Telstra issues work call

By JENNIFER HUXLEY

STAFF at Telstra's Grafton call centre have raised concerns about future entitlements after being rostered to work during the Ramornie and Grafton Cup half-day holidays next Wednesday and Thursday.

The 150 employees are required to work their standard hours during the local public holidays to maintain customer support services.

A full-time call centre employee said staff were worried that the loss of the gazetted holidays could be a 'sign of things to come'. They were concerned at the prospect of being asked to work on Christmas Day and Good Friday.

The employee said there were a number of keen race-goers and gamblers working at the Grafton centre who would be disappointed they were unable to take their families to join in the Grafton July Racing Carnival festivities.

Having to work during the gazetted holidays was indicative of society needing '24-hour gratification'.

Telstra staff said that according to their union representative, no form of industrial action could be taken as the time was gazetted as half-day, not public holidays.

Telstra Country Wide Far North Coast general manager Sue Passmore said employees were told last year they would be required to work during the gazetted holidays. They would receive penalty rates as compensation.

"Telstra is a national company and so will require people to work, despite there being a local public holiday, but they will be renumerated sufficiently to make up for this," Ms Passmore said.

"On the gazetted holidays, management will monitor centre traffic and if the situation arises that activity is low, staff may be al- lowed some hours off."



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