Telstra will not backdate any pay increases awarded to employees in its Consumer and Country Wide divisions following a six month postponement of remuneration reviews last October.
The postponed review applied to staff under Australian Workplace Agreements or Employee Collective Agreements following the petitioning of the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) for a pay rise on their behalf which was denied by Telstra.
CPSU’s lead organiser for communications and science, Teresa Davison, told Computerworld Australia that while Telstra had decided to give pay increases, it would not be backdating the payrise for which the union had been advocating and the move would not benefit all employees.
“The pay rises are not guaranteed for everyone, it’s not a set amount for everyone like a set percentage like you would normally have in a collective agreement,” Davison said.
“It’s dependent on people’s performance, the budget of where they work or how much money their business unit has – there’s a whole range of factors outside the employees control.”
According to Davison, employees’ reaction to the outcome has been mixed with some happy to be receiving a pay increase at all, while some are feeling “quite justifiably shortchanged”.
“Some people in this area won’t have had a payrise for a couple of years so they really feel like they’re going backwards, which they are,” she said. “The cost of living has gone up but their pay stays the same.”
Davison said Telstra employees had expected a payrise last October and had been shocked when it was announced they were not getting one.
“It was only through employees voicing their outrage that they decided to do a review in March and that they’re getting a payrise," she said. "So it’s an improvement but I think it’s still not what people were expecting.”
A Telstra spokesperson claimed the issue of backdating pay increases was never up for negotiation.
"Our employees understood both at the time and now that we would not be backdating any increases," the spoksperson said.
"Remuneration increases did not result from our October 2010 review but we made a commitment to review the situation in March 2011. Based on the team’s outcomes over the last few months, we decided to proceed with the review."
The spokesperson also reiterated that the remuneration increases are based on both business and personal performance.
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