CPSU not optimistic about Telstra pay meeting

The union will meet to discuss Telstra's decision to withhold pay increases from employees for the second consecutive year

The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) is not optimistic it will secure a positive outcome when it meets with Telstra (ASX:TLS) today to discuss its decision to withhold pay increases from employees in 2010.

As reported by Computerworld Australia, the telco will not be reviewing employees in its Consumer Division who are under Australian Workplace Agreements or Employee Collective Agreements, for pay increases until March 2011.

It also said any pay rises would be contingent on an increase in business performance.

CPSU assistant national secretary, Louise Persse, told Computerworld Australia that the union will be meeting with Telstra today to represent the views of its members.

“We want to get some reasons from Telstra about their decision for our members, who are not very happy, and to see what prospects there are for getting the decision reversed so that people do get a pay increase,” Persse said.

However, the union is doubtful the telco will budge on its March 2011 date.

"I’m not especially hopeful because Telstra have showed little regard for their staff," she said. "We’ll certainly represent the issues and people are very angry about it so I think Telstra need to take that into account."

Should the meeting result in a negotiation that the CPSU deemed unacceptable, Persse said the union will discuss the next step with its members.

Persse last week penned a letter to Telstra chief executive, David Thodey, on behalf of CPSU’s members, from whom they had received “many” calls from.

The letter called for an “urgent” meeting to discuss the telco’s decision to forgo staff pay increases for the second consecutive year.

Telstra is also under increasing pressure from the Communications, Electrical, Plumbing Union (CEPU) to close the salary gap between unionised and non-unionised employees following an internal poll.

The email-based poll, delivered between the 2 and 8 September, saw eligible employees vote in favour of an eight per cent pay increase, to be delivered over two years under a new enterprise agreement covering both unionised and non-unionised employees.

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