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NAB admits jobs may go offshore; Ageing truck drivers not being replaced, warns TWU; ACT teachers dispute ends in 11.5% rise.

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NAB admits jobs may go offshore; Ageing truck drivers not being replaced, warns TWU; ACT teachers dispute ends in 11.5% rise.

NAB admits jobs may go offshore

The National Australia Bank has not ruled out sending more Australian jobs overseas, but said a review of its staffing had 'just started' and no decisions had been made.

The Finance Sector Union (FSU) yesterday claimed 424 positions are in line for being sent offshore where labour is cheaper.

'The FSU has been made aware that 424 Melbourne jobs in lending services, direct sales and services and customer service and delivery are being reviewed by third party offshore services provider, Genpact, to determine the possibility of moving them offshore,' FSU National Secretary, Paul Schroeder, said in a statement. 'This comes on top of the 175 jobs that have already left and a further 70 that have been earmarked to leave Melbourne for India.

Bank looking for efficiency improvements

'The union has also been made aware of further reviews in the NAB's Wealth Management and Business Banking areas that could see more jobs off-shored.'

NAB spokesman, Geoff Lynch, said the bank was conducting a review for potential efficiency improvements in several areas.

'Because we're only starting our review we have no preconceptions about what the outcome might be,' he said. 'We believe it's premature to talk about numbers.

'The outcome of a review could be anything ... including off-shoring, including maintaining the status quo, including automation. There are no preconceptions.'

700 more NAB jobs last year

Schroeder said the public was opposed to off-shoring jobs.

Lynch said customers wanted excellent service and value for money. 'We're going to do everything we can to provide those things,' he said. 'We are looking for efficiency improvements so that we can grow our Australian business.'

Lynch said NAB last year increased its employee numbers in Australia by nearly 700, and it intended to continue growing.

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Ageing truck drivers not being replaced, warns TWU

The road transport industry is facing a crisis, with 3,850 new truck drivers needed each year to replace an ageing workforce — yet up to $34m a year is being wasted' retraining existing workers.

The Transport Workers Union (TWU) made this claim this week in a submission to the Senate Inquiry into Workforce Challenges in the Transport Industry.

TWU National Secretary, Tony Sheldon, said it was important to invest in new entrants at a time when the transport industry is facing a looming labour crisis.

'This industry is facing a looming crisis as the labour market tightens and the Federal Government must invest in the next generation of drivers now to prevent a crisis in the future,' Sheldon said. 'The current system is not effective and is resulting in millions of dollars in wasted taxpayer money.'

Not committed to training

Euan Scott-Bell, a driver with 24 years experience, said that many transport companies were not committed to training and licensing new drivers and preferred to use existing drivers.

'We need to give newer drivers the chance to get into the industry, transport companies need to start getting serious about training, and provide licences for new entrants,' he said.

Sheldon said truck drivers are older and work more hours than the typical Australian worker. He said the median age of a truck driver is 43, compared to 39 for all other occupations, 46% of current truck drivers will reach retirement age within 20 years, and only 4.6% of current truck drivers are aged 20-25.

Driver numbers decreasing

Sheldon said the road transport industry has grown by 26% over the past five years (an average by 6.5% each year since 2000/01), but during this time the aggregate growth in truck driver employment rose by only 1.6% and actually decreased in 2005/06.

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ACT teachers dispute ends in 11.5% rise

The long-running ACT teachers dispute has been resolved, with teachers voting to accept a pay rise of 11.5% over the next 30 months.

In exchange for the higher pay, high school and college teachers will do 19 hours face to face teaching per week, averaged over the year.

ACT Minister for Education and Training, Andrew Barr, said teachers had voted 93.5% in favour of the offer.

'The pay deal is fair and reasonable and sees teachers get an increase in their pay packet and also assists the Government in paying for it,' he said. 'This pay increase will see ACT beginning teachers earn more than $52,000 pa by the end of the agreement, and top of the range teachers earning more than $74,000. Principals can earn more than $120,000.'

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