.
In particular, the NO campaign in relation to the Telstra EA, though ultimately unsuccessful, was strongly supported by CWU members. Equally importantly, it put Telstra on notice that the union’s message reaches well beyond its own membership.
But the Telstra EA ballot also underlines the need for the CWU to increase and broaden its presence in Telstra and indeed throughout the industry if it is to be effective in defending the working conditions of telecommunications workers.
This will be a task for 2016 and all members have a role to play in it. In the meantime the E-bulletin wishes all readers a safe and happy end of year break and a positive start to the coming year.