ASU delegates and officials met Qantas Telephone Sales Management again in Melbourne on 17th June 2014 to follow up on our discussions since the announcement of the closure of the Melbourne and Brisbane Centres on 28th May 2014.
We discussed a range of issues including:
Relocation assistance packages – Hobart, Brisbane and other locations
Trips to Hobart
Here is a snapshot of the key points:
Relocation assistance package
Qantas is modifying the initial relocation assistance package for staff wanting to shift to Hobart, after significant representation and discussions with the ASU.
The package is now looking more like the package offered to staff who transferred to Brisbane in Engineering but is still deficient on a number of key issues including the number and length of trips to Hobart for staff and their families.
Qantas is not offering the same package as was given to Engineering staff which we find remarkable given the difficulties and time it takes to get to Hobart, and the fact that the Tasmanian Government has openly indicated that they are subsidizing the relocation packages. We are still arguing about this issue.
We raised at our last meeting the possibility of staff from Melbourne wanting to redeploy to Brisbane. Qantas understands this may occur and is currently considering what the relocation package will be for any Melbourne staff who do this. The company says it will be a different package to the package offered to go to Hobart.
We know some HR people have erroneously been telling members in the one on one meetings that no relocation package is available for staff who get jobs outside Telephone Sales interstate. We note that our EBA 10 provides that relocation can be available when a staff member is redundant. Qantas is also coming back to us about what will be on offer if staff secure a job outside Telephone Sales interstate.
Trips to Hobart
On the plus side, Qantas has agreed to release staff and provide a trip for their partner with them to go to Hobart before the closing of the EOIs on 1st August 2014.
We urge members to take up this opportunity to see the Hobart Centre and Tasmania for yourselves before you submit an EOI. The ASU members in Hobart are very keen to see their Melbourne and Brisbane colleagues to talk about living and working in Tasmania.
We are told by Qantas that Centre mangers will be advising all staff from today about the opportunity to go to Hobart, this will be on paid time though we are still finalizing with Qantas if travel on the weekends is possible.
We have asked Qantas for a letter detailing the changes to the relocation package. When this is received we will assess what our next steps are.
We are still focusing on the job swaps process that Qantas will put into place and hope to have more details soon.
Beware of information from HR
It has come to our attention that a number of the Qantas HR staff have been giving members wrong information about redeployment, job swaps and relocation packages among other things. We caution members on accepting what is said to you unless it is in writing and even then we have seen a couple of issues committed to writing which are wrong!
We have urged Qantas management to update their FAQs – we understand this is imminent.
The ASU is also asking Qantas to commit the outcomes of our discussions to writing. Information will be available to members when it is received.
We will hold another meeting with Qantas on 2nd July 2014 in Sydney. If you have questions make sure you talk to your local ASU organizer or delegate.