Telstra has confirmed that 326 local roles will be cut as part of a round of redundancies across a range of functions.
“We have talked to our people about a proposal to make changes to our Contact Centre and Telstra Business teams that will see a total of 326 roles impacted nationally,” a spokesperson said.
Telstra said its sales, service and national office teams will be affected.
“We take our responsibility to support employees through this period very seriously and we absolutely understand the impact announcements like this can have on our staff,” the spokesperson said. “We constantly review the way we work to simplify our business and remove duplication to improve customer experience. “
“Some of these proposed changes increase slightly the amount of work done by our partners overseas, as we consolidate some work types across our operations in Australia and the Philippines,” the spokesperson said.
In a statement, the Community and Public Sector Union said that the positions were primarily customer service roles. The CPSU said that some 450 employees will be affected.
A Telstra spokesperson said that the union was incorrect about the number of roles affected.
“Customers pay top dollar for Telstra services and as tax payers we’re giving millions of dollars to Telstra to roll out the NBN, yet the company continues to undermine the quality and reliability of its services by callously sacking Australian workers,” Teresa Davison, director of the CPSU’s science and communications division, said in a statement.
“Telstra hides behind corporate clichés by claiming offshore call centres will deliver better customer service. That’s simply not most people’s experience. Time and again, customers say they want local customer service.”
Davison said that CPSU members believed there will be more network outages at Telstra because of redundancies at the telco. Telstra has recently suffered a number of high-profile service failures. The CPSU has launched a petition calling on the telco to end offshoring.
“CPSU members working at Telstra predict that network outages and other problems will only become more common because of the highly skilled people who have been sacked, many of who have decades of experience in keeping Telstra’s services running,” Davison said.
“The CWU has condemned a plan that will see hundreds of employee jobs cut from Telstra’s Global Contact Centre (GCC) operations as more functions are offshored,” the Communication Workers Union said.
A statement from the CWU said:
Telstra notified the CWU on 6 July that it is proposing to close its Dedicated Moves Team (DMT) centre in Perth with a loss of 94 jobs.The work is being transferred to ‘Centres of Excellence’ in Bathurst and in the Philippines.
It also intends to close down a number of functional areas at its 717 centre in Melbourne, resulting in the loss of a further 109 roles, although Telstra says it intends to create 10 new jobs in related areas and staff facing redundancy will be able to apply for these.
Further work will go from centres in Brisbane and Adelaide as certain functions performed there are transferred to ‘industry partners’ Teletech Lipa and Teletech Cebu in the Philippines.
However there will be no net impact on Telstra job numbers from these particular changes as existing staff will simply be used to handle different kinds of traffic.