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Telstra redundancies: CWU seeks assurances on use of contractors

Consultations are continuing between the CWU and Telstra over the proposed 1400 redundancies announced earlier this month. 

In the CWU’s case, discussions have been focussed largely on the job losses in Operations, especially in Customer Service Delivery, but the union is also involved in the consultations on redundancies in Retail and in Global Enterprise and Services. 

On 28 June, following a face-to-face meeting the previous week, the CWU wrote to Telstra seeking detailed information on matters related to the proposed redundancies in Field Service Delivery (FSD). We want a clear picture of where contractors are being used as well as a breakdown of areas where there can be expected to be ongoing work for Telstra field staff through NBN-related contracts. 

Telstra says that the transfer and/or retirement of network assets and services that will occur as a result of the NBN project provides a large part of the explanation for the FSD redundancies. 

But the impacts of the NBN are being felt unevenly at field level because of the “patchwork quilt” nature of the roll-out and because Telstra has NBN operations and maintenance contracts (both CSL and OMMA) in some areas and not in others. The redundancies, on the other hand, look to be more evenly spread, with one role being typically shaved off each team across regional areas. 

At the same time, the CWU understands that contractors are being engaged in these same areas. We are seeking assurance from Telstra that contractors are not being brought on to do the work of Telstra employees facing redundancy. 

We are pursuing these questions with Telstra and welcome input from members who can provide information about what is occurring at local level in relation to work loads, work processes and use of contractors.

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