I don’t know where we’re at when it comes to this suggestion that Telstra workers are going to start answer the phones for the Department of Human Services.
So, the suggestion was that Telstra workers were answer Centerlink and Medicare phone lines and pick up the slack created by job cuts….nobody actually concedes that this is about job cut, but it is.. It’s my understanding that Telstra workers would physically move in to Government call centres to answer calls.
As you can imagine the union in question, the CPSU was none to pleased. The union declared that this was the beginning of privatisation….and they’d be right.
Does the concept work for you ? It certainly doesn’t work for the CPSU.
The CPSU challenged this proposal with Fair Work Australia and I understand there were meetings between the two sides last week.
The CPSU is claiming victory. The union wrote to it’s members this week suggesting that the department had been forced to compromise.
Here’s some of what their communique said.
“The CPSU has secured the department’s commitment to address our concerns about its failure to fully disclose and consult with staff on its proposal to outsource DHS call centre work to Telstra,”
“DHS has agreed to halt any further implementation of the proposal, take the 30 October commencement date off the table, meet with the CPSU to share more detailed information on this proposal and the business case to support it.”
The Canberra Times tells us this morning that the Department doesn’t see it quite the same way.
They quote Hank Jongen from DHS saying that the department had not even made a decision on whether or not to proceed with a deal with Telstra.
I don’t have a problem with Telstra workers taking basic calls at Medicare and Centrelink call centres….do you ?