The PTV call centre has unfortunately always been a difficult one to deal with. For those of you that don’t know, PTV outsource the PTV call centre to a company called Probe who currently employ 260 people within the PTV call centre.
While Probe has recently swallowed the former call centre, nothing else has changed with morale continuing to be at an all time low.
Staff are struggling to get basic things for their workplace. They are arguing to get anti-bacterial wipes for their shared workplaces (hot desking), they are denied access to union websites, denied access to their union organiser, they don’t have a union notice board, they receive eight minutes a day for toilet breaks, they are paid minimum wage, and are subjected to abusive phone calls on an hourly basis.
When an abusive customer calls, the PTV call centre staff are advised to give three (polite) warnings before terminating the call. If the call is terminated earlier than this they are called into a meeting to explain why.
The RTBU, Australian Services Union (ASU) and National Union of Workers (NUW) are working together to address the abusive calls with management, not just for the PTV call centre, but for all the other call centres Probe have that are covered by other unions, such as VicRoads and Kmart.
A “zero tolerance” approach to abusive phone calls needs to be the way forward and the procedures that staff have to abide by during these calls need to be changed.
On a more positive note, in the past week I have met with management at Probe and have had some wins for our members there:
- Monthly meetings with delegates and management will soon be established. Delegates will be released to attend the meetings monthly, whereas these meetings were previously done in their own time at a coffee shop without a manager present to discuss the outstanding issues.
- A union board. Well, half a noticeboard, but it’s a start.
- Union organiser now has access to floor to meet with staff. This was taken from us a short while ago.
- Management have also informed me that a computer will be placed in the general meal area to access union websites during meal breaks.
These wins might seem small to some, but to the staff at Probe they are a major win.
In the coming weeks the safety campaign will be rolled out and monthly meetings will begin. This is a great way forward where staff can get direct access to management and discuss workplace issues and ways to improve their workplace.
I am so proud of our Delegates for the work and support I have received from them. Being a Delegate in a workplace such as Probe is not easy and I commend them all for their hard work. These breakthroughs couldn’t have been made without the push from you all and I thank you for all that you do. Keep up the fight, because if you don’t fight, you lose.