Telstra has advised the CWU that it proposes to outsource more of its jumper running work to its major contractor, ISGM.
Telstra says that the outsourcing is intended to free up resources so that it can increase the number of people doing field activation work. Some 29 positions will be affected with staff currently involved in exchange jumper running being retrained to perform the new roles.
It appears Telstra is proposing to use the reassignment provisions of the current EA (Clause 16 - Moving Between Jobs) to implement this move rather than the redeployment procedures of Section 8 (Redundancy).
Under these reassignment provisions, employees can be transferred involuntarily to “suitable” positions within Telstra provided they are guaranteed maintenance of their current pay and conditions. Employees would not be entitled to redundancy payments if they did not accept reassignment.
Such a proposal obviously has implications above and beyond its immediate impact on those concerned. It also has a bearing on the suite of redundancy, deployment and reassignment issues currently being considered in enterprise bargaining negotiations.
The CWU will be pursuing these matters when it consults with Telstra on the proposal next week.