news Telstra has announced a plan to cut staffing numbers via voluntary redundancies in its Global Contact Centre (GCC) group.
The firm told the Communications Workers Union (CWU) that it is looking to cut up to 200 positions at a meeting held to discuss the proposal on Tuesday, 17 November.
This is the second time in a month that Telstra has announced staffing reductions. On October 27th, the firm told the CWU it planned to make 480 positions redundant. The majority of the affected positions are held by Telstra employees, while the rest include agency staff.
The latest redundancy offer will be made available to most frontline and support employees in the group in various locations around the country.
Apparently, no specific redundancy targets have been set for particular locations, while a number of areas, including directory assistance and emergency (triple zero), will not be included in the proposal at all.
The firm also stressed that offshoring of jobs is not part of the proposal, which has been a cost-saving tactic of the company previously.
For example, in 2013 it was revealed that more than 10,000 overseas contractors were working for Telstra when the company was cutting jobs at home to help boost profit. This represented about 26% of Telstra’s then full-time workforce of 38,000. Furthermore, just a month ago, 34 jobs were offshored from Tasmania.
Telstra told the CWU that its view of the future of the GCC business involves retention of a critical mass of customer support workers in Australia.
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”, a CWU statement says.
The union said: “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 preferred to forced cuts, the CWU voiced concern that the downsizing of the GCC group will mean increased workloads for those staff that remain.
The CWU said it expects a further meeting with Telstra on the GCC proposal this week. It suggests that members wanting advice on the voluntary redundancy offer should contact their state branch.
Image credit: Telstra