Telstra's main union has raised the spectre of further
industrial action in response to its concern that
progress in negotiating a new enterprise agreement with the
In a newsletter distributed to union members last week, the
Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union (CEPU) said it had
taken a resolution that state branches would begin contacting
members to get their views on the way forward, "including the
possibility of renewing the union's industrial action
At issue are three areas that Telstra and the union have not been
able to read agreement on. The first is the size of the potential
wage rise, including back pay. Telstra has offered around 10,000
unionised staff a 9 per cent rise over three years. But union
representatives want a 15 per cent rise.
Secondly, the union has claimed Telstra wants to put employees
on different pay arrangements than those that currently apply to
stuff under an enterprise agreement. "Those arrangements would be
based on classification structures that have not been negotiated
with the union," the CEPU's newsletter states.
In addition, the issue of whether employees would be able to use
the full powers of the national workplace relations tribunal Fair
Work Australia has not been decided. Telstra has not yet responded
to a request for comment on the issue.
In the newsletter, the CEPU also gave an update on the status of
other negotiations; it is currently in talks with local groups
Silcar Telepower, Broadcast Australia and Kordia.