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Telstra reorganisation: voluntary redundancies and job swaps

Since Telstra announced the proposed redundancies that will flow from its extensive reorganisation, the CWU has received a number of inquiries about the voluntary redundancy and job swap processes.

The options for voluntary redundancy and swaps are provided for in the Telstra Enterprise Agreement (TEA) where they are recognised as measures that can be used to mitigate the impact of redundancy.

While the TEA doesn’t oblige Telstra to accept volunteers or swaps, Telstra does at least have to consider these options (Clause 40, Section 8). In the CWU’s view, this means, at a minimum, considering employees’ preferences seriously and trying to accommodate them where possible.

The fact is that Telstra seldom has trouble finding volunteers when redundancies are announced. On the contrary, a number of recent offers have been “oversubscribed”.

This hardly reflects well on the state of morale in the company. It also creates problems for those looking for job swaps. If no one wants to stay the swap option can evaporate.

Location-independent working, on the other hand, should broaden swap opportunities for both those wanting to stay and those wanting to leave. The CWU believes that more use should be made of this option and mechanisms developed to facilitate it at a national level.

In the meantime, CWU branches may be able to assist members with swaps at state level if they know members’ preferences. Members wanting to explore this option should contact their state branch.

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