Telstra executes full force on AWA workers

The CEPU has been receiving telephone calls from concerned members indicating that Telstra are about to apply specific conditions of their AWAs to their full extent.

The Union is aware of AWAs containing clauses setting out specific conditions with respect to hours of duty and span of hours for varying employees’ ordinary hours of duty at ordinary rates of pay.

The Union sees this as simply opportunistic by Telstra and only reinforces the Union’s invitation to AWA employees to play an active role in the EBA08 campaign.

Due to changes in the law by the new Federal Labor Government, Telstra can no longer enter into any new AWAs with staff. So it is now only too clear that Telstra wants to achieve their full benefit from the unfortunate AWA employees who are currently exposed and available to them.

In particular, office based AWA staff who service Telstra’s field workforce with tickets of work may be in for a torrid time .

These sections are currently undergoing a re-organisation involving changes to their span of hours and current days of work.

It is alleged by the phone calls received at the Union office that Telstra may be introducing a 6 day working week (eg. Monday to Thursday 10.0 am to 7.0 pm shifts, then a 4 hour shift on Friday and a 4 hour shift on Sunday).

The Union is aware that the following AWA clauses are contained in most Telstra AWAs,  and give Telstra the following opportunities:

AWA clause 6.1 “Your ordinary hours of work will be 36 ¾ hours per week. You may be required to work reasonable additional time above your ordinary hours. You agree that Telstra may calculate your average weekly hours over a 12 month period.”

AWA clause 6.2 “ Your manager will discuss with you the days on which you must work and your starting and finishing time.”

If AWA employees’ hours are varied to reflect the above, using the above clauses as their avenue, they will be paid at single rate times as AWA staff are not protected by the provisions of the EBA and the Award which ensures penalty rates and overtime pay for working outside their ordinary span of hours and working on weekends.

It is pretty ironic that Telstra chose not to impose the above AWA conditions on employees when they were attempting to sign up as many AWAs as they could in recent years. But it is only too clear that because they are no longer able to utilise new AWAs as an industrial instrument in the corporation, they are now ready to show AWA employees their full hand of force by activating these unfair, opportunistic clauses in their AWAs.

If affected members are worried about a change in their span of hours or ordinary work days they should contact Branch Organiser Shane Murphy or Branch Assistant Secretary Steve Dodd for advice at the CEPU state office on (02) 9893 7822.

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