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2016-04-29

Wideband design

Wideband Design review: more questions for Telstra

CWU members continue to voice concerns about the Telstra review of Wideband Design roles. 

The review commenced in October and has focussed initially on the Design Support area. It was undertaken without CWU involvement, with the union only being briefed by Telstra on its findings on 8 April, just prior to employee briefings. 

On that occasion the CWU understood that no employee was going to be worse off financially as a result of the review. It now seems that that may not be the case, as some may lose higher duties payments without being upgraded to the position in which they had been acting. 

Then there are the wider questions of the status of the “Success Profiles” produced by the review and their relation to the existing Job Descriptions (JDs). 

Those JDs form part of the current Enterprise Agreement (EA) and cannot be changed unilaterally by Telstra.

Telstra acknowledges this and says that the “Success Profiles” are aligned to current JDs and are not meant to be replacements for them. The CWU is currently examining the Success Profiles to test Telstra’s claim. 

Even if the Profiles and the JDs do align, though, there is still the fundamental question as to whether Telstra’s decisions about “correct” banding levels accurately reflect the work employees are actually performing. 

This review was undertaken, at least in part, in response to dissatisfaction with bandings among Wideband staff. The payment of higher duties to employees in this area for prolonged periods would itself suggest that many were not correctly classified. Yet it seems that only a relatively small proportion (around 22%) of those in scope in this first round of the review will be upgraded. 

The union is asking members and other employees to provide us with a full account of the actual work they perform together with details of higher duties payments so that we can challenge Telstra’s assessments where necessary. 

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