Telstra flags 300 possible job cuts across Retail business

Telstra's Retail business will be the latest to see job cuts, with 300 net roles potentially on the way out.

Telstra has confirmed that it is looking at making around 300 back-of-house roles redundant in its Retail business as a result of consolidation with operations and a continuing focus on customer service.

"We can confirm that we are proposing changes to our Retail business, which is responsible for Telstra's consumer and business customers," a Telstra spokesperson told ZDNet.

"We are proposing to consolidate and strengthen our operational teams so they can better support our front-line customer service teams, and reduce the numbers of layers so everyone is closer to our customers. The proposed changes are necessary for us to become a more customer experience-led organisation."

Telstra said it is now consulting with its employees and their unions, and will be making redundancy entitlements available to staff members.

Telstra's Retail, Global Enterprises and Services, Wholesale, and Operations business last month reported pulling in AU$27 billion in external income for the full financial year, with Retail remaining the most profitable segment, although income dropped slightly to AU$16.6 billion.

Telstra's latest redundancies follow news last week that it would be axing 53 jobs across its fibre installation design team to be slightly offset by the creation of nine new roles, due to shifting the locale of its design centres.

The roles will be axed in Ballarat, Victoria; Hobart, Tasmania; and Netley, South Australia, with a new centre to open in Victoria.

"We are proposing to reduce the number of locations that deliver the design solutions our field-based staff use to haul and install fibre," a Telstra spokesperson told ZDNet.

"Currently, this function is performed by people in different locations around Australia, using different processes which result in variations in the standard of work. Instead, we are proposing to create several Design Centres of Excellence which will be complemented by our existing industry partners.

"These centres will adopt a national standard that will help us to reduce process and production variation and deliver better-quality work for our customers."

Earlier this month, it additionally announced seeking 120 voluntary redundancies, with the telco attributing it to workers needing to be reskilled in software-defined networking (SDN).

Telstra last month also confirmed that it is considering cutting 204 jobs in its Global Finance Services business across business intelligence and analytics services, operational billing, credit services, and accounting in order to remove duplication.

In July, Telstra also confirmed that it would be cutting 326 jobs across its business, saying again that it would remove duplication in its customer service solution, and would "increase slightly the amount of work done by our partners overseas", with work types to be consolidated across Australia and the Philippines.

To partially offset these job losses, Telstra last week also announced the addition of 1,000 roles for communications technicians (CTs) across Australia over the coming six months.

The new roles, which will be a mixture of full-time Telstra staffers and sub-contractors to be supplied through partner ISGM, are being added in order to ensure its customer experience is improved via decreased installation and fault repair times.

"Connectivity is now absolutely central in so many homes and businesses, and our customers expect us to install new services and fix faults as quickly as possible," Telstra executive director of Customer Service Delivery Brian Harcourt said last week.

"We know that sometimes, the experience our customers can have when they need a fault fixed or a new service installed can improve, and we are building up our resources to do just that.

"Increasing the number of CTs that perform these tasks will have the dual benefit of enabling us to get through more work and freeing up our more experienced technicians to deal with more complex tasks."

The CTs will undertake 17 weeks of training, with 503 jobs being added in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, 151 in Queensland, 110 in Victoria and Tasmania, 94 in South Australia, and 43 in Western Australia prior to Christmas. The remaining 99 roles will commence in January.

According to Harcourt, 600 CTs are already in training, and 140 have commenced field work.

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