CWU Bulletin: Telstra AGM 2018

Last Tuesday, on behalf of a large number of Telstra shareholders and CWU members, John Ellery, Assistant Secretary, CWU (T&S) Vic, attended the Telstra Shareholders Annual meeting at the Hilton Hotel in Sydney. John attended that meeting with 2 other officials from the Communications Union, and a CPSU Official. John was proxied to the extent of 89,444 votes, which were obtained as a result of our call for proxies a few days earlier.

The meeting opened with the Chair, John Mullen, attempting to justify the unjustifiable – an increase in the remuneration arrangements for a number of Telstra executives. This massive contradiction between the remuneration plan for Telstra execs and the endorsement given by the Board to the woeful, inadequate and truly awful EBA offer of 1.5% per year for the Telstra staff was glaringly obvious to a rather hostile audience.

John managed to position himself to be the second “questioner” at the meeting, and the question he had prepared during the opening speeches from Mullen and Penn is reprinted below.

Telstra AGM 2018 – Question

I’m John Ellery, Assistant Secretary – Victorian Branch of the Communications Union.

Approximately 4 months ago, Telstra and its unions commenced Enterprise Agreement negotiations, which will set out the employment terms and conditions of nearly all the current 30,000 staff.

During those negotiations, Telstra’s HR group tabled an “offer” of 1.5% per year – which is obviously less than the current CPI measure.

We were advised that prior to tabling this offer, the members of the Board (sitting in front of you) had endorsed this woeful “slap in the face” offer to its staff – those very staff that will provide Telstra with its competitive edge into the foreseeable future.

The breathtaking contradiction between the Remuneration report for 7 executives and the disgraceful EA offer leaves the staff of Telstra disgusted. They recently rejected this so-called “offer” by a massive majority (81% No). Clearly something needs to change.

We call on the Board to immediately upgrade its endorsed pay offer, and resolve what could very well be, a nasty dispute between the parties. We urge this action as a matter of urgency.

Thank you.

Mullen’s response at the time was rather non-committal, saying he wasn’t going to negotiate an Enterprise Agreement at this meeting.

After a number of questions along the same lines regarding the Telstra EBA offer, the Chairman then offered up – “my door is open to discuss” – so a formal request was sent to Chairman Mullen the following day. John also cast the proxy votes in the following way, as can be seen on his voting sheet which was placed in the ballot box at the conclusion of the meeting. Subsequently, the advice from Telstra was that the “remuneration report” had been soundly defeated (62% NO – a record high rejection in Corporate Australia), which clearly gives the Board and Senior Management of Telstra some grief. This adds to the 81% ‘Vote No’ in the EBA ballot last month.

Members will be advised of the outcomes of any meeting with Chairman Mullen, and we also await the response from Telstra’s EBA negotiating team.



A CWU member is looking for a job swap. Our member wishes to stay with Telstra but has a redundancy exit date of 19th April 2019.

The potential job swap applicant must have a banding of TW8/3i; in the area of Fibre Networks/Mobile communication/project administration/security or management.

If you are interested please contact the Branch – or 9663 6815 and we will pass your details on.

CWU (T&S) Vic
0439 762 455
Assistant Secretary
CWU (T&S) Vic
0419 823
CWU (P&T) Vic
0422 546 814
Industrial Officer
CWU (P&T) Vic
M. 0408 766 444
Communication Workers’ Union is the Communications Division of the CEPU


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