The CWU met with Telstra Friday 7th April in an attempt to resolve issues arising out of the proposed reorganisation of design and related service delivery roles in Enterprise Services. Earlier meetings were held on Thursday 30 March and Tuesday 4 April.
The changes proposed will lead to a loss of 55 jobs, in part through outsourcing of what Telstra describes as “low complexity, high volume orders” and in part through the proposed centralisation of design functions in three “centres of excellence” in Brisbane, Parramatta and Melbourne.
Over and above these job losses, the reorganisation will reduce the number of higher level jobs in some areas.
For instance, all designer roles will in future be graded as a CFW 6 (or Job Family equivalent) while at present there are 29 employees performing design roles at Band 7 and above. Naturally, this has led to a concern among union members and officials that roles are being downgraded and the value of certain skills reduced.
At the 7th April meeting, the CWU attempted to establish just what functions were now going to be performed by employees under the proposal and how they related to the functions in the current Job Descriptions, particularly to the distinctions between “external” and “internal” (or CAN vs Tech) which are used to differentiate between banding levels relevant to both the designer and appraiser roles in the new model.
Telstra has undertaken to clarify these issues, but their basic position is that both the designer and appraiser roles here relate only to work beyond the exchange ie CAN and related CPE. The CWU has reserved its position on these roles.
Other proposed bandings were less contentious, although the CWU considers that some of the higher level CFW roles in the new model (the Service Delivery Consultants and possibly the Service Delivery Lead) should be TWs.
Telstra has also undertaken to provide the CWU with further details of the training programme which it is proposed will accompany the restructure. It has also confirmed that it will be accepting volunteers for redundancy, although of course it reserves the right to retain employees who it sees as key contributors.
Lastly, it has told the CWU that it has no plans for further redundancies among the field staff, despite rumours to the contrary that are circulating in the workplace.
The CWU expects to have a more complete response from Telstra on the issues discussed at the most recent meeting by early in the week beginning 10 April.