The Guardian 14 December, 2005

Telstra worker wins backpay

A Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) member who works at a Telstra shop (T- shop) has won more than $2,000 backpay with the union's help. The member initially contacted the union with a query regarding entitlement to penalties for working Saturday shifts. Following guidance from the CPSU the member made numerous enquiries about the situation with different levels of Telstra management.

But Telstra tried to sideline the issue entirely by giving confusing advice to the member. Firstly they wanted the claim to be resolved within Telstra without CPSU involvement; and then the claim was dismissed.

After contacting the union, a CPSU-initiated investigation revealed underpayments going back to 2002. As a result of this the member has now received $2,052 in backpay.

The member said that the union was a great help with this situation. "With a great belief in fairness for treatment to all my fellow workers I felt that I should pursue this matter.

"I was encouraged by Troy Reimers of the CPSU to contact management regarding my claim. Unfortunately due to management policy they felt the matter was not worthy; at least not until the union quoted the relevant terms of our agreement.

"It has taken two long, hard-fought years of much correspondence and many management changes to get the result. But without the persistence and tenacity of the CPSU I would never have gotten such a wonderful monetary result.

"Without the union I would not have stood a chance against management. As one we are nothing with the union we have the power as workers", the member said.

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