Union protests on ANZ outsourcing dismissed

James Hutchinson | Jul 13, 2012 5:00 PM
Fair Work upholds Capgemini deal.

Fair Work Australia has upheld the ANZ Bank's plans to outsource 360 staff to Capgemini, despite attempts by the Finance Sector Union to halt the move.

The new sourcing deal, announced last month and consolidating 40 existing arrangements, would see 110 Melbourne-based jobs in the bank's Technology Testing Services division and 250 roles in Bangalore, India moved under a managed services agreement for IT testing and environment management by September.

Staff were told they would be moved to "comparable roles with Capgemini with comparable entitlements" in those cities.

The union had sought to negotiate terms of the move for the bank's affected Australian staff, leading 50 to a hearing before a Fair Work Australia tribunal last week on the argument that those who refused to move to Capgemini would be made redundant.

ANZ Bank argued at the hearing that an agreement would not be reached before the September 1 handover date.

The bank's global manager of employee relations Ben Walker claimed at the FWA hearing that attempts to renegotiate existing enterprise agreements would potentially impact 24,000 existing staff.

Fair Work Australia dismissed the union's motion, with deputy president Gregory Smith labelling attempts to bypass the standard agreement negotiation process as "inappropriate".

"There is a specific provision in the existing agreement to deal with the circumstances facing the employees and the focus should be on implementing this aspect of the agreement fully to deal with issues raised by employees for consideration by ANZ," Smith said in a judgment on Friday.

"I don't underestimate the apprehension and concern of the employees at this change but the current agreement provides for this process and specifically allows for the bank to manage its business and provide acceptably alternative employment to employees in the event that a redundancy is in contemplation."

A spokesman for the bank told iTnews ANZ was pleased with the decision.

"We've worked hard to ensure that all employees impacted by this decision have a job to go to with comparable conditions as well as recognising their continuity of service," he said, noting the agreement with Capgemini would secure employment for affected staff "for at least two years".

A union spokeswoman would not comment on the decision at time of writing.

"We are continuing to pursue the individual grievances that have been lodged with the bank," she said.

"This decision does not affect those grievances."