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Talks continued with the Unions’ Single Bargaining Unit (SBU) and Telstra meeting this week to continue negotiations for a new agreement.

This week’s meeting continued examination of scope of the proposed Clause 45 which is now ironically clause 48. LSL and pay were not discussed at this meeting but have been earmarked for discussion at next week’s meeting.


Clause 45

For the sake of continuity and given we are so close to mutually agreeing to conclude bargaining, we will continue to refer to this as Clause 45.

We can now confirm that Telstra has agreed to guarantee entitlements for transferring employees to protect against insolvency or a failure to pay by the Subsidiary. This is significant in alleviating member reservations around transferring to a company that may not appear to have the same presence and viability as Telstra.

Just to recap on the operation of the clause, it is important to remember that Clause 45 does not apply to all redundancies, it only applies to redundancies that occur because work from Telstra Corp has been transferred to a Subsidiary.  Where this occurs, the person that was doing some or all of the transferring work may have Clause 45 apply to them and instead of being made redundant from Telstra they may be offered the opportunity to ‘follow’ the transferring work to the Subsidiary. Telstra’s requirement to pay retrenchment benefits will only be displaced if the offer to move to a Subsidiary is a suitable offer. A suitable offer is a written offer of employment with a Subsidiary of Telstra: 

  1. To perform the same or substantially the same work;
  2. on terms and conditions substantially similar to, and considered on an overall basis, no less favourable than the conditions held at Telstra;
  3. that recognises service with Telstra;
  4. that provides 15 days paid personal leave each year (pro-rata for part time employees);
  5. that provides your ordinary hours of work will be no more than an average of 36¾ hours each week; and
  6. that provides that your retrenchment benefits will be calculated:

        i. In accordance with the scale in section 10 if your job with the Subsidiary is made redundant               and you are retrenched; and

       ii.  by reference to your Fixed Remuneration at Telstra at the time the offer is made, or the fixed              remuneration at the time you are retrenched by the Subsidiary, whichever is higher.

   7. That provides for the continued membership in the defined benefits superannuation fund for            employees who are existing members.

This week we continue to tidy up the process for a ‘Selection Within a Group’ redundancy (SWAG), where the selection leads to a transfer rather than a retrenchment. The SBU believes that the emphasis here should be on volunteers however, Telstra seeks to retain discretion in this selection. The parties aim to resolve this difference ahead of the next meeting.

If this goes according to plan, we believe LSL and pay can be discussed at the next meeting which has been set tentatively for 31 October 2019.

We will continue to keep members updated as talks progress with the next meeting to occur next week. In the meantime, should you require any further information or have feedback to share, please contact your State Branch Official.

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