New Telstra chief executive David Thodey today wrote to Telstra employees and unions pledging to end the lengthy stand-off between management and staff by negotiating a new enterprise agreement in "good faith".
New Telstra chief executive David Thodey today wrote to
Telstra employees and unions pledging to end the lengthy stand-off
between management and staff by negotiating a new enterprise
agreement in "good faith".
Today we are pleased to be making a commitment to you that we
will bargain in good faith
Telstra CEO David Thodey
The telco has faced a wave of industrial action from unions such
as the Communications Electrical and Plumbing Union (CEPU) since
late last year and has refused to negotiate with worker's
"Today we are pleased to be making a commitment to you that we
will bargain in good faith and negotiate a new enterprise agreement
which is fair and rewards excellent performance," Thodey and
Telstra's group managing director of human resources Andrea Grant
wrote in an email to staff published today by CEPU after Telstra
faxed the union a copy.
The move is one of Thodey's first known actions as Telstra's CEO
after taking over this month from his predecessor Sol Trujillo, who
had been targeted by unions for his antagonistic approach.
Noting that Labor's new Workplace Relations laws were due to
commence on 1 July, Thodey said Telstra was "committed" to treating
employees and their representatives with respect, and the telco
would consult with unions ahead of the formal bargaining
"We expect to commence formal negotiations with employees on
Enterprise Agreements (EAs) and expired Australian Workplace
Agreements (AWAs) early in July 2009," the Telstra pair wrote. "We
will take the time over the coming weeks to consider the new laws
in detail and finalise the processes that we will put in place to
be ready for the negotiations to commence."
[Telstra] basically flicked us a letter,
stating that from 1 July they will follow the law
CEPU national president Ed Husic
However, Telstra's main union, CEPU, did not react well to
Telstra's move. CEPU national president Ed Husic said in an email
to journalists that Telstra had "basically flicked us a letter,
stating that from 1 July they will follow the law".
"They never wrote back to unions, who have asked for months —
on behalf of members — to get back to the bargaining table," the
union added in a statement on its website. Claiming Telstra had
"stumbled at the starting blocks", the union described Telstra's
letter as having "the warmth and genuineness of a public
"Sure the CEO's changed — but today shows that the mindset
remains the same," the union added. "The new laws were passed
months ago, it's been known for ages that these laws were coming —
so why didn't Telstra clear the air and sit back down and talk with
unions weeks ago?"
A Telstra spokesperson was not immediately available to