Telstra, unions sign ‘good faith’ deal for new agreement

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Telstra, unions sign ‘good faith’ deal for new agreement

Telstra and the communication unions have agreed to a set of principles to facilitate good faith bargaining and negotiate a new enterprise agreement.

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Telstra and the communication unions have agreed to a set of principles to facilitate good faith bargaining and negotiate a new enterprise agreement.
 
The new stance by Telstra is completely opposite to that under former CEO Sol Trujillo, who fought a bitter war with unions while attempting to put all Telstra workers on non-union deals.
 
Trujillo was replaced earlier this year by new CEO David Thodey, who has negotiated a calmer, more cooperative relationship with the unions.
 
Set of principles
 
In a statement today, Telstra and the unions said they have agreed on a set of important principles that commit the company and unions to a productive working relationship. The document also outlines the first steps that will be taken towards this aim.
 
It says Telstra and the unions have committed to bargaining in good faith under the new Fair Work laws towards the objective of a new enterprise agreement as soon as practicable.
 
Under the principles Telstra 'respects an employee’s choice to join a union and recognises the special role that unions play as a collective voice for Australian employees’.
 
Unions recognised
 
Telstra also recognises that employees are entitled to be supported by their union in relation to workplace issues, while pointing out that union membership is a matter of employee choice.
 
The document says the parties recognise ‘the importance of the principles of respect, fairness, and open and honest communication’.
 
Senior representatives of the parties have also committed to meet at least annually to discuss the principles and an ongoing productive relationship.
 
Ready to bargain
 
And now that the new Fair Work laws are in operation, both parties have agreed to bargain in good faith as they negotiate a new enterprise agreement. The parties have agreed to meet to set a timetable to resolve outstanding issues, including enterprise bargaining.
 
The deal was signed by Telstra CEO David Thodey and Group managing director HR Andrea Grant, ACTU secretary Jeff Lawrence, the national president of the Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union, Ed Husic, the national secretary of the Community and Public Sector Union, Stephen Jones, and the CEO of the Association of Professional Engineers, Scientists and Managers Australia, Chris Walton.
 
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