Visionstream to shed staff as Optus construction wraps up

Visionstream to shed staff as Optus construction wraps up

The telecommunications and IT services company looks at further cuts

More than 80 Visionstream employees could be affected as the telecommunications and IT services company winds back its workforce, according to the Communications Workers Union (CWU).

The CWU revealed on 9 December that it had been notified by Visionstream that the telecommunications network services company was planning to shed staff after the completion of construction work on the Optus Wireless Project.

The Optus Wireless Project is a partnership rollout of telecommunications tower upgrades across the country, providing increases in 4G data services offered to Optus customers.

The project is responsible for providing upgrades to over 2,900 existing Optus mobile sites and leading the acquisition of 400 new sites across Australia, including Transmission link upgrades and RAN capacity works.

While the exact numbers had not been finalised, according to the CWU, the company said it expected about 80 employees covered by the current enterprise agreement, and a further unspecified number of staff members not covered by the agreement, such as management, to be affected.

“Queensland and South Australia are the areas most affected, with some 20-25 employee roles to go from these states,” the CWU said in a statement.

“Visionstream has informed the CWU that it will give consideration, but not necessarily priority, to voluntary redundancies and will also be exploring possibilities for redeployment,” it said.

The CWU indicated that Visionstream would provide the affected employees a three-day “golden handshake” payment on top of the existing enterprise agreement-based redundancy payments, which will reflect a scheduled pay rise that is set to come into effect from 23 December.

“This is all likely to provide cold comfort to employees facing unemployment at Xmas,” the CWU said. “Visionstream says it intends to give formal notification to employees by 16 December so any CWU member affected by these job losses should contact their state branch promptly.”

The CWU’s comments come several months after it revealed that Visionstream had flagged it would make “deep cuts” to its staff numbers, with as much as 40 per cent of its workforce to be shed – due, in part, to peaks and troughs in its work from Telstra.

Visionstream has made a name for itself as an infrastructure construction partner for some of Australia’s largest telecommunications providers.

In April, Visionstream inked a five-year contract with Telstra, estimated to be worth around $350 million. The deal covered network integrity and facilities management, and enabled Visionstream to supply maintenance and building services to more than 40,000 exchange and network assets across Australia.

In October, the company signed a multi-technology mix (MTM) construction contract with nbn, Australia’s National Broadband Builder (NBN).

That deal, along with a similar partnership between nbn and Fulton Hogan, is expected to help support the deployment of the NBN to an estimated 450,000 new development premises and 150 transit fibre links nationally.

Visionstream had not responded to ARN's queries at the time of writing.

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Tags NBNTelstraoptusstaffVisionstreamCommunications Workers UnioncutsCWU

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