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Redundancies: Telstra confirms it will seek volunteers
Telstra has told the CWU that it intends to proceed with its proposal to seek volunteers for up to 300 redundancies in Customer Service Delivery (CSD).

Telstra first flagged the proposal in late October, following its decision to revise the number of redundancies that it initially planned to implement in CSD. Following representations by the CWU about those cuts, Telstra decided to retain about half of the 233 positions initially slated for redundancy.

Retaining skilled workers in CSD is really an operational necessity for Telstra, given both current and likely future workloads in this area.

But that doesn’t stop the cost-cutting pressures coming from the top of the company.

The CWU has told Telstra that it does not consider voluntary redundancies to be an acceptable solution to these conflicting demands.

While voluntary redundancies will usually be preferable to forced ones, we simply do not see how Telstra can afford to lose 300 more jobs from CSD.

That is why the CWU has asked Telstra where it thinks the cuts will in fact be made. We have also asked to be provided with information about the use of contractors/agency staff in areas where volunteers are being sought.

The union is seeking this information prior to the meeting on 21 November at which the union anticipates Telstra may indicate that it intends to proceed with the actual redundancies. To date it has not been provided.

Post Date: 18th November 2013 | National Secretary

Telstra - what is the situation?

30th October 2013

The recent round of negotiations over redundancies and other associated issues has highlighted a number of follow-on problems in Telstra.


Telstra announced initially that there would be 1100 redundancies as a result of the Telstra Operations reorganisation.

Following discussions with the union around the first 300 of the announced 1100 redundancies Telstra has now reduced the numbers to 92 agency staff to go and 61 Telstra staff.

Since the welcome announced change of direction by Telstra on the redundancy numbers there have been some disturbing developments.  Among those:

  • Telstra employees in Customer Wideband Victoria are being told that the BDS contractors in their area are unaffected whilst Telstra employees are made redundant.

  • Key people in the various Field Tech regions who perform the critical work of Toughbook maintenance and other IT Support are being made redundant with no explanations as to who might do the work in the future.

  • In the Southern Region at least, the well-known and well-used (in historical terms) Langwarrin Depot has virtually been taken over by ISGM managers and support personnel at the same time as Telstra employees are being made redundant.

How provacative and insulting is that now in light of the above?

The "premium tech" proposal which somehow aligns "end to end" technical and 1T/LAN configuration functions associated with T Box and other premium service products to a CFW 4 level. This attempt to downgrade the work value of a CFW 7 tech is also similar to the attempt to equate complex installation and 1T/Telco fault finding work associated with the "Digital Business" Cisco product also at a CFW 4 level.

We are seeing Telstra staff struggle to install these types of complex products in areas that require much more IT type training - as a result, the installation time has blown out dramatically, and Service Delivery are resorting to all sorts of "Band-Aids” including the use of the discredited sub-contracting model that is failing to produce quality work. As a result, rework rates are increasing significantly.
The union is representing these issues.


We are fundamentally opposed to the Telstra/ISGM Ride-Ons programme. This programme has nothing n common with the Excelior programmes that have occurred in the past.

This programme threatens Telstra workers’ jobs because it is training another company’s personnel (ISGM) to do Telstra work. So far no written commitment to protect the current Telstra jobs has been given to the employees involved.

Telstra has unilaterally changed the computer use agreement to allow the ISGM passengers, without proper consultation with employees.

Telstra employees are being forced to work unpaid overtime by picking up and driving the ISGM personnel in their (Telstra employees) own time.

Telstra employees are being forced to train, mentor and report on the ISGM personnel without being paid for these extra higher functions.

Telstra is cooperating with what appears to be a shonky “work for the dole” type scheme where ISGM or its associates are requiring these “trainees” to work for under award/EBA pay as extremely cheap labour, and at the same time these “trainees” have to pay their own expenses to get to the job.

What is more, when they are “trained” (which is a sick joke in itself) they will be required to be sham contractors and carry all additional employment costs themselves (long service, Super, other leave, set up costs of 40 to 50 thousand dollars, worker’s compensation insurance, etc.

Telstra has come to this and managers don’t even appear embarrassed by the company behavior.


The first step is to hand your Team leader a message similar to that below which explains why you do not want to take part in the current Ride-Ons and training programme for ISGM provided personnel.

"I am fundamentally opposed to assisting with the training of non-Telstra personnel and particularly personnel who may eventually take my job.

However, I require a number of issues to be clarified and explained before I consider whether to participate in Telstra's "Rido-ons" programme involving training and assessing on non-Telstra employees.

What is the legal position in relation to the commuter use agreement I have signed?

What coverage and protection is available to the passenger? e.g. WorkCover.Comcare. road accident, occupational health and safety requirements.

What assessment has been done of the "Ride-ons" passenger to decide whether they are a right and proper person?

What is my correct pay (e.g. overtime) given that I am carrying a passenger to and from the job?

If I do participate in the 'Ride-ons" programme, am I being involved in an illegal or unfair training programme?

Finally, I am very unhappy about the principle of Telstra funding/ subsidising another company (ISGM) by making Telstra facilities available, whilst we constantly face loss of jobs due to Telstra cost-cutting programmes."

Secondly, if you have issues associated with the current redundancy programme in Telstra then contact the Branch office for advice and assistance.

Thirdly, if you think a meeting of members/employees in your area to consider action or other problems would be useful then contact the union to organise one.

We will keep you informed of developments.

Branch Secretary
M. 0438 389 302

Assistant Secretary
M. 0419 823 580

Branch Secretary
CWU (P&T) Vic

CWU (P&T) Vic
M. 0408 766 444

Your next Pay Increase - UNFAIR

Last week Australia Post announced an 11% increase in profit to $312 million on a 15% increase in revenue. And it is growing. The Abbott Government will get a $244 million dividend to boost
its budget bottom‐line.

The Australian reports that Ahmed Fahour's remuneration has risen from $2.85 million to $4.75 million.

And this year the top 10 people at Australia Post reportedly collected $12.98 million, which means Fahour earned one third of the top executive pay.

Fahour had convinced some Branch Secretaries (eg NSW P&T and Qld) that Post was in dire straits  and these secretaries were very supportive of Fahour’s EBA with its low pay rises. The National officials and half the Branches did not support EBA8 because of the dreadful pay rises this year.

And the ink is not even dry on EBA8 and we have had a number of meetings with Post to hear about job cuts across business units across Australia.

Despite traditional mail volumes declining Australia Post is making a $355 million profit from parcel delivery and express services and $201 million from retail services.

If you are a rank‐and‐file employee you are now sharing less than ever before in the success of this big Australian company.

You might think that Australia Post would help their employees by sharing more profits with the people who are dedicating their lives to helping the company earn such vast profits.

But, no.

The business ethos in Australia Post management is all about profit maximisation and worker exploitation. They are content with treating employees like costs and paying you as little as possible.

Concepts like fairness and sharing are seen as unimportant. It is time Australia Post shared a bit more of its wealth with the people who create it for them – by paying employees more.

The National Office and some Branches opposed EBA8 because of the above!

No wonder the National Office of the union is critical of the fact that Australia Post has delivered
consistently pay cuts (below CPI) to its rank‐and‐file workers for the last 4 years.

The National Office has written to Ahmed Fahour demanding an immediate 3% pay rise to catch up!

Sign the petition to demand a further 3% this year as an over EBA payment.

 Petition Download

Federal Court of Australia
Australia Post CEPU / CWU members in Victoria punished for not supporting EBA - CEO facing legal action

Australia Post and its CEO Ahmed Fahour are facing legal action in the Federal Court of Australia over their decision to single out Victorian union members and cut their entitlement to payroll deductions for union membership fees.
In a statement of claim filed by Maurice Blackburn in the Federal Court in Melbourne on behalf of the CEPU/CWU, it is claimed that Australia Post and its CEO have breached the adverse action provisions of the Fair Work Act.
Enrico Burgio, associate in employment and industrial law who is acting for the CEPU/CWU said the actions of Australia Post were retribution against Victorian CEPU/CWU members for their stance taken during the recent enterprise bargaining at Australia Post.
"Australia Post and Fahour have punished Victorian CEPU/CWU members by scrapping the payroll deductions of their union fees. We allege that this action was taken because, through their union, they advocated against the proposed enterprise agreement.
This is deliberate and calculated discrimination against workers based on exercising a workplace right. Workers should not be punished for the position they take in an EBA vote.
Although Australia Post had a policy of allowing payroll deductions for matters including union fees, following the bargaining, Australia Post has told workers that Victorian CEPU/CWU members only will no longer be able to use this facility for their union fees."
Assistant National Secretary of the CEPU/CWU, Martin O'Nea, said "Victorian CEPU/CWU members have had this entitlement for around 25 years, including periods when there was no obligation in a certified agreement in place to provide the entitlement.
The CEO, Ahmed Fahour, has made a side deal with some union branches to keep union entitlements and has sought to freeze out Victorian CEPU/CWU members.
The union strongly believes that workers should not be disadvantaged for the stance they take during bargaining. We are taking this important action to protect the rights of our members at Australia Post."
The statement of claim alleges that Mr Fahour entered into memorandums of understanding with other branches of the CEPU/CWU in NSW, QLD, SA and Tasmania which would oblige those branches to urge members to vote in support of the EBA in exchange for retaining the payroll deductions and other employee benefits. Victoria was not offered the opportunity to enter into an memorandums of understanding and the CEPU/CWU Victorian Branch strongly advocated against the EBA, because of matters including Australia Post's pay offer to its workforce.
The CEPU/CWU is seeking orders from the Federal Court restoring the payroll deductions and monetary penalties against both Australia Post and Mr Fahour for contraventions of the Fair Work Act.
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Telstra IT jobs continue to go off-shore

While the recent reorganisation of Telstra Operations has not involved any off-shoring to date, the process continues in other sections of the business.

Telstra has advised the CWU that it proposes to reduce staff numbers within IT Service Desk and Sensis Desktop Support, with 22 roles (including 2 vacancies) being sent off-shore and 6 new roles being created.

The proposal represents a continuation of moves begun In June 2013 when Telstra’s IT Operations partnered with external vendor, TATA Consulting Services (TCS), to deliver Telstra’s Level 1 IT Service Desk support functions. Telstra says it now proposes to give both its own and Sensis’ Level 1 and Level 2 Service Desk functions to TATA.

Higher level functions (stakeholder management, critical coordination and subject matter expertise) would stay within Telstra.

As usual, Telstra argues that such off-shoring allows it more “flexibility” in dealing with fluctuations in demand than can be provided locally. The same argument was put in relation to off-shoring of work from Network Assisted Services (NAS).

In other words, off-shoring provides Telstra with access to a large pool of readily available and relatively cheap labour that can be summoned up when necessary and disposed of when not.

The only problem for Telstra with this strategy is growing customer resistance to having their queries dealt with from the other side of the globe, as any talk-back radio discussion on the subject quickly reveals. That is why highly customer focussed telcos like Macquarie Telecom have brought all their customer care in-house.

Once again, though, it seems that the short-term cost-cutting mentality is ruling the day. Meanwhile the CWU has asked for more information about the data on which Telstra’s demand projections are based, particularly in relation to Sensis traffic.

Post Date: 1st November 2013 | National Secretary

Stop Aussie Post reducing country postal services & 

cutting  country jobs

 Regional and Rural Australia need increases in services
 Not reductions!

The proposed cuts are to Postal delivery services that Regional and Rural Australia have had for over 35 years. Millions of Australians in Regional and Rural areas in NSW and Victoria would have next day delivery cut to two day delivery under the current proposal with flow on effects to more distant areas.

This will impact Jobs in Country Australia and add to Business cost and the ability to communicate in a timely manner.

We have the World's best Postal system.
Together, let's ensure it stays that way!

  • Sign the online petition     or  

  • Multiple Signature petitions are available 'here'
Post Date: 5th October 2013 | Victorian Secretary

Optus Mobile Outsourcing faces hurdles 

Optus’ plans to outsource its mobile deployment functions are progressing slowly, at least when it comes to staff transfers.

Earlier this year, Optus informed the CWU that it was proceeding with Operation Cortez which would see future work on Optus’ mobile networks performed by a third party. A number of companies including Visionstream, Kordia and Silcar all expressed interest in the opportunity.

Then last month Optus announced that the $240 million contract for its 4G mobile network upgrade had been awarded to Visionstream. And now Visionstream wants to take over some – but not all – of the current Optus workforce to ensure it can get the job done.

Under the proposed “transfer of business” to Visionstream, Optus employees who were selected to work for the new employer would retain their current conditions while those who were not “picked” would be redeployed or made redundant.

But what if the selected employees don’t want to transfer? The present NBN-related instability in the telecommunications construction industry has some Optus employees worried. Some 250 jobs were recently lost, for instance, when Silcar was effectively absorbed into Thiess, so security of future employment in this sector is a real concern.

The CWU is engaged in discussions with Optus about how best to protect the interests of all the Optus employees potentially affected by this proposal, including any who may choose not to transfer to Visionstream.

Given that radiocommunications skills are in short supply, it is surely in the interests of both Optus and Visionstream to ensure that all employees involved regard the process and its outcomes as fair and equitable.

Post Date: 1st November 2013 | National Secretary

Stamp Price Rise

Australia Post has flagged that it will be seeking a price rise to 70c for a basic postage stamp according to media reports. While your union supports a fair price for what we consider to be the world’s best postal system, we suggest Post take a good hard look at how they are sending very mixed messages to the people
of Australia.

The bean counters are starting to damage the brand with their desktop decision making. The recent moves to chop existing services in regional and rural Australia are a seemingly politically naive decision. The announcement then of a proposed stamp increase for all Australians is nothing more than a slap in the face to those in regional and rural Australia who will now not only receive a lesser service but actually pay more for it. Further proposals are being flagged for metro areas. The bean counters need to be reigned in before they damage the brand anymore and sour public affection for our great postal service.

Post Date: 1st November 2013 | National Secretary

Australia Post caught out on spin

The Geelong Advertiser this week asks: Was Australia Post being upfront with Geelong customers about proposed changes to mailsorting processes in the city?

The question arises after a media statement from Australia Post
stated Australia Post would be “maintaining current mail service arrangements for Geelong”.

The statement followed reports in the newspaper last week that Australia Post was considering bypassing the Geelong mail centre and sending mail from the city to a similar facility in Dandenong.

However, only three hours after Australia Post released that statement, it was confirmed that is what would be happening to the Geelong’s mail, reported the Advertiser.

The cost-cutting proposal raised concerns from the union and Corangamite MP Sarah Henderson.
“There is no doubt this media statement is misleading and frankly that's very disappointing,” Ms Henderson said.

It is particularly galling that Australia Post says they have made similar changes already in NSW and it was a “win win”. It isn’t when you consider the impact on staff and services. The fact Australia Post was again not up front here is another example of how badly this organisation behaves.

Your union is working very hard to oppose these changes.

Post Date: 1st November 2013 | National Secretary


CWU members in Decipha win right to domestic violence leave

Decipha employees have won the right to extra paid leave to help them deal with domestic violence, under a landmark deal for this industry that was negotiated by the CWU in the new Decipha Enterprise Agreement.

Under the deal any Decipha employee experiencing domestic violence will have access to additional paid leave of two days a year. The Decipha deal allows extra leave beyond the two days leave to be granted, with employees able to use personal/carer’s leave as a consequence of domestic violence.

Employees entitled to domestic violence leave will also be able to access flexible work arrangements where appropriate.

As well, the deal includes access to support for victims of domestic violence through the company’s employee assistance program.

The introduction of violence leave marks a proper recognition by Decipha of the importance of this issue and the need for employers to offer support to their employees in this area.

AP should offer violence leave, but it hasn’t.

A similar claim for paid domestic violence leave was pressed by the union in the Australia Post EBA negotiations. But typical of Australia Post’s position on this and many other matters was the following selfserving come back: ‘this is not an appropriate matter to be dealt with in the Agreement. AP is satisfied with the support that is provided under its current policy’.

More than 1 million workers now have access to some form of paid domestic violence leave. The idea of the leave is to give affected employees time to deal with issues such as court orders or counselling.

What gives with Australia Post? Is Australia Post meaner than its business counterparts? Probably not. The difference is that Australia Post has pocketed damn near all its profits, neither recruiting new workers to cover over worked full-time and part-time workers, nor giving decent pay rises, nor improving conditions for those who continue to work for them.

The Union will of course continue to raise this important issue with Australia Post.

Post Date: 1st November 2013 | National Secretary