ACTU: Call centre staff $80 a week poorer on new contracts

Around 80 staff at a Melbourne call centre operated by Global Tele Sales - a subsidiary of the German airline Lufthansa - have been offered AWA individual contracts that cut their take home pay by up to $80 a week, according to the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU).

The ACTU states that the AWA contracts cut evening and weekend penalty rates and penalise staff for taking sick leave or leave to care for a family member.

The Australian Services Union (ASU) Victorian Branch Secretary, Ingrid Stitt said the new agreements being presented by the company cut people's take home pay by between three and 10 percent. With the addition of new penalty rates, the financial impact on workers is between 8 and 15 percent.

"The company has also introduced a very complex bonus scheme which our members do not think they will be able to achieve. We have received legal advice from Slater and Gordon which indicates there is a strong case to argue that the penalty which people would receive for taking sick leave as part of the bonus scheme is discriminatory under both State and Federal equal opportunity legislation," she said.

Although the agreements had a deadline of June 28, there are still a number of staff members that have not signed the agreement and are concerned about the implications of not doing so under the new IR laws.

The ASU has referred the Lufthansa AWA to the Victorian Workplace Rights Advocate to investigate the legality of the agreements.

No employees were willing to comment on the record.

A spokesperson from Global Tele Sales' human resources department said she did not wish to comment and would neither confirm or deny the ACTU's statements.

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