Telstra has notified the CWU of a decision to call for voluntary redundancies in its Global Contact Centre (GCC) group. A meeting to discuss the decision was held on Tuesday, 17 November.
The redundancies will be offered to the majority of frontline and support employees in the group in multiple locations around the country, with the company looking to shed up to 200 positions.
No specific targets have been set for particular locations, while a number of areas, including Directory Assistance and Emergency 000, will be out of scope of the proposal altogether.
At the meeting, Telstra outlined its view of the future of its GCC business which it says involves retention of a critical mass of customer support workers in Australia. Notably, offshoring of jobs is not part of this proposal.
The focus of the current move is rather on increasing the productivity of its Australian operations - while at the same time boosting customer satisfaction levels.
This is the old mantra of doing more with less which usually means increased pressure on employment standards in such forms as ever-higher performance targets, unpaid overtime and reduction of rest breaks.
While voluntary redundancies are always to be preferred to forced retrenchment, the CWU is concerned that the downsizing of the GCC group will mean intensification of work for those that remain.
The CWU expects a further meeting with Telstra on the GCC proposal early in the week beginning Monday, 23 November. Members wanting advice on the voluntary redundancy offer should contact their state branch.