Communications union targets Optus pay deals

Communications union targets Optus pay deals

Optus employees are attempting to win improved wages and conditions through an agreement the Communications Electrical and Plumbing Union (CEPU) is trying to make with the telco.

Optus staff began voting on the deal last week, despite concerns from the union that the offer did not determine wage increases and sick leave clarity.

If employees vote in favour of the Optus deal, the national office of the union has agreed to be bound by the deal, but the Victorian branch is pushing for a vote against the deal.

CEPU assistant secretary, Burt Blackburne, said the union believed the offer to employees was unsatisfactory but even more so if they took into account what was being offered to SingTel [Optus parent company] directors.

Blackburne claimed that at the recent SingTel shareholders meeting there were resolutions to approve increases in directors’ fees for the last year of between 60 and 70 per cent.

The Victorian branch had organised an ‘Optus Sux’ day which distributed information about wages and conditions to Optus employees at the Melbourne office.

All Optus employees covered by the proposed Optus Employment Partnership Agreement had a right to vote on the new agreement.

The CEPU urged all employees, whether they were members of the CEPU or not, to exercise their legal rights and vote on the proposed deal.

Optus confirmed that the proposed agreement had been distributed to all employees in accordance with legal requirements.

The CEPU is disappointed that Optus has refused to negotiate a union agreement, but if the proposed agreement is supported by a majority of employees at the forthcoming ballot, the CEPU has said it will seek to be bound by that agreement when it comes before the Australian Industrial Relations Commission for certification.

The results of the employee ballot being conducted by KPMG on behalf of Optus are expected to be known this week.

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