Telstra Award Modernisation

Telstra Award Modernisation – NO threat to redundancy entitlements
The CWU has received a number of calls from members concerned about the impact of award modernisation on their current redundancy entitlements, particularly the 80 weeks (maximum) payout provided for in the Telstra Enterprise Agreement 2012-15.

It appears that some members have been told that the CWU has agreed to these entitlements being reduced as part of the award modernisation process. This is not the case.

The facts in relation to redundancy and award modernisation are these:

  • Your redundancy entitlements are guaranteed through the current Enterprise Agreement (EA).  As is the case at present, such entitlements can only change if changes are agreed to in future EAs.
  • The same applies to all your other conditions. These are established though the process of enterprise bargaining, not by awards. The role of modern awards is to provide a “safety net” and a measuring stick against which agreements can be judged. An agreement has to make you “Better Off Overall” than you would be if you were just on the award.
  • At present the 11 Telstra awards contain NO redundancy payouts at all. The relevant award, which dates from the 1970s, only provides for periods of notice, but not for any redundancy payments.
  • Telstra’s initial position during the award modernisation process was for the redundancy entitlements in the new award to be based on the National Employment Standards (NES) which provide a maximum payout of 16 weeks. The CWU successfully opposed this position when the award modernisation case was first dealt with in 2012.
  • The CWU successfully negotiated a new award provision of a maximum 40 weeks redundancy payout. This obviously provides a much stronger “safety net” than either the NES or the old 1970s redundancy award but
  • It represents a minimum not a maximum standard. Your actual redundancy entitlements are contained in and protected by the Enterprise Agreement.

 Any information contrary to this explanation is due either to misunderstanding or to deliberate misinformation. Members are asked to report any instances of such misleading information to their state branches or directly to the Divisional Office.

The Full Bench has reserved its decision on the draft award, so the final award conditions are yet to be determined. When a decision is announced, members will be briefed on all details.

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