Telstra to bypass unions with hefty payrise promises for staff

Telstra is hoping to bypass unions by offering staff hefty pay rises of up to 20% and negotiating directly with staff members.

Telstra is hoping to bypass unions by offering staff hefty pay rises of up to 20% and negotiating directly with staff members.

Yesterday the telco approached some 830 staff members in their wholesale and service advantage division and offered them guaranteed pay rises of up to 12.5 percent over teh next three years if they signed on the dotted line for a new collective agreement.

Telstra said these staff could potentially access an additional 7.5per cent in performance bonuses over the period of the deal.

The company claims if staff reject the offer, they are likely to have to wait for a year for a pay rise, and the maximum amount they will receive will be 3per cent a year.

As part of the agreement, Telstra has promised to protect and retain conditions including redundancy provisions, rostered days off, flexitime, overtime, shift penalties as well as annual, long service and parental leave.

Sounds like a winning situation, however the ACTU has said that the agreements could leave employees worse off.

Speaking with the Australian, ACTU secretary Jeff Lawrence said new workers and employees on AWAs would not be guaranteed annual pay rises and overtime pay would be cut for those earning more than $52,000 a year. New employees would also find that their redundancy entitlements would be cut from four to three weeks per year of service, and capped at 50 weeks, compared with 80 weeks now.

Telstra expects a ballot of employees will take place in the coming weeks.

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