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Why we can’t say ‘Yes’

As members are aware, this round of bargaining with Telstra commenced earlier this year and has recently come to a halt, with Telstra signalling its intention to ask employees to vote on their current offer.

Last week, we commenced a consultation process with members, consisting of an online poll and a number of online and in-person meetings with members across the country.

During this significant engagement with CWU members, it has become apparent that an overwhelming majority would not support a new EBA consistent with Telstra’s latest offer to resolve this round of bargaining.

As a reminder, a basic summary of that offer consists of:

  • Protection of all current EBA conditions – including Telstra’s withdrawal from controversial split shift and minimum engagement changes;
  • Increasing the Retail relocation allowance from $21.92 to $30;
  • Essential customer service allowance increased by 25% for the first year, then in line with ongoing pay increases;
  • Workstream wage outcomes consisting of 4% in year one, 3.5% year two, 3% year three; and
  • Job Family wage outcomes consisting of the above movements being allocated to a pay pool, with guaranteed minimums of 3% year one, 2.5% year two and 2% year three for those who achieve a performance rating of 3.

Although improvements in some areas of the Agreement have been acknowledged, members overwhelmingly feel that Telstra’s wage rise offer would not allow them to meet the cost of living demands currently faced by their families.

This point of contention is only further exacerbated within the membership employed under Job Family employment arrangements – where guaranteed wage outcomes are significantly less.

Therefore, the Union will not recommend the Agreement, in its current form, to members.

Should a majority of employees formally move to reject Telstra’s offer in the ballot planned to occur over the next few days, , the Union will be seeking to recommence negotiations with Telstra as soon as possible, where we will continue to seek a new Agreement that delivers:

  • Fair wages. A wage structure and pay offer that reflects your contribution and allows members and their families to meet their financial obligations;
  • Comprehensive terms. Safeguarding of existing terms and benefits;
  • Job security. Terms that encourage strong, quality and secure jobs; and
  • Safety. Working conditions that promote a safer workplace.

We will keep members up to date as this process progresses. In the meantime, should you require any further information, please contact your Branch Official.

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