Personnel & organizational restructuring.
We are getting our corporate and personnel structures ready for the future. We have been streamlining our global corporate organization and making sure that personnel restructuring is moderate and as socially acceptable as possible wherever necessary. In 2010 we merged the mobile and fixed-network arms into One Company in Germany and under the Group umbrella. The same change has already been completed in Croatia, Slovakia and Hungary.
The company and employee representatives have agreed to streamline the previously segmented structure of our information technology in Germany. Business Customer Sales will be represented by 16 sales and service centers and 28 sales offices and IT will focus on eight innovation centers. This transformation is to be completed by mid-2014.
On January 1, 2012, we set up our own German company for the expansion of the fiber-optic network This will enable us to expand the broadband network more quickly as well as make it more flexible and economical.
We are combining our accounting operations for Europe and South Africa in Bratislava. This is a successful example of constructive employee relations on a European level. The European Works Council (EWC) received early notification and made comprehensive use of its consultation rights.
The crisis in Greece means that the OTE transformation is taking place in a very difficult economic and political atmosphere. In spite of this situation and despite the restrictions of labor law and collective agreements dating from the time when OTE was a nationalized company, we have been able to make some important progress. Through a range of measures—including overtime reductions, shorter working weeks with lower salaries, as well as the training and transfer of employees from non-profitable workplaces to new roles—we have been able to make substantial reductions to the high personnel costs.
T-Systems has been working within the framework of a new business structure in Germany since July 1, 2011, and doing so at all business units worldwide since January 1, 2012. The new structure creates the conditions for easier operations across sectors and national boundaries and was introduced as part of the Act4Service project. It is subdivided into the Sales, Service, Production and Systems Integration areas.
2011 saw the launch of plans for a streamlined Service Headquarters. We will implement these plans in the second half of 2012 following consultation with employee representatives. From then on our Group Headquarters will be staffed by fewer than 1,000 employees, managed with more strategic, performance and results-based focus.
On March 20, 2011, Deutsche Telekom AG and AT&T signed a contract for the sale of T-Mobile USA. Following the U.S. authorities' decisive stance against the transaction, the sales agreement was canceled on December 19, 2011. In 2012 we will embark on qualitative HR planning for T-Mobile USA on the basis of Total Workforce Management and initiate the necessary demand-based restructuring.
In order to make the necessary business-driven personnel restructuring as fair and socially considerate as possible, we use tried-and-tested tools that encourage employees to leave the company voluntarily. In Germany some of the most notable examples include early retirement for civil servants and the new provisions, issued in the fall of 2011, on phased retirement for older employees, employees outside collective agreements and senior executives. The benefits granted by these provisions substantially surpass statutory norms. We also assist employees who are interested in professional reorientation.
In recent years the measures promoting voluntary exits and the business-centered reorganization of Deutsche Telekom have helped us improve productivity, effectiveness and age structures in numerous areas, particularly at T-Systems and Telekom Deutschland. At the same time we have reorganized sections within our Shared Services —for example in Human Resources, Accounting and Vivento—and further improved quality and efficiency as a result. We will be continuing this process in other administrative areas in the years to come.
One of Vivento's most urgent tasks as a service provider for socially acceptable workforce downsizing is to offer employees alternative employment prospects in good time—in the public as well as the private sector. In 2011 we provided around 6,900 employees in Germany with alternative employment—externally and internally. More than 3,100 of them are working temporarily in the public sector and over 200 employees have found a new permanent position in the public sector. We secured new public-sector partners for Interamt, the employment portal we launched for the public sector, and made the portal even more attractive for employers and applicants.
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