Telstra – Annual Leave Direction & EBA Update

The direction to take leave should only occur under certain very limited restraints, and must be a reasonable direction.

From 2nd January 2019 to 3rd January 2020 Telstra have issued direction to employees to take annual leave for 14 out of 20 days of your annual leave entitlement. That leaves 7 days to take your annual leave at a time which suits you! This is not reasonable. If you want to take leave at a time that is not around public holidays/school holidays that is your prerogative. In accordance with the Enterprise Agreement, Telstra may direct you to take leave if it is reasonable to do so if:

1) You have accrued more than 6 weeks of annual leave (7 for shift workers)
2) Telstra is shutting down all or part of the business for a period

If there are provisions to exempt employees – it is not a shutdown. Telstra’s Executives are stating that Telstra want to reduce leave entitlements. That is not a valid reason to direct you to take your annual leave – especially if you haven’t accrued more than 6 weeks. Please contact the undersigned if you do not wish to take your leave over the proposed times.

EBA UPDATE

Enterprise Bargaining is still stuck on the Redundancy clauses and the transfer of business to wholly owned subsidiaries of Telstra.

There is a clear disagreement between some members of the union’s bargaining team. Subsequently, the writing is on the wall that the majority of the bargaining team will agree on certain clauses that we are opposed to.

Some outstanding issues we see as major objections to bargaining are:

1. Forced Redeployment. If you are identified as having a suitable job offer, but don’t want to go to another company owned by Telstra, you will not receive a redundancy payout. You effectively resign.

2. The clause opens the door for any existing subsidiary (180), plus any newly created subsidiary. It is not confined to the InfraCo business units staff being transferred to InfraCo Pty Ltd. So who is next cab off the rank? Is this the way forward for Telstra to transfer (offload) their staff in other areas?

3. How long are your protections under Telstra conditions protected? The identified Telstra conditions (36 3/4 hr week, 15 days personal leave, redundancy pay) rely on the contractual words in a letter of offer that comes from the subsidiary, until they are replaced by a new agreement/award by the subsidiary.

4. Complexity of clauses. Volunteers/SWAGS still unexplained to date.

5. If you are on Defined Benefit scheme for Telstra Superannuation, it is extremely unlikely you will maintain it, if you accept an offer to transfer. This will have a significant impact on your superannuation.

6. Why would anyone agree to Telstra’s claim before other claims are decided? Do Telstra dictate what they want for LSL before pay is agreed too?

It is envisaged that Telstra will put a vote out imminently. We disagree with the proposals so far for the above reasons. It is not only your future but the future of many others we need to think about. Once it’s locked in, it’s extremely hard to bargain away next time.

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