ITEAs and AWAs and what they mean to you
Individual Transitional Enterprise Agreements (ITEAs)
Individual Transitional Employee Agreements (ITEAs) were a type of workplace agreement established in March 2008 by the Rudd Labor Government after the legislation allowing for new Australian Workplace Agreements (AWAs) was abolished.ITEAs applied to federal system employers.
They were introduced to bridge the gap before the new Fair Work Act was put into place, which returned the focus of the system to negotiated collective agreements, rather than individual agreements.
They were only available where the employer, as at 1 December 2007, employed at least one employee engaged on an AWA, a preserved individual State agreement, or a Victorian employment agreement.
An ITEA had to pass a No Disadvantage Test against any collective agreement that would otherwise have applied to the employee.
Although all ITEAs technically expired in December 2009, the ITEA continues to exist after this until it is terminated or replaced. This can be initiated by an employee.Seek union advice about this before taking any action.You may be being disadvantaged by remaining on your individual contract.
What is an Australian Workplace Agreement? (AWA)
AWAs were a central feature of the previous Howard Government's WorkChoices system and allowed an individual agreement to be made between an employer and an individual employee.
Management and the previous Federal Government maintained that the intention of AWAs was to provide greater flexibility.
However an analysis put to the Senate Estimates hearing found that of a substantial sample of AWAs examined
- 100% removed at least one protected Award condition
- 64% removed annual leave loadings
- 63% stripped out penalty rates
- 52% cut out shift loadings
- 40% dropped gazetted public holidays
- 16% slashed all award conditions and only the Government's five minimum conditions were satisfied.(1)
AWAs and ITEAs in Telstra
If you work for Telstra, you may be employed on an AWA or an ITEA. It's important that you know if you are.
If you are on an AWA that has expired, you have the option of transfering to the Enterprise Agreement. If this is you, please contact the CEPU to help you examine the pay rates and other issues, to make sure you are not being disadvantaged no matter what choice you make.Please keep in mind that you may be being disadvantaged by remaining on the AWA.
For example,you may be entitled to a 9 day fortnight if you transferred from your AWA to the Enterprise Agreement,depending on the circumstances.
What you should know about AWAs and ITEAs if you work in Telstra
- Employees on ITEAs (another individual contract like AWAs) may be being denied adequate wage increases,other conditions and basic rights at work by remaining on the individual contract
Having employees on a variety of different agreements means that management can play one group off against another.
All Telstra employees would ultimately benefit if everyone was covered by one Enterprise Agreement, because there would be a stronger force able to negotiate for protecting and improving the pay, conditions and rights of all Telstra employees.
Call the union today to discuss your situation.
1. Certified Agreement and Australian Workplace Agreement Coverage from estimates and statistics collated by Office of the Employment Advocate, Accessed 12 June 2006