Melbourne, Australia, Oct 20, 2020 -- About 420 Victorian Centrelink call centre staff have been sacked in a move the federal opposition called a "disgraceful" attack on workers administrating the nation's safety net amid a deep recession.
Workers at suburban call centres in Dandenong and Mill Park were informed by British public service provider Serco that their employment would end on October 30.
The sacked staff will not receive separation payments or redundancies because they are employed on a casual basis, despite many being on staff for more than two years.
A significant proportion of the laid-off cohort work regular full-time hours, but remain on casual contracts, according to the Australian Services Union, which represents some of the workforce.
A Serco spokesman said the decision to sack the workers was taken because government agency Services Australia amended its contract with Serco to reduce the types of work it carried out.
"The company told casual workers that, following recent contract discussions with Services Australia, the after-hours processing work will not form part of the new contract from October 30," the spokesman said.
"Any remaining processing work will be allocated to the telephony [call centre] network within the broader Services Australia network."
....NOTE - content continues below this message
DON'T MISS THIS!
We invite you and your colleagues to join us LIVE as we take the highest rated industry conference to the next level! the 2022 World's Best! - join us and the elite in the industry at the 17th annual NEXT GENERATION Contact Center & Customer Engagement GLOBAL Best Practices Conference!
>>>>> FIND OUT MORE: HERE
Labor's government services spokesman, Bill Shorten, said the Morrison government and Government Services Minister Stuart Robert needed to "explain why Services Australia is throwing more than 400 Victorians to the back of the unemployment queues".
"Slashing the jobs of hundreds of workers who are manning the Centrelink safety net at this time of national challenge is a disgrace," he said.
"The Morrison government preach a lot about Team Australia but are quite happy to give other Australians the boot."
Services Australia General Manager Hank Jongen said it was "important to note our service delivery partners are, and have always been, responsible for managing their own staffing levels in order to meet the contracted work and other requirements".
In meetings with ASU officials on Tuesday, Serco said it hoped to maintain contact with the workers and explore whether some of them could be redeployed.
The union said it would urge the company to redeploy the workers at call centres Serco operates for other government agencies including the Australian Taxation Office and the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
Sinead McKinlay, 34, was one of the workers stood down. She said she and her colleagues "felt sick" once they received notice of a meeting with managers.
"With our history with Serco, there is no trust. At a whim they shut us down, don't pay us, cut us off. People knew something was coming," she said.
"We've been given nine days' notice because we're casual. So it's legal, but I don't think it's fair or ethical.
"There's a lot of younger and older workers and workers with English as a second language. They will struggle in the job market and face financial hardship ... I'm concerned for their mental health, for potential self-harm and family violence."
Matt Norrey, secretary of the ASU's Victorian private sector branch, said the decision proved insecure workers bore the responsibility of the employment contract if business circumstances deteriorated.
"It's a heartless decision that shows how insecure workers can be taken advantage of and employees bear no responsibility when things go south," he said.
Serco holds Victorian government contracts to run the police assistance line call centre and operate speed cameras.
About 450 staff at the Mill Park call park were stood down without pay in July due to a COVID-19 outbreak the ASU said was sparked by Serco ignoring social distancing requirements. The company advised employees, a large proportion of whom are casuals, to apply for the Victorian government's $1500 hardship payment.
The company was engaged in a dispute with the public sector union in August over its proposal to offer speed camera operators zero-hour contracts. The dispute has since been resolved and the zero-hour contract proposal was dropped.
Mr Roberts' office declined to comment and referred to the statement provided by Services Australia.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
Centrelink is a government agency delivering a range of Commonwealth services to the Australian community. Centrelink is a statutory authority responsible, through its Board, to the Minister for Family and Community Services. The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, has responsibility for Centrelink’’s day-to-day operations. Centrelink operates under the Commonwealth Services Delivery Agency Act 1997 which formally came into effect on 1 July 1997.
Published: Thursday, October 22, 2020
|1.)||Cloud IT Services GmbH|
Dialfire offers you a complete call center solution that is simple and intuitive to use and adapts to your needs. It's completely cloud-based, saving you the hassle of setting up a phone system and installing software. In addition to predictive dialing and call blending of inbound calls, you can create personalized campaigns through an intuitive and easy-to-use interface. Features include automated workflows and full control over the agent screen.
You can see the full list of features here:
Cloudonix’s smart voice calls enable frictionless experiences that drive better customer care and faster sales by merging voice and data into a complete service context. Cloudonix add Cloud capabilities to your existing on premise Call Center enabling your agents to work from anywhere in the world. Security, Privacy and more – rapidly deployed and cost effective without replacing your existing systems or retraining your team.
|3.)||Connectica Solutions, LLC|
PBX On The Cloud
We provide complete Cloud-based PBX/Phone Systems, including predictive and progressive dialers, phone lines in more than 75 countries and low cost international rates.
We specialize in the US and Latin American market.
AI Powered Contact Center Provider, AI Chat & Voicebot, Enterprise Telephony
Take advantage of the latest customer service innovations with Contact Center, Virtual Assistant, and Interactive Voice solutions for accessible, 24×7 services across multiple channels.
|5.)||Layer One Technologies|
Layer One Technologies provides information and communication technology (ICT) services to businesses in the greater Charlotte area. Whatever your cabling needs, we have you covered.
Stay in contact quickly and easily with your international offices through Megacall.
Megacall will fulfill all your telecommunication requirements and on top of that go the extra mile and surprise you with new possibilities for your business, speed to action your requests and keeping within your budget.
📞 Virtual Switchboard
🔌 SIP trunk
🔢 Virtual number
📠 Call Center Solutions
Our SNAPsolution – UC and Collaboration tools – can be quickly deployed so you can realize your ROI just as quick. netsapiens offers a comprehensive suite of unified communications (UC) & Contact Center (CC) feature-sets to service providers. Custom-built to provide our partners with unprecedented levels of flexibility, customization, and ease of use.
netsapiens allows you to control your margins in order to improve your ROI. As a provider of a facilities-based solution, you are able to personally choose your origination, termination, hardware costs, etc. to fit your budget. We also allow you to strategically price your product for a maximum return on your investment by charging on a conc...
Build a strong business presence and improve customer relationships!
Offer custom-tailored solutions throughout your sales cycles and customer interactions and assess service levels and control corporate goal achievement through reports and statistics.
Obtain detailed reports based on relevant activity in your contact center, access our quality module to assess calls and performance, apply surveys, develop scripts, record conversations, and more!
Schedule a live demo or request a quote today!
Demarc Network Traffic Monitor
A lightweight Network Traffic Monitor that privides real-time traffic alerts and tracks all IP and SIP endpoints at Demarc. It analyzes mirrored SIP Trunk and Internet traffic in real-time and compiles Network Traffic Analytics (NTA) for all endpoints giving daily network traffic telemetry, most active endpoint summary, endpoint search table and more.
|10.)||Scopserv Integrated Services|
ScopTEL IP PBX
The ScopTel IP PBX solution is a distributed software application
that can be installed on both virtual and physical servers, thus
offering a multitude of architectural designs from premise-based
servers to a centralized data center (DC) hosted WAN
environment. The application is distributed as an ISO which
includes the customized Linux operating system
Long Distance and Toll Free Specialists for Contact Centers
Televergence is a facilities based US Nationwide High volume/High Capacity Inbound and Outbound VoIP Carrier for Contact Centers. We specialize in termination (outbound) and origination (toll free and local DID) for the contact center. We have a technical staff that is up to date on the majority of platforms in use today, including asterisk and Vicci dial, as well as many of the currently in use software platforms.
Contact Centers generally see cost reduction and containment when using Televergence as their contact center telecom carrier. Televergence is the only active US VoIP carrier certified by the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), which enables our services to qualify for meeting corporations Supplier Diversity Needs.
|12.)||The Phone Number Testing Company|
Phone Number Testing and Validation
Bulk testing and validation of UK Landline and mobile numbers, with a growing list of other coutries where we can test.
If you own a large customer or business prospect sales database, our service helps you to quickly and accurately cleanse all the dead records, by identifying all the dead phone numbers.
We offer a free no obligation test trial