Workers Reject Telstra Pay Rise Offer
81 per cent of eligible voting members from Telstra’s workforce have rejected a new enterprise agreement that proposed a 1.5 per cent pay increase, arguing it is lower than increases in the Consumer Price Index.
In the coming year the Consumer Price Index is predicted to increase by 1.9 to 2.4 per cent.
The vote comes off the back of massive job cuts at Telstra, allowing Unions to easily target the telco for gouging its workers.
“This is a huge vote of no confidence by Telstra workers in Andy Penn and his team,” Community and Public Sector Union acting director Emma Groube said.
“Clearly workers are sick of generating mega-profits for Telstra and being treated like dirt in return.”
Shane Murphy, CEPU Communications Union National President, furthered the line of attack, saying “Telstra was attempting to force its workers to take a pay cut in real terms and Telstra workers have rightly stood up and said they won’t accept that,
“Telstra workers are already dealing with the announcement that 8000 of their jobs are being axed – to be asked to take a pay cut on top of that is completely unacceptable.”
In response, a Telstra spokesperson issued the following statement “while the pay proposal is less than what Telstra employees have seen historically, importantly we are protecting our industry-leading terms and conditions to provide certainty over a period of significant change…
“Since we started negotiations, we confirmed we are seeking minimal change and intend to protect our terms and conditions…
“Telstra’s current EA (enterprise agreement) and the proposed EA include strong protections around redundancy.
“We are committed to supporting our workforce through this period of change, including re-deploying people where possible.”
Emma Groube confirmed that the CPSU would be advocating for improvements for how pay increases are dealt with and the way redundancies, redeployment, retaining and job swap opportunities are orchestrated within the company.
“Workers are rightly concerned about these issues because Telstra is pushing to sack a third of its workforce, and yet all Telstra executives have managed is vague spin,” Emma commented.
Without an agreement, both parties now rely on the good faith obligations of the current enterprise agreement while the next step is considered by both unions and Telstra management.