Australia Post Techs – Union Update

Ref: SLD 20/16, 5 May 2020

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Australia Post Techs – Union update

The recent announcement during the peak of the Covid Pandemic by A/Post CEO Christine Holgate where the weekday delivery of letters would now be reduced to every second day has not been received all that well by the Australian public. In addition, in accordance with the EBA, these sorts of decisions are required to be subject to the proper consultation about the effects on the staff, particularly delivery.Like quite a few announcements recently, it would appear that A/Post have chosen to reduce the interaction with the Union, and we are observing some significant escalation by Management of their change agendas.

In the case of the Techs, across Australia we are facing a large number of issues, for example:

  • Staffing levels and rosters at Parcels
  • Staffing levels and rosters at Letters
  • Overtime arrangements (currently subject to a FWC dispute in Sydney)
  • “Zoning” issues in processing facilities
  • Staffing levels in the remnant Engineering and Help desk areas (redundant positions and subject to a forthcoming dispute in Melbourne)
  • OH&S issues at newly built facilities that are not properly designed for human beings

It is clear that a major cost cutting (ie bean counting) exercise is driving most, if not all of these initiatives. Coupled with the impasse currently being experienced on the EBA front, there is no doubt that employers are upping the ante across many industries, and that includes the Australia Post letters/parcels sector.

Australia Post have been making public claims to justify their changes – eg an 80% increase in parcels and a 50% decrease in letters. In relation to the letters decrease, there is no factual evidence from our members that this drop off is occurring to that extent. They report a drop off in letters of around 10% and the increase in parcels volumes is not all being handled by the new machines – 2 new leased warehouses in Melbourne have been set up to manually sort certain types of parcels using contract labour. We understand the big mail centres are still processing letters, but seem to be sending them out to delivery Centres for storage.

And what of the EBA?
The nominal expiry date of the current EBA is 9 August 2020. Like all agreements, the EBA continues to operate past this date, but with no pay rises. All conditions remain the same, including any commitments made and carried on through the life of the Agreement, including Attachment K (the RRR agreement). In addition, there is the so called “Reform Accord” of 15 October 2015 relating to no forced redundancies in Letters areas, which was meant to cease on 30 June 2019. This document appears to be a formal agreement between the parties, and as such, continues until it is terminated.

A/Post have apparently recently written to the Divisional Office in March, seeking a variation of the current EBA for a period of 12 months (via a variation to the Agreement), but with conditions attached. They include no pay rise, and also the extinguishing of the 2015 “reform accord”, and also no opposition to the changes (ie Union support for the “variation”, including no pay rise). The Div office responded on April 1 with some conditions they wish to have included in the EBA variation (which would require a staff vote). At this stage, given the current situation regarding the Covid 19 pandemic, we are unsure of the status of the EBA negotiations. Members will be advised if any developments occur.

So it is very troubled times in A/Post land, and with the employer concentrating on the effects of the virus, we suspect little, if any developments will occur over the next few months. If you have any queries about this bulletin, please contact your local Union rep, or John Ellery/Sue Riley  in the “virtual” Branch office via mobile or email.

In solidarity<

SUE RILEY
Secretary
m. 0439 762 455
e. sriley@cwu.asn.au

 

JOHN ELLERY
Industrial Officer
m. 0419 823 580
e. jellery@cwu.asn.au


If you have changed address, email, mobile no or employer please notify the branch ASAP:
cdtsvic@cwu.asn.au or 9663 7815Resignations must be writing.
Communication Workers Union Telecommunications & Services Branch Victoria (CWU T&S Vic)
PO Box 415 Carlton South 3053 | p 9663 6815 | e cdtsvic@cwu.asn.au | w www.cwuvic.org.au
Communication Workers Union is the Communications Division of the CEPU

 

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