Telstra negotiations ‘so far so good’, and Optus is next: CEPU

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Telstra negotiations ‘so far so good’, and Optus is next: CEPU

The major Telstra union says its ‘good faith bargaining’ with the company for a new enterprise agreement is progressing on a ‘so far, so good’ basis — and it is getting ready to take on Optus.

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The major Telstra union says its ‘good faith bargaining’ with the company for a new enterprise agreement is progressing on a ‘so far, so good’ basis — and it is getting ready to take on Optus.
 
In a report to members, the CEPU said it appears Telstra, under the new CEO David Thodey, wants to reach an agreement as soon as possible.
 
‘The “good faith bargaining” has been proceeding as well as could be expected given the size of the task in the conditions and the range of issues,’ the union said.
 
‘Moving quickly’
 
‘We are moving as quickly as we can, consistent with the objective of securing a good quality EA.’
 
Some of the issues being negotiated have been:
  • performance management/performance bonuses
  • banding/classifications
  • redundancy provision
  • long service leave/maternity leave
  • dispute settlement and consultation provisions
  • other conditions of employment
  • scope.
 
Redundancy
 
The CEPU said that the parties realise that provisions dealing with redundancy, need to be included in the EBA because they will no longer exist in a separate agreement as they do now.
 
Discussions are currently on the redundancy processes, the need for clear, well-understood principles relating to selection, notification, any appeal rights and the length of time between notification of potential redundancies and any departure from the company.
 
The union said salaries and other conditions of employment have yet to be discussed.
 
The matter of Telstra employees on AWAs or non-union agreements has been discussed but put aside while the enterprise agreement is worked out.
 
Union ready to move on Optus
 
The CEPU said the Optus Employee Partnership Agreement (EPA) is due for re-negotiation this year and according to reports the company has already started discussing its contents with employees and has circulated a draft agreement to them.
 
It said that under the new IR laws ‘the days when Optus could simply close the door on employee representatives are gone’.
 
‘The CEPU has members in Optus and in fact is the only union with the right to represent any and all Optus employees,’ the union said.
 
Will represent its members
 
‘It will be representing its members in bargaining for the next Optus EPA.'
 
‘While Optus may claim not to have formally started EPA negotiations yet, the CEPU believes its members and other employees in Optus have the right to be told now about their entitlements under the new legislation.'
 
‘The CEPU has written to Optus raising these matters and requesting a copy of the draft EPA. We have also notified the company that the union is available to meet to commence discussions at any time.’
 
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