CPSU members in the Department of Human Services (DHS) are campaigning for urgent action to address understaffing in Centrelink call centres.
Members are calling for:
600 plus new permanent jobs guaranteed immediately for call centres.
New permanent jobs advertised internally to allow existing staff on
temporary contracts to apply.
Chronic understaffing has been allowed to develop in Centrelink call centres
over the past three years. The impact of understaffing is dramatic:
Customers are on hold for excessive periods of time
Customer aggression incidents are growing in frequency and severity
Customers are being transferred through call queues to find suitably
qualified staff to address their needs
High workloads are affecting staff health, safety and well-being
Experienced staff are leaving the Department out of frustration.
Despite our union’s best efforts to work with the Department, the only
progress has come through our members’ hard fought campaign on the issues. In
June 2012 we saved 550 short term jobs two days before their contracts were
due to expire, narrowly averting a further reduction to staffing levels.
While it’s clear that permanent solutions are needed DHS continues to say
there are no problems with understaffing or customer wait times for access to
call centre services.