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fair work commission

CWU disputes Telstra Wideband redundancies

The CWU has taken Telstra to the Fair Work Commission (FWC) over redundancies in Wideband Design. 

We lodged a dispute with FWC because we considered that Telstra failed to provide enough information to the union to back up its claims that the jobs being cut were actually redundant. 

The matter was heard before Deputy President Hamilton on Thursday 13 October and the CWU was represented by Divisional Assistant Secretary, John O’Donnell, Victorian T&S State Secretary, John Ellery and Divisional Legal Officer, Dahlia Khatab.

While we did not get a result which put a halt to the redundancy process, we did get a commitment from Telstra to consult further with the union on maximising redeployment opportunities for those who want them. 

Telstra first notified the union of its initial decision to undertake site function closures at three sites, Ballarat (Vic), Hobart (Tas) and Netley (SA) last month.  The proposal involved a reduction of 53 roles and the creation of 9 new ones. Telstra has since modified this slightly, with an additional site access (SAT) role to be created in regional Victoria and a new workflow role being created in Hobart. 

But that still leaves a net loss of 41 skilled jobs in parts of Australia where jobs are already hard to find. 

The CWU will now meet again with Telstra during the week beginning 17 October with a view to ensuring that as many of those affected by these redundancies and still wanting to work in the company can do so. 

Design skills are in demand in the current NBN-dominated environment and common sense would suggest that there must be roles in Telstra for these employees.

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