Telstra has advised the CWU that it is proposing to cut a further 49 jobs from the Field Professional Services section of Service Delivery, 22 from Enhanced Technical Services and 27 from Wideband.
In both cases, Telstra says that consolidation of existing team structures is a major driver of the redundancies. In the case of Enhanced Technical Services it also cites a decline in Data Installation and Maintenance work in some areas.
The union received an initial briefing on the proposal on 2nd October. According to Telstra, the Enhanced Technical Services redundancies reflect efficiencies at Front of House, with more service assurance issues now being resolved at this level rather than requiring a CT visit to the customer.
In the Wideband area, the redundancies flow from the new team structures which involve, among other things, the downgrading of a number of CFW 7 positions to CFW 4s. About a quarter of the Wideband redundancies are at CFW 7 level.
The union has asked for more detailed information about the classification structures of these teams and their proposed mode of operation.
The other obvious question we asked is why these employees are being made redundant at a time when the demand for skilled field staff looks set to increase as a result of the FTTN roll-out.
While Telstra’s role in the new NBN multi-technology roll-out is yet to be fully defined, it is likely to involve more demands on its workforce than has been the case to date. Making staff who could be deployed on NBN work redundant is short-sighted and potentially contrary to the terms of Telstra’s $100 million training deed with the Commonwealth.
Telstra says that Field Technical Services is liaising with its internal NBN group to assess redeployment and retraining opportunities. The CWU has asked for a report-back on these discussions before the consultation period on these proposed redundancies ends.
The CWU also seeks input from members about the implications and impacts of the changes to team structures which Telstra is undertaking. Please contact your state branch now if you are affected.