Betrayal at Telstra: CEPU starts recruiting for Terria

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Betrayal at Telstra: CEPU starts recruiting for Terria

According to an internal memo leaked to iTnews, the CEPU – the union representing many Telstra staff – will start recruiting staff for the Optus-led Terria consortium, and publicly declared its support for Terria in a statement.

The memo was sent to all Telstra staff by Michael Rocca, GMD, Telstra Networks and Services.

Rocca describes the CEPU’s actions as “a very serious betrayal that will gravely disappoint people in all parts of our business”.

“The union representing many Telstra people, the CEPU, has put out a statement announcing they are now working with the Optus-led Terria group to help it recruit a workforce for the proposed National Broadband Network (NBN).”

Rocca slammed the CEPU for taking sides in the NBN debate.

“It just beggars belief that the CEPU – which takes union fees from many of you every fortnight – is using your pay to mount a campaign to help your competition recruit, train and deploy workers and, at the same time, make it impossible for Telstra to build the NBN.”

The CEPU’s role in the Terria consortium would be to help recruit staff for a possible NBN workforce. Rocca said that the CEPU is close to securing a memorandum of understanding with Terria.

The CEPU said in its statement that should the Terria bid succeed, it would commit unions and Terria to negotiate a collective agreement in good faith.

Said Rocca, “This is the CEPU that advises you not to take up the Telstra Employee Collective Agreement (ECA), while at the same time making arrangements with Optus, which runs its business with non-union collective agreements.

“It looks like hypocrisy to me.”

Rocca closed his memo to staff with an attack on the CEPU’s in-confidence agreements.

“When the CEPU and other unions initially asked us at Telstra to brief them in confidence on our NBN, we agreed. In good faith we briefed them as your representatives. In light of what has happened, who will ask them now if they have passed any of the briefings to their new partners? What have they told Optus-Terria?”

iTnews received the memo from a Telstra media contact late on Thursday afternoon. The CEPU and Terria were not immediately available for comment.
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