On Monday 30 June, Telstra notified the CWU that the implementation of its automated dispatch system will make 136 internal jobs redundant. A further 46 jobs currently filled by agency staff will also go.
The company plans a major centralisation of the scheduling and dispatch functions, with the number of sites from which workflow is managed being reduced from 25 down to 5.
It will also:
Telstra has told the CWU that as a result of the centralisation of functions and the creation of some new roles there would be 90 roles within scheduling and dispatch that “a number” of affected Telstra employees would be able to be redeployed into.
But how big that “number” is remains to be seen. It is never easy to redeploy staff where it involves relocation as this exercise in centralisation will do.
During the trial of this system, the CWU has warned Telstra that automation of dispatch has not worked in the past because of the loss of local knowledge and real-time problem solving ability that occurs when such systems are introduced.
The centralisation that Telstra is now proposing will make matters even worse.
The CWU has requested a meeting with Telstra about the planned redundancies as a matter of urgency. A meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday 1 July.