Telstra will seek around 150 voluntary redundancies in its Global Enterprise Services (GES) business unit, despite this being a growth area for the company. It also plans to cut back on the numbers of staff working under contract for the business and will put a cap on headcount on each line of business within the unit, as at 31 October levels.
At the same time, it is trying to reduce its annual and long service leave balances by encouraging staff to make use of their entitlements.
The CWU has questioned the rationale for such measures, given the generally strong performance of GES which last year achieved income growth of nearly 8%.
Telstra’s position is that, while the GES business in continuing to grow, it is facing increased competition and needs to keep seeking cost reductions.
On 25 November, Telstra advised the CWU of the initial decision to offer the redundancies and a consultation meeting was subsequently held on Monday 30th. At that meeting Telstra reported that it had already had over 150 expressions of interest from GES employees.
Voluntary redundancies are of course always to be preferred to forced retrenchment. But the CWU continues to be concerned about the number of skilled jobs being taken out of the company and also about the impact of such reductions on employees who remain.
The fact that leave balances have accumulated to a level Telstra thinks is undesirable suggests staff may already be having difficulty accessing their entitlements. If this is the case, then more cuts to resources can only increase the problem.
Telstra has now informed the CWU that it will proceed with the decision and begin formally to seek expression of interest in redundancy. The offer closes at 3 pm AEDST on 10 December. Members seeking advice on the offer should contact their state branch.