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Telstra to offshore 130 more jobs

Telstra plans to offshore over 100 jobs in the latest round of overhauls of its back-end processes as part of Project New.
Written by Josh Taylor, Contributor

Telstra plans to offshore over 100 jobs in the latest round of overhauls of its back-end processes as part of Project New.

Late yesterday the company revealed that 103 back-of-house and administrative positions would be moved overseas to a company that is performing similar tasks for the telco giant. A further 27 jobs are also proposed to be made redundant due to technology improvements, but Telstra plans to create 12 new technician support roles.

The changes are being made as a part of the company's massive overhaul program, Project New, which kicked off in mid-2010. The program aims to reduce spending on external suppliers, improve customer service and field workforce productivity, simplify prices and reduce the company's ongoing costs.

Telstra told ZDNet Australia that the company would seek redeployment for the affected staff, or offer retrenchments.

"We are sorry for the impact this has on affected employees and will seek redeployment opportunities in other parts of the business wherever possible or provide full retrenchment entitlements, but we believe this will help us to deliver a better experience for our customers through more efficient business processes," Telstra said in a statement.

Telstra's advertising subsidiary Sensis will also shed 110 jobs from its Yellow Pages Sales and Corporate Support divisions across Australia. These people are set to leave the company by 3 February as part of Sensis' "digital transformation" push to get customers onto online self-service tools.

According to Sensis spokesperson, Damien Glass, these people would also be redeployed or offered redundancies.

"It's never a good time for job losses and these decisions are always a last resort. However, these changes are a critical part of our program to maintain and build market leading customer solutions. We are focused on supporting the people impacted and will provide them with generous redundancy provisions as well as access to redeployment and job search programs."

The latest round of job cuts comes just two months after Telstra announced plans to move 280 jobs offshore, including some 130 back-office IT jobs to Indian outsourcer WIPRO as part of Project Evolution.

The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) had been meeting with Telstra in January. According to a letter from the CPSU, Telstra has yet to implement any redundancies or redeployment since this announcement. The company will conduct training for employees affected. Telstra said that one employee has even expressed interest in moving to India to work for WIPRO, but the telco said it would be up to WIPRO to ultimately decide whether to take on that employee.

Updated at 1:37pm, 1 February 2011: added Sensis comment

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