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2017-08-15

XTH

Turnbull Government’s interference in your Telstra EA

Over the past few weeks, a number of discussions have taken place between Telstra and your Union in relation to Telstra’s ability to continue performing Government funded work.

The Turnbull Government has rammed through changes to the Building Code 2016 which dictate how companies tendering for Federal Government-funded work operate, including their industrial instruments which cover their employees such as EAs.

Last week, Labor attempted to kill off these anti-worker, anti-Union changes in the Senate — Pauline Hanson and Nick Xenophon joined forces with Malcolm Turnbull and their parties held the deciding votes that ensured their survival.

The current Telstra EA is not compliant with that Code and changes to the EA are now required to ensure Telstra can continue undertaking some of the important work you currently perform, including Mobile Blackspots, NBN and Defence work, and can continue to tender for and secure that work in the future.

Changes being proposed to ensure compliance with the Code do not affect your core entitlements such as your rates of pay, hours of work, penalty rates etc, but have a significant impact in the way Telstra engages with your Union on a range of matters that may potentially affect your employment.

The changes will essentially mean a CEPU member must undertake a process to nominate their Union to represent them in matters as broad as dispute resolution and consultation rather than there being an automatic obligation for Telstra to consult with us.

These changes concern us. For instance, your Union is regularly consulted on contemplated change at Telstra, usually prior to a decision being made and employees being notified of change. In many instances, we are able to influence the outcome of that decision-making process and successfully mitigate against negative impacts those changes may have on our members.

You will have an opportunity to vote on these changes in the coming weeks — and despite our concerns we will have no option but to recommend that CEPU members vote yes to support them. Your Union feels it is important that the EA comply with the Code to ensure the work that is keeping you in sustainable employment is able to continue to be secured by Telstra.

We’re currently working with Telstra to minimise the impact of these changes and to ensure that only those changes that are absolutely necessary to ensure compliance with the Code are proposed for variance.

This is a clear example of the anti-worker, anti-Union sentiment being driven by this absolute failure of a Federal Government and their cohorts in the Senate. This is, in the simplest of terms, a fascist government holding a gun to a private company’s head — interfering in the way that company approaches significant change with their workforce with the threat of starving them of work being funded by your taxes.

It is a disgrace and just another reason why Malcolm Turnbull, his conservative Liberal Party factional puppet-masters and his stooges in the Senate must be thrown out of office at the next federal election.

Further information on Malcolm Turnbull, Pauline Hanson and Nick Xenophon’s draconian Building Code can be found here: https://www.abcc.gov.au/building-code/building-code-2016

We will keep members up to date on our ongoing discussions with Telstra and the proposed changes in the lead up to the ballot process which is expected to open toward the end of the month.

In the meantime, if you require any further information, please contact your State Branch Office.

 

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