|Issue No 122||07 December 2001|
Standards Breakthrough in Call Centres
Workers in Queensland call centres are celebrating the Beattie Labor Government's decision to endorse the industry Code of Practice.
The agreement means that all government call centers and contractors doing work for the Queensland Government will have to comply with the Code. Queensland joins Western Australia and Tasmania in agreeing to the Code.
The Code sets out minimum standards in occupational health and safety, industrial relations and promotes the need for a consultative culture in call centres.
It is based mainly on the Call Central Minimum Standards Code for Call Centres developed earlier this year by the ACTU call centre unions and has been adapted to Queensland standards.
Queensland Trades and Labor Council secretary Grace Grace says the Code will also be used as a blueprint for private sector workplaces.
"The role of unions and delegates has been formally recognised and collective agreements are encouraged," Grace says.
She says call centre unions which include the ASU - Clerical, CPSU, QPSU, CEPU, FSU, MEAA and the NUW will continue to work in the new year to ensure the code is adopted throughout Queensland.
ACTU Calls for Action in NSW, Victoria
Meanwhile, the ACTU has called on the Victorian and NSW Governments to follow the lead of other states in raising call centre standards.
ACTU President Sharan Burrow says state governments are leading the way in raising standards in a new industry that employs thousands of young Australians.
"State Governments spend $6 billion a year on industry subsidies and a lot of that is going to call centres", said Burrow says.
"Taxpayers deserve to know their money is being invested in call centres that care about quality service and quality jobs.
"We need to be diligent in setting standards for the future. We hope that focusing on 'lighthouse' call centres will encourage the rogues in the industry to lift their game.
"The Victorian and NSW Governments have said they support the code in principle. Now that Queensland has signed, the race is on to see which state Labor Government will be the last to act on behalf of call centre workers."
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Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005