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unions table issues

EA negotiations: unions table issues

The most recent Telstra enterprise bargaining meeting was held on Thursday 21 May. At the meeting the three unions involved in the negotiations, the CWU, CPSU and Professionals Australia, made a joint presentation to Telstra of the issues their members had raised during EA consultations.

As might be expected, there had been considerable overlap in the issues identified by the unions’ members even though they represent different sections of the Telstra workforce.

Performance management/assessment and performance-based pay problems have ranked high on the list of concerns of all union members’. So has the availability of flexible work arrangements, especially, in the CWU’s case, the availability of RDOs.

The ability of members to move between Job Family and Workstream work models is also a shared concern as are banding/grading issues, although of course there are particular banding problems specific to members of the different unions.

And members want to see more commitments from Telstra about job security and retention of work within the company, rather than the outsourcing and offshoring of Australian jobs.

Other matters put on the table by the unions include:

Rest breaks

  • Future increases to employer superannuation payments.
  • Current redundancy and redeployment procedures, particularly the group selection process.
  • Use of GPS for performance monitoring and disciplinary action.
  • Health and safety hazards in Telstra exchanges and other infrastructure.

At the meeting of 21 May, Telstra and the unions agreed to establish a working party to deal with these health and safety issues.

It is still early days in these negotiations and neither side has yet presented its full “wish list” in terms of specific claims. The coming weeks should provide a clearer picture of the “bottom line” priorities of both Telstra and the unions.

Members will be kept informed through regular bargaining updates in special Bargaining Bulletins available from your state branch and from the national website at

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