Telstra drags heels on union pay

Members of Telstra's main union are expressing frustration over the fact that new pay rates have yet to be settled.

Members of Telstra's main union are expressing frustration over the fact that new pay rates have yet to be settled.

The Communications, Electricians and Plumbers Union's (CEPU) positivity towards Telstra is waning as the key issue of pay remains unsettled. Since David Thodey's appointment, the union has sung praise for Telstra over the company's willingness to negotiate. In June the union called off a long-running action, and since then the two sides have been seen to be working towards a new enterprise agreement.

Although negotatiations have dealt with general conditions for unionised workers, the touchy issue of pay has not, which is causing growing impatience amongst workers.

"There is still not agreement on the structure of the EA and the related issues of job classifications, banding levels and new employee pay rates," CEPU president, Ed Husic, said. He added that "a stream" of complaints over this issue was being heard across the country by state branches.

"Telstra wishes to bring new employees into the company on its non-negotiated classification system and to have pay levels largely set by management. The CEPU believes this system would leave too much of future pay levels at the mercy of decisions outside of your control," he added.

The union is planning to commence a round of nationwide meetings in the coming weeks to clarify where it has reached agreement with Telstra.

Thodey earlier this year said executives' salaries would be frozen this year, while general staff would be in line for a 2 per cent raise. The CEPU has previously said it wants a 7 per cent raise for its members.