No Telstra  deals and frozen pay for  MPs

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No Telstra deals and frozen pay for MPs

One of the two major Telstra unions, the CPSU, says 71 non-union deals offered by the company to segments of its workforce have been voted down. Meanwhile, facing a tough fight to win the early election she called last week, Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has promised to freeze the pay of Parliament's 89 MPs during the economic crisis.

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One of the two major Telstra unions, the CPSU, says 71 non-union deals offered by the company to segments of its workforce have been voted down. Meanwhile, facing a tough fight to win the early election she called last week, Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has promised to freeze the pay of Parliament's 89 MPs during the economic crisis.
 
Telstra workers knock back 71 deals, says union
 
One of the two major Telstra unions, the CPSU, says 71 non-union deals offered by the company to segments of its workforce have been voted down.
 
Telstra workers have been taking industrial action over the non-union deals, saying they want a union-negotiated collective agreement.
 
However, Telstra is refusing to talk to the unions, saying it will only negotiate directly with its workforce.
 
Divide and rule
 
Telstra has been putting the agreements to small departments in what the unions say is a ‘divide and rule’ strategy.
 
The CPSU said that while many of the ECAs that have been approved have had voting populations of under 40 people, and many of the larger offers such as Information Technology, Telstra Business and Network Services (Integrated Network Operations) have not been approved by staff.
 
In a statement, the CPSU said Telstra's ‘divide and conquer’ strategy of releasing multiple agreements is starting to unravel.
 
‘Such a strategy will not be possible under new, fairer Industrial Relations laws currently before Parliament.,’ the union said.
 
Urges ‘No’ vote
 
The CPSU urged Telstra employees who are facing a vote on an agreement to vote ‘No’ and encourage colleagues to do the same.
 
It urged Telstra employees to preserve their right to be ‘part of the push for a fair agreement’.
 
The CPSU has published a list of the 71 deals it says workers have rejected.
 
 
Pay freeze for Qld MPs as election tightens
 
Meanwhile, facing a tough fight to win the early election she called last week, Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has promised to freeze the pay of Parliament's 89 MPs during the economic crisis.
 
But since Prime Minister Kevin Rudd froze the pay of federal MPs last year, and Qld MPs pay is linked to the federal level, a state pay freeze means nothing while the federal curb is in effect.
 
However, Bligh promised to keep the state freeze if the Canberra situation changes.
 
Realising that pay increases for politicians are never popular, while pay freezes always are, Bligh said this is not the time for public representatives to be receiving pay rises.
 
Financial crisis
 
‘The Global Financial Crisis means that people are losing their jobs and many families are wondering just how they are going to make ends meet,’ she said.
 
‘I know that the vast majority of MPs from both side of the party divide will be willing to have their wages frozen until economic conditions improve.'
 
‘If re-elected I will freeze all MPs pay levels, including Ministers from 1 July 2009.’
 
Bligh said the pay freeze would be reviewed once a year during the next term and there will be no pay rises until the economic conditions improve.
 
$500 less than federal MPs
 
Members of the Legislative Assembly are paid through the Parliament of Queensland Act 2001, with the annual rate of salary for State MPs $500 less than the annual salary of a Federal MP.
 
The Federal MPs pay is set by the Remuneration Tribunal, which sets a recommended rise once a year.
 
‘I am saying that, regardless of what happens in Canberra in July, there will be no politician pay rises in the Queensland Parliament this year,’ Bligh said.
 
She said she had been distressed by recent job loses in Queensland and said there were more tough times ahead for the State.
 
Happy to hold jobs
 
‘Not too many workers across Queensland this year will be getting big pay rises — most people will be happy to hold on to their jobs,’ she said.
 
‘Politicians understand the pressures facing the people they represent, and that's why I will be putting this freeze on wages.’
 
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