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Visionstream: affected members' exit date extended, FWC dispute process continues

As a recap, on 16 May Visionstream announced a number of job cuts in their Fixed Networks operations – affecting 49 EBA employees. These cuts, Visionstream claim, are due to changes in the wideband market and reduced work volumes.

Impacted members include those former Silcar employees that retained benefits over and above those provided for in the Visionstream Fieldwork EBA when their employment was transferred.

Despite Visionstream’s obligations under the EBA to engage in genuine consultation over the cuts, they have refused to answer a number of questions relating to our concerns.

As you have been made aware, the Union has disputed the process and made an urgent application for the Fair Work Commission (FWC) to hear the matter ahead of affected members’ planned exit date of today, 14 June.

That conciliation process with the FWC commenced yesterday, June 13. Conveniently, ahead of the FWC hearing, Visionstream announced that those seeking redeployment would have their exit date extended to 21 June to allow further time to seek redeployment opportunities. Visionstream claim this decision was not related to our dispute notification to the FWC – members can draw their own conclusions on that one.

The Union argued that our concerns regarding the validity and genuineness of the redundancies and redeployment efforts, or lack thereof, are based on;

  • Numerous vacancies being advertised externally by both Visionstream, and its parent Ventia, in areas that have been affected by the redundancies
  • Numerous contractors being retained by the company
  • Information received from members that they were working at capacity and that significant overflow of work was being directed to contractors
  • Information received from members that interviews were being conducted with external applicants whilst 30 impacted members are presently sitting at home seeking redeployment. 

As a result of the FWC hearing, Visionstream will meet with your Union to engage in genuine consultation on Monday 17 June 2019. We will be seeking to maximise a transparent redeployment process for those members who have indicated they would like to continue to be employed – ahead of any external applicants.

Both the Union and Visionstream are required to report back to the FWC on Wednesday.

We will keep members up to date as the dispute progresses. In the meantime, if you require any further information please contact your State Branch Official.

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