The processing times for FWC can be long and, unfortunately, there is not much we can do to influence that. The FWC can only accept an agreement if it meets a number of criteria. For example, that the agreement passes the overall test (BOOT) better in relation to the price, that it has actually been agreed by the workers and that it does not exclude, to name but a few, the national provisions on labour standards. It may take some time to properly address these issues and we support the FWC`s in-depth approach. During its deliberations, the RAC asked Telstra to clarify the application of certain clauses that extended the proceedings. It also allowed Telstra to offer 14 companies and accept the FWC to be part of the agreement, which clarifies the functioning of certain clauses. A copy of the agreement, including commitments, is available here www.fwc.gov.au/documents/documents/agreements/fwa/ae508275.pdf. The EBA was approved in December 2019 with 65% of Telstra`s employees. The Fair Work Commission approved the agreement last week and begins its work today until its nominal expiration in September 2021. Negotiations on the agreement have been ongoing since at least April 2018, when Telstra proposed to change the rights to long-term leave. Other additions to the agreement include the possibility of voluntarily committing to redundancies earlier, the right of casual workers to apply for permanent employment after 12 months, long-term leave plans on the basis of a voluntary process, and equal rights to parental leave (16 weeks of parental leave and up to 12 months of unpaid leave for both parents). The FWC approved the agreement on 11 June 2020 and the agreement will be operational from 18 June 2020. The nominal expiry date of the agreement is September 30, 2021.
This means that negotiations on the next EBA are expected to begin in just under a year. As you will recall, the new Telletra EBA was voted on in December 2019, in which 65% voted “yes” to the agreement. The agreement was then submitted for approval to the Fair Work Commission. Finally, the two sides agreed in December 2019, after the unions agreed on a 1.8 per cent pay increase for the first year and a 2 per cent hurdle in the second year, while some Job Family employees receive a guaranteed minimum of one per cent. Section 45 has also been amended to maintain the same benefits when workers are transferred to a Teltra subsidiary.