HP fingered for Telstra payments bungles

HP fingered for Telstra payments bungles

Summary: The Community and Public Services Union has fingered HP Enterprise Services (formerly EDS) for what it sees as problems with Telstra's new payroll system, which is affecting "hundreds" of staff.

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The Community and Public Services Union has fingered HP Enterprise Services (formerly EDS) for what it sees as problems with Telstra's new payroll system, which is affecting "hundreds" of staff.

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(Scattered image by Curtis Kennington, CC2.0)

Telstra had replaced its former payroll with People Express, which went live in August last year. It established an outsourcing deal with HP Enterprise Services in June 2009 to manage staff payments.

According to the union, HP call centre operators have been bungling payments and are not accessible when frustrated Telstra staff call to rectify incorrect payments.

Worse, it said it took HP and Telstra up to five weeks to resolve problems with affected staff.

Telstra has pegged the issues on teething problems of its payments system, People Express.

It also said a "number of issues have been addressed", but did not elaborate on which problems were resolved, or which are outstanding.

Union assistant national secretary Louise Persse said HP operators need training to understand local payments regulations, and must also work faster to resolve staff problems.

"It is not a stock-standard workforce and there are a lot of variations."

"[We] recommend that the outsource provider better acquaint themselves with the provisions of the current Telstra Enterprise Agreement, Australian tax rates, superannuation schemes and benefits.

"It is a complicated issue."

Persse said the union had been having informal discussions with Telstra regarding the problematic system since the HP outsourcing deal was inked, but said staff woes became "most dramatic" after the new system came into force.

The decision was then made to poll Telstra staff to gauge the extent of the problem and table the findings in a letter to Telstra chief David Thodey, which was sent last Thursday.

Telstra will meet with Persse next week to discuss rectifying the problems. The telco has also told the union it will work to improve the system and educate staff about lodging expense claims on time.

"As with any new large system implementation, we are aware of some transitional issues. We will focus on these to ensure our employees receive the best possible service," Telstra said in a statement.

The problems come on the heels of a disastrous roll-out of a payments system by Queensland Health, which botched payments and led to a taxpayer bill running into many hundreds of thousands of dollars.

HP has been contacted for comment but had not responded at the time of writing.

Topics: Outsourcing, Telcos, Telstra

Darren Pauli

About Darren Pauli

Darren Pauli has been writing about technology for almost five years, he covers a gamut of news with a special focus on security, keeping readers informed about the world of cyber criminals and the safety measures needed to thwart them.

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