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shift loadings or overtime

Shift loadings or overtime? Optus wants two bob each way

The CWU is investigating what appear to be attempts by Optus to reclassify employees as shift workers to avoid paying them overtime.

Members in the company’s satellite section reported that they were approached by management to sign forms consenting to the change after concerns were raised by employees that they were not being paid overtime for work outside their ordinary hours.

Employees employed to work on an ordinary (”core”) hours basis were being routinely required to work beyond the 7am-7pm span without compensation i.e. to work unpaid overtime.

Employees were also told that irrespective of when they worked, they were not eligible for overtime payments unless they had worked more than their standard 38 hour week.

Optus now seems to want to try to “solve” the problem by turning the employees into shift workers on the basis that they would then be eligible for shift loadings. But it may not suit them to become shift workers – and anyway that doesn’t deal with the backlog of unpaid overtime.

The CWU met with members and other affected Optus staff at the Belrose satellite facility on 21 April. Following the meeting, the CWU wrote to Optus seeking that:

  1. That Optus conduct a full audit and investigation into the alleged breach of the EPA at the Belrose facility.
  2. That any outstanding moneys owed to employees for non-payment of overtime be paid in full.
  3. That Optus stop its attempts to alter the working conditions of staff employed at Belrose.

The CWU will meet with Optus on this matter on 24 April. Members will be kept up to date with developments.

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