Curious to see Beazley and Co complaining about
$100 million of taxpayer money going to the advertising and associated costs to promote
the Government’s new IR reforms, definitely valid as it appears.

I work for a Private Call Centre Operator in
Melbourne – on Thursday there was a staff email sent out asking for volunteers
to work in a new campaign on our days off or work back late/start early for a
couple of hours. The incentive was above the standard rate of pay to work on the
campaign – what it was at the time was a mystery and we wouldn’t find out until
the day of training (also the same day that we “hit the phones”).


The rates were $22.50 p/hr for Monday to Friday,
$28 p/hr for Saturday and a whopping $37 p/hr for Sunday. (Normal rates are
approx $15 p/hr during the week for perms and $19 p/hr for
casuals).

But here is where it gets interesting. First shift
for this campaign was today (Sun. 09/10) – started at 10am for two hours of paid
training and then do a four hour shift from 12-4pm, with another group starting
training at 2pm to take over from 4-10pm. Training consisted of telling us that
the campaign was the WorkChoice Hotline (inbound call centre) and we would be
responsible for answering very basic questions regarding the “proposed”
legislation that has not yet been finalised.

We were told the advertising
campaign would start that day… I sat on the phone waiting for a call from
12pm right through to 4pm, as did approximately another 150-160 operators,
shock/horror – NO CALLS. The advertising hadn’t even begun!!! No-one knew the
hotline number to call in the first place!

So there we sat for four hours with not
one call for four hours, at a rate of $37 p/hr. When I got home later in the day I
took notice that the advertising didn’t even start till halfway through the 6pm
news.

So approximately $35,000 in wages is what was paid out to
our group (not including Supervisors and Trainers) to sit there and do nothing!
And that is what we were getting paid – God knows what the company was actually
pulling from them. Only regret? I wished I had taken along TheLatham Diaries to
ease the boredom.

To top it off, it was mentioned that the Government had
originally asked for a 300 seat call centre to be operated at the
start.

Peter Fray

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