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Telstra Bargaining Update - 1 May 2024

Your Union bargaining representatives met with Telstra again this week, and formally submitted the following claims:

 1.  Abolish junior rates

The practice of paying lower wages to younger workers, is inherently discriminatory as it is solely based on age. It perpetuates inequality in the workplace and sends a message that younger employees are less valued simply because of their age, as members of society business have a responsibility to promote fairness and equality in the workplace.

By abolishing junior rates, Telstra can demonstrate a commitment to ethical employment practices.

In the retail environment, junior employees are the front line and are often confronted by difficult or aggressive customers, they deal with potentially hazardous situations on a daily basis often without managerial staff on site.

2.  Adjustment to allowances

Under our proposal, all employees covered by the Agreement will be eligible for payment of all allowances contained within it. We are also seeking the following flat-rate increases to allowances, independent of any increases which would flow on from any movement in wages:

  • First aid, $25.
  • Meal allowance-all employees,  $36
  • Travel allowance. Increase in food and drink.  Breakfast $32.10, Lunch $36.10, Dinner $61.50,  Incidentals, $23.
  • On Call, $15 each night, $30 each day and night.
  • Emergent call, $25 each night, $60 each day and night.
  • Immediate call,  $15 per hour.
  • Split shift allowance to increase by 10%
  • Higher duties, removal of 4 week qualifying period for Job family employees, (clause 62.1 (b) ). Removal of qualifying period of 1 day or 1 week for work stream employees depending on salary of the higher role. (clause 62.1 (c) ).   
  • Relocation to another retail outlet, $35 per day.
  • Motor vehicle garaging allowance, $15 per day.
  • Materials storage allowance. $5 per day
  • Amenities allowance of $5 per day.

3.  Superannuation

Our claim includes mandatory increases to superannuation, during the life of the agreement, to be paid in addition to fixed remuneration – not to be off-set or absorbed into fixed remuneration or other payments.

Superannuation contributions form part of an employees total renumeration package and form an essential component of their long term financial security. Absorbing these increases into fixed remuneration or offsetting them against other forms of payment would undermine this objective and deprive employees of the full benefit of the mandated increases.

 Our claim also seeks to have Superannuation payable against any workers’ compensation payments.

Workers’ compensation is payable to an employee who suffers a work-related injury or illness. Most often, this is in the form of income replacement, during a period in which an employee cannot undertake their duties due to their compensable condition.

Currently, superannuation is not payable against workers’ compensation payments, which can significantly penalise an employee, in retirement.

Lastly, we are seeking for Superannuation to be paid on all hours worked, not just ordinary time earnings – this would ensure that employees receive Superannuation contributions on their overtime earnings.

4.  Access to Rostered Days Off (RDOs)

We are seeking for all employees to be eligible to participate in a 9 day fortnight work schedule and for Telstra, in consultation with your Union, to discuss the parameters required to operationalise this.

We also seek for employees to be able to accrue and ‘bank’ RDOs, as a form of purchased leave, which a clearly defined right for employees to actually avail of this time off.


We will keep members informed of Telstra’s responses to these claims.

At this week’s meeting, Telstra have responded to our claim to abolish Telstra’s involuntarily rostering of employees on to annual leave for the duration of the annual shutdown.

When responding to this claim, Telstra claimed to have listened to the overwhelming feedback on this issue. However, their response suggests otherwise.

Telstra have rejected our claim and will continue their practice of involuntarily rostering employees on leave during the annual shutdown. However, they have proposed to introduce the following measures:

Commitments to be included within the EBA:

    1. A notice period for annual leave directions of 8 weeks
    2. Exemptions for those employees with low balances or future planned leave.
    3. No directions to take unpaid leave.
    4. Ability to take alternative leave types. ( Long service leave)

Commitments to be included, outside the EBA:

    1. A second leave purchasing window.
    2. An extension of ability to purchase leave to those employees with an accrual of three months or less, rather than the current two months.
    3. Bonus leave day to continue.
    4. Ability to apply carve out for some teams.  

The Union is extremely disappointed with this proposal from Telstra, as we believe this completely ignores the concerns raised by our members and does little to address the fundamental problem of employees being forced to take up to 40% of their accrued entitlements at a time which largely only suits Telstra, not the employee. 

We have rejected Telstra’s response and requested they reconsider their position on this matter of contention.

Bargaining will continue next week and we will keep members updated as talks progress.

In the meantime, should you require any further information, please contact your Branch Official.

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