CWU Telstra Members.
- At a time when many members are facing Redundancy, some incorrect information is being circulated regarding the current Telstra Redundancy Agreement (as contained in the Telstra EBA).
- The current Telstra Redundancy Agreement payout is safe. During the current EBA negotiations, Telstra initially sought to remove any suggestion of an attack on the current Redundancy clauses in the 2015/2018 EBA, for the proposed new EBA from 2019. This has been the consistent Telstra position, even during the most recent EBA talks following resumption 2 weeks ago. Stories circulating about “x” weeks (pick a number between 12 and 80!) are incorrect and designed to destabilise.
- What Members need to be aware of is that the maximum “80 week” agreement (plus a payout “in lieu” for the 4 or 5 week “notice period”), is, as a result of changes in the 2015/2018 Telstra EBA, lessened. We currently have an agreement that changed the words from the 2012/2015 agreement that was maximum 80 weeks plus the notice period, (making a total monetary payout of 84 or 85 weeks depending on your age). This nasty little change is as subtle as one word – “inclusive” – that now appears in clause 51.3 (d) – in relation to the maximum 80 weeks being “inclusive” of the notice period. At the time of certification, Telstra’s 2015 EBA changes were opposed by the Victorian CWU Branches (P&T and T&S), the NSW T&S Branch, and some individuals. This opposition to certification of the EBA in the Fair Work Commission was over-ridden by Telstra, (and supported by the then newly elected Divisional office of our union), following the 2015 Union election result. We now have the situation where every redundancy payout is reduced because the notice period is now worked out through the so called “placement period”. This now makes the monetary payout 76 weeks, and, if you hang around and work through your “Placement Period”, you just get paid as normal for working through your notice period. If you choose to exit early (by agreement) you don’t pick up the additional “notice period” as an “in lieu” payment – that is foregone because you have chosen to exit early. (so don’t exit early – it cost you 4 weeks of wage)
There is an argument being run by some that are being pushed amongst some areas of the Membership that there was a “sell out” by the previous Union leadership of the Telstra Modern Award. The Telstra Modern Award is a document that is struck (and owned) by the full Bench of the Fair Work Commission, as part of the “Award Modernisation” process. The Union (and Telstra), put submissions to the FWC Full Bench as part of “Award modernisation” process. Telstra chose to submit that the underpinning Telstra Modern Award should only have a Redundancy clause that was in line with the “National Employment Standards – NES” (which provides a maximum 12 weeks for greater than 10 years of completed service) The Union at the time submitted that the 80 week figure should be included in the underpinning modern Award. In most previous Award Modernisation decisions in other industries, the FWC has struck the NES figure as the underpinning number, however, in the Telstra Modern Award case, the FWC full bench struck a figure that was 40 weeks, clearly better than the NES figures. This really is an academic figure, as the redundancy clauses in the Telstra EBA over-ride the Telstra Modern Award.