Members may have today been made aware that Telstra intends to move those employees who remain on a Howard Government WorkChoices era individual contract, to the Telstra EA.
By doing so, terms and conditions of employment will be standardised across the workforce. Whilst this is the case, employees who may be receiving remuneration or terms greater than what is provided by the EA will continue to have those arrangements recognised following the move.
It is worth noting that legislation currently before the Parliament will see to the termination of all transitional instruments such as AWAs and ITEAs from July 2022, regardless. However, by taking this step now, affected members will benefit from the crucial protections that members engaged in industrial action for during the last bargaining campaign – particularly around transfer of business arrangements in the Enterprise Agreement.
The transfer of business protections contained in the current EA ensure that members who may have their employment transferred to a wholly-owned subsidiary cannot be left worse-off in terms of pay, superannuation, redundancy and general conditions of employment, including those related to tenure – such as Long Service Leave.
In terms of Telstra’s proposals to restructure the company into three separate entities within the Telstra organisational group, these protections are critical to ensuring that employees are not disadvantaged through the process.
Those affected by this change include employees currently employed under the terms of an AWA or ITEA and categorised within Bands 2 to 4, excluding lawyers – this is around 10 per cent of the Telstra workforce. In terms of timing, Telstra intends to serve these employees with notice of intent to terminate the agreements on 27 January and under current legislated timeframes, the change will not take effect until between late April and early May.
Importantly, this also means that these members will be able to fully to participate in the bargaining campaign as we prepare to negotiate a new EA with Telstra – with those negotiations set to kick off in around May.
We’ll keep members informed as the matter progresses. However, if you require any further information in the meantime, please contact Branch Officials Cade Anderson, Peter O’Connell or National Assistant Secretary James Perkins on (02) 9893 7822.