Posts Tagged ‘Jobs’

Barry O’Farrell to outsource thousands of jobs

March 28th, 2014

Thousands of public service jobs across the state would be slashed under the recommendations of a secret review ordered by Barry O’Farrell into the outsourcing of government services.Outsourcing26

The Premier asked the state’s pricing regulator to investigate the ”planning, delivery and maintenance” of all public infrastructure in September, to recommend ”which capabilities should be retained within government”.

The existence of the review has not been made public.

But Fairfax Media can reveal the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal’s recommendations would result in thousands of job cuts in just one department.

Draft recommendations to the state’s road authorities, for instance, demand the wholesale outsourcing of all roadwork and road design across the state apart from emergency and incident responses.

The review, however, also makes recommendations to other government agencies.

In response to IPART’s recommendations, Roads and Maritime Services says the agency already plans to get rid of about 30 per cent of its workforce in the next three years.

”The reforms will reduce full-time equivalent staff numbers over a three-year period from 7415 (2013-14) to 5260,” RMS says in a draft dated March.
The RMS response to the IPART review was included in a parliamentary call for papers initiated by Greens MP Mehreen Faruqi for documents relating to the business case for the WestConnex motorway.

But the IPART review would include recommendations relating to other agencies as well as RMS.

A spokeswoman for IPART referred questions about the review to Mr O’Farrell’s office but confirmed IPART had not released any information about the review. A spokesman for Mr O’Farrell confirmed the government asked for the report.

Asked why the government did not announce it had commissioned the report, the spokesman said: ”The government commissions a range of reports to ensure value for money.”

According to briefing notes prepared this month by RMS for a meeting with Roads Minister Duncan Gay, ”the objective of this review is to recommend options to improve cost effectiveness of government across all aspects of planning, delivery and maintenance of public infrastructure”.

RMS says it largely agrees with IPART’s recommendations. One area it expresses reservations in is ”balancing efficiency savings” against the large numbers of
employees who work in regional areas of the state.

Almost half of RMS staff work in regional areas.

The WestConnex documents demonstrate most of the planning and design for the motorway is performed by consultants and contractors.

They include invoices from Macquarie Capital, which is providing financial advice for the project.

Macquarie billed the government $490,903 for two months’ work in April and May last year, including $19,465 for out of pocket expenses. These expenses include $10,565 in airfares and $2617 in taxis.

Paul Davies, the NSW director of Professional Engineers Australia, said RMS had already cut 20 per cent of its engineers in the past two years.
Mr Davies said outsourcing often led to waste.

”When you contract out you’ve still got to run those contracts and control your costs, and you need engineers to do that and unfortunately they are cutting that capacity,” he said. ”Poorly scoped projects that come from diminished engineering capability [are] a burden for all.”

A spokeswoman for RMS said there would be no reduction in services as a result of the reforms. Of the 2000 fewer jobs, she said about 850 positions would transfer to new Service NSW ”one stop shops”.

About 700 positions would be affected by the outsourcing of road maintenance in Sydney. In November, the government signed 10-year contracts worth about $2 billion with Leighton Boral Amey and DownerMouchel to maintain roads in Sydney.

RMS says it expects to save 5 to 10 per cent from the road maintenance contracts. The RMS spokeswoman said the department had lowered consultant costs by more than 50 per cent in three years.

IPART’s recommendations to RMS call on it to commercialise and outsource ”advisory and strategic planning services”; ”project development, including land entry and acquisition” and ”contract management and procurement” as well as all road design, construction and maintenance.


Capita looks to add 1,500 jobs on new contract wins

March 18th, 2014

OUTsourcing company Capita expects to create almost 1,500 jobs in Scotland over the next two years as it secures new business north of the Border.Outsourcing5

Yesterday, it announced that 550 Glasgow call centre workers will transfer to the company after winning a £93.5 million deal with department store chain John Lewis.

Capita, which already employs around 5,000 in Scotland said that the John Lewis jobs would be among an expected increase of about 2,000 staff in Scotland on the back of anticipated contract successes. The staff working on the John Lewis contract, currently run by Teleperformance, will transfer to Capita under the new five-year deal.

Capita chief executive Andy Parker, said: “The online contact centre will stay in Glasgow, demonstrating Capita’s ongoing commitment to investing in Scotland and supporting the growth of the local economy.”

He said Capita had extensive experience of working with household names from across the private sector, including major retailers. “We appreciate the importance of becoming fully immersed in a company’s brand values,” he added.

Capita said the 2,000 additional jobs it expects to add to its workforce would also include those expected to be created on the back of the announcement last month that the company had signed a framework contract to deliver the Scottish Wide Area Network. SWAN aims to provide a single IT network for the use of all public service organisations within Scotland and the contract is worth up to £325m over nine years.

NHS Scotland and Education Scotland have committed to the network, with a further 11 organisations planning to this year. More than 4,600 sites will be connected to the initial network including schools, hospitals, GP surgeries, pharmacists and council offices.

Key benefits include reduced costs, improved service and the ability to share data.

Capita operates from 18 sites in Scotland providing services to customers, which include Prudential and ScottishPower. In January, it was also awarded a £4m contract to modernise technology in West Dunbartonshire across council offices in Clydebank, Dumbarton and Vale of Leven.

Capita also owns Lasswade-based G2G3 Group – which uses game thinking for training employees – following an acquisition deal last year. G2G3 has developed simulations for some of the world’s leading IT services management organisations, including HP, IBM and Microsoft.

The John Lewis Partnership this month reported a 9.6 per cent rise in annual profits with staff receiving the equivalent of almost eight weeks’ pay from a bonus pot of £202.5m.

Shares in Capita, which have risen by more than 10 per cent since the beginning of February, closed down 4p at 1,105p.


United Attempts End Run of Labour Code while Outsourcing Canadian Jobs!

March 18th, 2014

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) says United Airlines is attempting an “End Run” around the Canada Labour Code in its decision to outsource work at its Vancouver and Calgary operations currently performed by IAM members.outsourcing2

“Under the code, the employer must give 16 weeks’ notice and United has not stated clearly why they are unable to do so,” said an angry IAM District Lodge 140 President and Directing General Chairperson Fred Hospes. “They are trying an ‘end run’ around the code by asking the Minister of Labour for a waiver to shorten the 16 week time period in order to meet their objective of outsourcing the work without any meaningful discussions with the IAM.”

United announced February 20, 2014 it would outsource both ticket agents and ground handling personnel – 85 members of IAM Local Lodge 764 in Vancouver and 58 members of IAM Local Lodge 2734 in Calgary.

“The IAM provided the employer with a proposal on March 4, 2014 to maintain the work which the employer is contemplating to outsource in-house within the bargaining unit,” explained Hospes. “Any waivers granted to the employer would prejudice the IAM during these discussions. No foreign airline that attempts to circumvent our laws, violate our rights to bargain and contract out our jobs should be allowed to operate here.”


‘Outsourcing’ kept jobs here

January 10th, 2014

As technology transforms our economy, employers sometimes face choices they’d rather avoid. When that happens, responsible managers do their best to treat everyone fairly and compassionately.

A recent Public Forum letter and related on-line comments expressed disappointment that Bay Area Hospital had chosen to “outsource” its medical transcription services. It has been suggested we’re exporting jobs to California.

I have a different perspective.

All across America, physicians and hospitals increasingly are adopting speech-recognition software to transcribe their dictation. Other computer-based documentation methods also reduce the need for traditional transcriptionists.

Bay Area Hospital was faced with a choice: Would we stand still while the dwindling work volume gradually pushed our transcriptionists toward unemployment? Or would we find a better solution?

We chose to contract with SoftScript, a company that employs transcriptionists to work from home. Yes, transcription jobs are being eliminated at the hospital. But the displaced transcriptionists have the opportunity to become SoftScript employees — not in California, but right here in Coos County. Working for SoftScript, they’ll have the chance to perform transcription not only for local physicians, but for physicians elsewhere in America.

So we’re not exporting jobs. Instead, I hope we actually will import continued employment for the former BAH transcriptionists.

In making the transition to SoftScript, we did our best to minimize disruption for our transcriptionists:

We negotiated with SoftScript to guarantee new jobs to any displaced transcriptionists.

We gave computers and transcription equipment to the new SoftScript employees, equipping them to work at home.

We provided a three-month benefits bridge to assure continuous health coverage.

Working for SoftScript, some of the former BAH transcriptionists may earn less than they did at the hospital. On the other hand, they will have jobs for the foreseeable future — something BAH couldn’t have guaranteed for them.

As a publicly owned medical center, BAH is responsible to its staff, to its patients, and to the community at large. We have to consider the welfare of our employees while providing the best possible care to our patients — and while keeping our costs reasonable.

In my view, the decision to contract with SoftScript for transcription services was the best way to balance those priorities.


Outsource jobs win acclaim for Aussie telco

January 6th, 2014

An Australian telecommunications and information-technology company is hailed for stepping up the recruitment of college-educated Filipinos for its Philippine contact center operations.Outsourcing11

Rep. Roman Romulo of Pasig City cited TPG Telecom Limited’s decision to increase hiring of contact center staff. “This will help provide additional gainful employment opportunities to our college graduates who are still without work,” said Romulo, chairman of the House committee on higher and technical education.

TPG Telecom’s in-house outsourcing subsidiary in the Philippines, Orchid Cybertech Services Inc., is enlisting more contact center personnel for sales, customer service and technical support.

Orchid Cybertech runs a contact center in Ortigas Center, Pasig that already has more than 1,000 employees.

“Since Australia and the Philippines are in the same time zone, the contact center employees here work by day and sleep at night. This is what is different about contact center services for an Australian firm dealing with consumers based in Australia,” Romulo said.

At present, the bulk of contact center services that have been outsourced to Philippines cater to US corporations handling American consumers. Thus, the contact centers run mostly at night in the Philippines, when it is daytime in America.

Romulo earlier said he is counting on the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry to produce roughly 124,000 new full-time jobs in 2014.

A previous survey by Pulse Asia Research Inc. showed that “creating more jobs” is one of the top five urgent concerns of Filipinos, along with fighting official corruption, controlling inflation, improving the pay of workers, and reducing poverty.

Romulo’s congressional district of Pasig is home to 16 Philippine Economic Zone Authority-registered IT parks that host a growing number of BPO firms.

Romulo is also author of the Data Privacy Act, which has helped to attract global corporations to either establish new in-house outsourcing units here in Manila, or to convey their non-core, business support activities to independent BPO firms operating here.

The law mandates all entities, including BPO firms, to safeguard the confidentiality of personal information collected from clients and stored in IT systems, in accordance with rigorous international privacy standards.

The Philippines’ highly labor-intensive, BPO and IT-enabled services industry includes contact center services; back offices; medical, legal and other data transcription; animation; software development; engineering design; and digital content.

The IT and Business Processing Association of the Philippines sees the industry yielding up to $27 billion in annual revenues and directly employing some 1.3 million Filipinos by 2016.


Firstsource staff in India to lose jobs to Philippines

December 26th, 2013

Firstsource SolutionsBSE -0.24 %, the Indian business process outsourcing provider that is adding staff at its Cebu, Philippines centre to 500, will eliminate at least as many jobs in India as part of a turnaround plan.Outsourcing25

Mumbai-based Firstsource’s exposure to telecom clients, hit by the global slump, had dragged the company’s performance down, prompting it to cut costs, discard some clients and chase business from more profitable segments such as healthcare.

“The company was in a big mess. Currently, we are in the consolidation stage where we get rid of customers, employees and infrastructure that do not align with our business,” Rajesh Subramaniam, CEO of Firstsource, told ET. “We reduced almost 800 to 900 people last quarter. This quarter, there will be further reduction and then we will take a call next year,” he said. FirstsourceBSE -0.24 % is adding jobs at its centre in Cebu, Philippines, to raise strength there from 110 to 500, local media reports said earlier this month, citing country head Kiran Kosaraju. The company employs about 30,000 staff globally, two-thirds of them in India.

Mumbai-based Firstsource’s exposure to telecom clients, hit by the global slump, had dragged the company’s performance down, prompting it to cut costs.
Firstsource, which was acquired by the RP-Sanjiv Goenka group last year, is also paying off a $275-million (Rs 1,700-crore) loan it had taken to finance an acquisition in the US in 2007-08. The company sold that unit in 2011.

Over the past few quarters, Firstsource has exited loss-making customers, mostly from the telecom space, in the domestic and international business. Subramaniam said the company will shed more clients or certain lines of work with these clients to improve profitability in the coming fiscal year.

“Growth rates may fall, but my profitability will improve by 250 basis points compared to last year and on a run rate basis it sets me up for another 150 to 200 basis points growth next year.”

In the first and second quarter of this fiscal year, Firstsource reported better-than-expected profits and made $22.5 million (Rs 137 crore) in quarterly repayment of its outstanding debt. The company’s stock has gained over 60% on the Bombay Stock Exchange over the last year.

Subramaniam said US President Barack Obama’s new healthcare insurance law will add momentum to the company’s turnaround plan, as hospitals and insurance firms spend more on technology and outsourcing.

“In the next three years, the healthcare business should be a $300 million business; today it’s about $150 million. We would have done badly if we don’t achieve that,” he said.

Firstsource got almost a third of its Rs 2,844 crore in revenue for the year ended March 2013 from insurers and hospitals.

India’s $108-billion IT services and BPO industry expects to benefit from increased spending among large US health insurers and hospital as they gear up to meet the requirements of Obamacare, America’s overhauled healthcare law.

According to the US Department of Health and Human Services estimates, healthcare exchange call centres are expected to receive 42 million calls from insurance buyers this year.

“This business will keep growing at a faster pace in the coming years. We are in a great spot as far as healthcare sector is concerned,” Subramaniam said.


US companies continue to outsource jobs to India

August 22nd, 2013

US companies continue to ship jobs to India despite protectionist outcry against the same.

Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) filings made to the US Department of Labour, Employment and Training Administration showed that outsourcing jobs to countries like India, China and Brazil displaced several hundred local workers. American workers representing companies including IBM, Honeywell, Walgreens and AT&T have filed petitions in July to receive Trade Adjustment Assistance benefits. Outsourcing8

TAA is a federal program of the US government to assist displaced American workers impacted by imports.

IBM, for instance, is laying off 747 workers at three sites in New York. At Poughkeepsie , a city in the state of New York, 50 jobs have moved to Brazil, India and China, the US Department of Labour filings showed. Another filing by three petitioners at the company’s Austin office said service support and administration of accounts were relocated to foreign countries as cost-reduction strategy.

“Change is constant in the technology industry and transformation is an essential feature of our business model. Consequently, some level of workforce remix is a constant requirement for our business. Given the competitive nature of our industry, we do not publicly discuss the details of staffing plans,” said an IBM spokesperson, when contacted.

Business outsourcing solutions provider Automatic Data Processing will lay off 50-100 people and the service will be outsourced to India. US-based packaging material company Sealed Air Corp has laid off undisclosed number of workers after it purchased Diversey Holdings, manufacturer of cleaning and hygiene for $2.9 bn in 2011.The firm had outsourced its internal service desk to Diversey’s third party support group – Wipro in Pune, the regulatory filing said.

Multi-channel retailer Sears Canada is laying off 245 workers, outsourcing IT positions overseas, said Financial Post. “The 138 laid-off IT employees will be replaced by Filipino workers in Sears Canada’s partnership with technology giant IBM. Sears Canada is also looking to new vendor Wipro to replace the rest of its discharged force,” the report said.

The protectionist noises haven’t deterred the prospects of the $108-bn Indian IT sector that continues to hold its stead in the global outsourcing play.

Siddharth Pai, partner and president in outsourcing advisory firm ISG Asia Pacific , said, “India continues to be a primary destination for global service delivery. Companies are going through huge cost pressures and they have figure out how to maintain their margins despite other headwinds. They will have to consider offshoring for that additional headroom.”

The new immigration bill makes it burdensome for Indian IT companies imposing a higher fees on H1-B dependent employers. “Many bills were debated. But the end of the day, it has to make business sense. The pricing mechanism changes the economics of doing business,” Sudin Apte, CEO of Pune-based IT advisory firm Offshore Insights.


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