Telstra has cut 24 more jobs from its wholesale customer operations division in Sydney and Brisbane, the telco has confirmed.
"A review of Telstra Wholesale’s Customer Operations team has been undertaken, to optimise team structure and identify process efficiencies, in order to provide a better customer experience for Telstra’s wholesale customers,” a spokesperson said in a statement sent to ARN.
“These changes take into account the accelerating pace of change of the NBN [National Broadband Network] rollout and the decline of PSTN, DSL and other associated fixed line transactions for our wholesale customers.
“This review may result in the loss of up to 24 full-time roles. A period of consultation with employees and their representatives has been completed, and our focus remains on working with our people to help them understand the changes and what it means for them.”
The Communications Workers Union (CWU) said it was informed of the cuts by the telco, which said that they were being made in response to a decline in transactions over the Telstra fixed network.
This is a trend the CWU said will only increase as fixed line services across the country migrate to the NBN.
However, the union said the losses also reflect Telstra’s decision to deal with the increased variability of customer demands in the NBN environment by transferring certain Wholesale work to an “industry partner”.
As a result the union said all provisioning order issue and error correction activities will be outsourced.
The CWU met with Telstra over this decision on 3 May. During the meeting, the union said it confirmed that Telstra will seek volunteers for these redundancies and that it will actively assist in redeployment of those who wish to stay with the company.
The union said its members should be aware that employees facing redundancy as a result of the NBN project should be candidates for retraining under Telstra’s current NBN agreement with the Commonwealth.
The job cuts follow the loss of 320 positions at rival telco Optus. According to the union, the move will see a significant number of Optus customer service and IT jobs sent offshore, with roughly a quarter of the job losses set to come as a result of offshoring.
This is the second round of job cuts at Telstra this year after it notified the CWU on 21 March of an initial decision which flagged “further centralisation of design and related workflow functions.” This was accompanied by further outsourcing of “high volume, low complexity” work to “strategic partners” such as Cyient.
"The proposal is part of a new operating model for the Enterprise Services Team that would deliver improved customer service for Telstra’s enterprise customers,” Telstra spokesperson told ARN at the time.
“By creating a Design Centre of Excellence we would reduce process and production variation and deliver better quality work for our enterprise customers,” the representative said.