Senate Inquiry and Disallowance motion
After a fast and furious time in the Senate last week an inquiry has been set up into the proposed (Temporary?) regulation changes that would allow Australia Post to delay the mail even further than they already do. The changes which are law until disallowed by the Senate would see intrastate mail (Melbourne to Melbourne) go from 3 business days to 5 days (7 days in total including weekends). The priority mail service is also been discontinued.
We call this out for what it is, a service slashing, Job cutting model that will increase bonuses by already highly paid executives.
The listed disallowance motion was not put last week due to a lack of time.
We will be making a number of submissions to the inquiry and encourage members to do the same.
Some of the mistruths in the media by Australia Post include
• There were no reductions in pay during the COVID-19 crisis (Wrong, members were directed to bring mail back to cut overtime)
• Australia Post did not have the resources available to deliver mail, parcels and express post (Wrong, see point above)
• Mail volumes fell by 50% in April (Wrong, mail volumes were down 28% in April and last April was during an election time with traditionally higher volumes !)
• There will be no Job cuts (Wrong, approx. 150 long standing fixed term staff in Victoria could well end up without a Job and 4 delivery staff center staff will be merged into 3 under their current Job cutting proposals)
• The changes are temporary (Wrong, If so why are Australia Post only hiring vans but intending to sell EAMB’s and Motorbikes?)
The way senior management have conducted themselves, used COVID-19 as cover for their industrial agenda and treated the workforce during the crisis has been nothing short of a national disgrace and we are calling on the Senate and the crossbench to hold them to account. Victorians and indeed all Australians who rely on the traditional mail service will not forget those Senators who do not hold the Government and Australia Post to account!
The inquiry is due to report back by August 11th with a disallowance motion potentially tabled within a week after the final report been handed down.
Submissions close on July 3rd
Go to postalpandemic.com.au to send a message to Senators and your local member and stay tuned for further bulletins.
Letter to your local member and Senator
Australia Post is creating its own #PostalPandemic
They’ve asked the Government to approve regulatory changes which pose an immediate threat to our postal service and the take-home pay and jobs of Australia Post workers across the country.
The regulatory changes allow Australia Post to cut back daily postie services and attack essential workers’ job security and take-home pay.
Australia’s postal service is more important now, than ever. Making cuts to the network will leave Australians without a quality postal service right when they need it the most.
It will also put the livelihoods of Australia Post workers at risk – the very workers who have been on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic, putting themselves, and their families, in harm’s way in order to keep the community safe and moving.
Attacking our postal service and the jobs of Australia Post workers at any time is bad enough. To do it during a global pandemic is disgraceful.
And it gets worse – while Australia Post says these changes are short-term requirements to deal with the current pandemic, it is refusing to provide a guarantee the changes won’t be permanent.
In fact, we think winding back their regulatory requirements is setting up our Australia Post to be sold off to the highest bidder. And the Government isn’t ruling it out, either.
We need the Parliament to stop these regulatory changes. Australia Post has already confirmed one in four delivery jobs will be cut. If we don’t act now, who will be next?
Will you help us save Australia Post?
Please share this message with your colleagues, friends and family – and ask them to log on to www.postalpandemic.com.au and do the same.
Postal & Telecommunication Workers Union Victoria
3 June 2020
National Union briefing
National Union briefing on current Australia Post matters, EBA/COVID-19 / Proposed Changes to letter performance standards.
Thursday 21st May at 6.00pm
Click below to register
Protecting your EBA
PROTECTING YOUR JOBS, YOUR CONDITIONS, YOUR EBAs
The Morrison Government has made it easier for employers to cut workers’ pay and conditions by allowing employers to give just one day’s notice before opening a vote on changes to your EBAs – bypassing the proper consultation period with you and your Union.
These changes were introduced following pressure from big business, and with the stroke of the Minister’s pen, came in to force on Friday. A copy of the Regulation can be found here: https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2020L00432
EBAs across our postal and telecommunications industries provide important legal protections for your jobs, your pay and your hours of work. Any changes made could continue well beyond the crisis period of the COVID-19 pandemic. There is no need for any employer to bypass proper negotiation and consultation about your rights at work.
We have represented you and your workmates in negotiations with Australia Post/Telstra and others, since the gravity of this pandemic emerged, aimed at ensuring your health and safety and securing your job and conditions into the future . These negotiations must continue to give workers a real opportunity to have a say and Australia Post/Telstra and others should not use the COVID-19 pandemic and this unfair Regulation change to try and circumvent your rights to be consulted on any proposed changes to your pay and conditions.
If your employer does propose any variation to your EBA that is not clearly endorsed by your branch and where you have not been properly consulted before a vote takes place, it is critically important that you VOTE NO.
If you hear of a proposal to alter your EBA and pay or conditions, call us for advice and assistance straight away. Don’t sign anything before obtaining advice.
On Tuesday night, 21 April 2020, ACTU Secretary Sally McManus will be addressing an online meeting for Union members across the country. It will be an update on the response to Coronavirus, and will focus on the Government’s moves to make changes to EBA regulations. At the meeting, members and activists will develop a plan to put pressure on local employers and politicians to protect our EBAs. Register at https://bit.ly/2Vd8Oqk
As always, your branch remains here to support you. If you require any advice or assistance, please contact us on 9387 0189
Yours In Unity ,
Secretary CWU Victoria
20 April 2020
Latest COVID-19 advice 6 April 2020
COVID-19 Latest Safety Advice April 6th 2020
There are now 11 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus within the Australia Post workforce. Seven of which have not been at work and therefore don’t present as a risk to others. However, the remaining four are in NSW. Kingsgrove Delivery, Sydney Gateway Facility and Sydney Parcel Facility and have been at work and, along with their close contacts, have been directed to self-isolate in accordance with the government requirements. Those affected workplaces have also undergone a strict ‘deep clean’. Thankfully no workplace cases have been reported in Victoria as yet
Since the COVID-19 epidemic started in Australia, your branch has worked to ensure Work Health and Safety measures with the employer groups who employ our members. Some of the measures sought from Australia Post to protect against the threat of COVID-19 to members, your families and the communities you service include: minimising your physical contact with your customers; compliance with the government’s requirements for social distancing, within indoor facilities; the urgent provision of personal protective equipment (PPE); and a genuine disinfecting of hard surfaces and frequently handled equipment within your workplaces.
Members are providing a critical and essential service to the public – but need to be able to do so safely. Members must comply, so far as they are reasonably able to, with any reasonable instructions given and to cooperate with any reasonable policy subject to circumstances where they have a reasonable concern about an imminent risk to their health and safety. And whilst we recognise Australia Post’s response to heightened risk so far, and appreciate the difficulties they have confronted in procurement of PPE to mitigate against an imminent risk to your health and safety, in some areas this response has been inadequate.
Your branch is strongly advising members to follow the below, to take reasonable care for his or her own health and safety and to take reasonable care that his or her acts or omissions do not adversely affect the health and safety of other persons.
Doing so ensures compliance with your obligations under the Fair Work Act 2009 and Section 28 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011
Members responsible for the delivery of articles to a customer’s premises and/or the operation of a vehicle on public roads, who have not been provisioned with a personal portable supply of hand sanitiser should:
Avoid undertaking delivery of any article to any home or business location if such a delivery requires the member to handle or touch any hard surface – including, but not limited to: door handles, letterboxes, parcel lockers, intercoms, security keypads and elevator buttons;
Avoid re-fuelling their vehicle should such act require the handling or touching of any hard surface – including, but not limited to: fuel pumps and EFTPOS facilities – unless sanitiser, gloves or other PPE is made available by the re-fuelling establishment for use by the public or the establishment has suitable public handwashing facilities.
Members required to undertake any duties in an indoor facility should not continue to work in the facility if, by doing so they:
- Breach the government’s requirement to limit persons in an indoor venue to 1 person per 4 square metres of floor space;
- Breach the government’s requirement to remain at least 1.5 metres away from people not residing in your household.
Members required to undertake any duties within an indoor facility should not continue to work in an area that:
- Does not have an adequate and easy to access supply of hand sanitiser;
- Does not have an adequate and easy to access supply of disinfectant wipes to sanitise equipment before and after your required use of that equipment.
… and where they have a reasonable concern about a risk to their health an safety.
Members must notify their supervisor on each occasion in which they are unable to perform their duties due to their reasonable concern about an imminent risk to their health and safety, and must not unreasonably fail to comply with a direction to perform alternate duties that are safe and appropriate to perform. Members should also advise their OHS Rep/Shop Steward and/or Organiser of such pro
It is unlawful for any representative of Australia Post to threaten your employment or withhold your wages for any period in which you complied with the above advice – which is reasonable, lawful and ensures your compliance with the relevant Acts. Such unlawful behaviour is subject to significant penalties, not only against employers, but any individual management representative involved. Your branch will actively pursue prosecutions for each occasion in which a member is subjected to such unlawful behaviour.
Any member subjected to any such threats should contact us on 9387 0189 immediately or contact your organiser directly.
Please place on Union Noticeboard
Secretary CWU Victoria
Latest COVID-19 Bulletin
STREAMLINED CONTACTLESS DELIVERY, SIGNAGE IN POST OFFICES, SOCIAL DISTANCING RECOMMENDATIONS AND TEMPORARY CHANGES TO SOME BRANCH OPERATIONS
Your Branch has continued to seek further protections for members as we navigate through the unprecedented situation in relation to the emerging worldwide Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. These conversations between your Branch and the employer groups who employ our members are ongoing.
NEW MEASURES FOR POST OFFICES
Following member feedback since the outbreak worsened, we have pushed for notices, reminding customers of good hygiene practices, to be displayed within post offices and we are pleased that Post has agreed to this.
From yesterday, posters will be displayed in Post Offices, requesting for customers who have symptoms of illness, not to enter the outlet. Post have also placed updated information on their coronavirus information page online – calling on customers to keep at least one metre from others and to practice good hygiene. The update can be found here: https://auspost.com.au/about-us/news-media/important-updates/coronavirus
NEW MEASURES FOR THE DELIVERY OF ARTICLES TO CUSTOMER PREMISES
Following feedback from members and ongoing dialogue, Australia Post have agreed to our requests for a streamlined ‘contactless delivery’ procedure.
Therefore, members delivering articles to customers will no longer be required to question whether a customer is suffering symptoms of illness, or in self-isolation related to COVID-19.
The new updated procedures now require members to remain at least 1.5 metres from all customers when delivering to their premises, confirm the customer’s name and inform them you are leaving the parcel for them without requiring any contact for the purpose of obtaining a signature.
MORE NEEDED ON SOCIAL DISTANCING
Whilst we welcome the initiatives, we continue our call for stronger social distancing measures in the workplace and a commitment to ‘special leave’ provisions for any employee who may require additional time off to recover from, or care for someone, if affected by the virus.
The Federal Government has issued a call for everybody to keep at least 1.5 metres away from each other and other employers, such as Telstra, who have gone so far as to cancel all in-person meetings involving 25 or more people and have introduced work-from-home arrangements across their entire office-based workforce some 20,000 employees
We believe Post should be introducing further flexibility to ensure effective social distancing at work – including the cancellation of meetings and working at home arrangements for those at risk or have genuine concerns .
UNION DIRECTIONS ON MEMBERS’ HEALTH AND SAFETY
Your branch is directing all members to take all steps you feel are reasonable and appropriate to protect your health and safety whilst at work.
Specifically, your branch feels it would not be unreasonable to refuse to participate in gatherings or formal meetings where members are required to remain in close proximity to others for an extended period, nor do we believe it would be unreasonable for members to refuse interactions with any customer who displays symptoms of illness.
Should you encounter any difficulty when attempting to invoke your rights to a safe workplace, please contact us immediately, for assistance.
TEMPORARY MEASURES TO REDUCE EXPOSURE AND SPREAD TO CWU OFFICIALS AND MEMBERS
Your branch is also an employer, and as an employer, we have had to take important decisions to implement temporary measures to reduce exposure to the virus to our employees – your Officials and Industrial officers .
Your Officials and Industrial Officers schedule visits to all workplaces across the state on a regular basis, in addition to the many close interactions we have, in person, with members daily.
In order to reduce the risk of exposing your Officials and our members and families to COVID-19, your Branch has taken measures to suspend certain workplace visits and meetings.
These measures are also an effort to eliminate the risk of an Official or Industrial Officer becoming infected themselves, and inadvertently exposing members to the virus in their workplaces and the wider community. We must err on the side of caution.
Officials in your State Branch remain contactable by telephone and all other Union services will continue as usual. Please contact us directly for any further information you require.
We are continuing to engage with employers at the most senior levels and will ensure you have access to relevant information as soon as practicable.
Above all stay safe and take all necessary precautions to ensure the welfare of yourselves, your families and loved ones, your workmates and the community in general during this difficult and challenging time.
Yours In Unity ,
Communication Workers Union
Postal & Telecommunications Branch Victoria
18 March 2020
Processing Leroy Lazaro 0422 546 814
Retail/Decipha/Customer Contact Centre Cindy Shelley 0407 334 397
Delivery Andy Howson 0400 322 573
Transport Brendan Henley 0400 071 716
Delivery/Industrial Officer Martin O'Nea 0407 409 770
CORONAVIRUS UPDATE - 6 MARCH 2020
CONFIRMED AUSTRALIAN CASES
As of 6th March, there are over 50 confirmed cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Australia. Of the total cases reported, approx. 20 of these cases are reported to have recovered, 2 people have sadly passed. The remaining cases are in a stable condition.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has issued the following travel advice
- China and Iran – do not travel
- South Korea, Mongolia, Japan and Italy – exercise a high degree of caution
- Northern Italy – reconsider your need to travel
Members should follow this advice to minimise risk of being exposed to the virus.
Members who have recently travelled to China or Iran should isolate themselves to prevent exposure to their colleagues and the community. Specifically, if you have:
- Left or transited through mainland China in the past 14 days, you must isolate yourself for 14 days from the date you left
- Left or transited through Iran on or after 1 March, you must isolate yourself for 14 days from the date you left
- Been in close contact with a person confirmed to be infected with coronavirus, you must isolate yourself for 14 days from the last date of contact
EMPLOYMENT ENTITLEMENTS WHILST IN SELF ISOLATION
Members who fall within the above categories should notify their managers immediately and stay home – do not come to work. Your workplace will attempt to accommodate you performing duties from home, if you are able to do so. If your duties cannot be performed from home you will be paid.
STAY HOME IF YOU ARE SICK
Members who exhibit any cold or flu like symptoms should not come to work.
Avail of sick leave and seek medical treatment. As we approach the onset of the cold season, this is even more important. By doing so, you will alleviate any potential unnecessary panic caused within your workplace.
FREE FLU VACCINE
Your Branch has confirmed that employees at Australia Post will once again be offered a free flu vaccine this year. The communication process will commence at the end of this month and vaccinations will occur from early April.
While the flu vaccine will not prevent coronavirus infection, it is recommended that as many members as possible accept the vaccine to limit the number of people with symptoms similar to coronavirus – again, alleviating any potential unnecessary panic at work, but also to take the burden off our health system.
The earlier you receive the vaccine, the more effective it will be going in to the colder months.
Should you require any further information with any of the above, please contact us directly on 9600 9100
Leroy Lazaro Secretary CWU Victoria
Union Dues increase
Member fees will rise from the 1st April by 50c,40c or 30c per week
$9.30 to $9.80 for full timers
$5.10 to $5.50 for 25 hours + part timers and
$2.55 to $2.85 for 15 hour part timers
This is the first increase to union dues in 5 years and is necessary to ensure that member benefits such as ambulance cover and journey cover remain viable and to deal with rising costs in general as well as having resources available for campaigns and extra legal expenses while keeping a modest surplus year on year that can be called upon in the future.
Report on Hazardous Air Quality
Communication Workers Union (Victorian Branch)
Review and recommendations – atmospheric smoke exposure to postal workers
The 2019-2020 summer bushfire disaster in southern and eastern Australia has led to unprecedented and widespread hazardous smoke exposure to a large number of people including outdoor workers, in major population centres including Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne, inter alia.
Unlike fireground smoke exposure by emergency personnel, atmospheric smoke exposure by non-emergency workers is a relatively newly recognised occupational hazard in Australia.
In the last two weeks, public health and safety agencies have brought a sudden and sharp focus onto risk management of outdoor workers. Main countermeasures proposed by Australia Post include use of personal protective equipment in the form of P2 masks, and restrictions on outdoor work.
Excerpts and/or dot point summaries from information released by Australia Post and by relevant authorities are reproduced below. The excerpts are selective.
2 Consultation process
The purpose of this review is to provide timely expert advice and union recommendations from the perspective of Victorian postal workers potentially exposed to bushfire smoke hazards, in time to be considered prior to and during any further decision making relating to the remainder of the 2019/2020 summer bushfire season.
The information is provided in order to formally serve as part of consultation processes required by Australian Law (Commonwealth Work Health and Safety Act 2011, Sections 46-49, and relevant Regulations). Duty holders are required to communicate information to, and to consult with, workers and health and safety representatives.
The Communication Workers Union (Victorian Branch) requests that it be consulted by the Australia Post’s State Incident Response Committee for Victoria, and would like to be involved in any way that can assist the assessment and management of risk to postal workers in the immediate and longer term.
3 Some key timelines – summer 2019-2020 – widespread exposure to bushfire smoke in Australia
Some key events relevant to Australia Post workers over the summer of 2019-2020 are summarised below.
December 2019 to January 2020
Extreme heat across the whole of Australia. Large scale bushfires break out affecting all states. Intense smoke from fires pollutes major cities, with Canberra and Melbourne rated as most polluted cities in the world at times. Postal deliveries in Canberra cease for multiple days.
2 January 2020
Communication Workers Union (Victorian Branch) notified of fire smoke being drawn into the Melbourne Parcel Facility by the evaporative cooling system. P2 masks issued to workers.
6 January 2020
8 January 2020
Australia Post releases a guidance note regarding Hazardous Conditions relating to bushfire smoke.
13 January 2020
A health and safety representative at a delivery centre in Melbourne’s outer north east, confronted by an EPA rating of Hazardous smoke conditions in his designated working group’s area, issued a Provisional Improvement Notice aimed at keeping postal delivery officers safe on days of hazardous smoke exposure.
15 January 2020
Worksafe Victoria issues guidance note Health risks of outdoor work in areas impacted by bushfire smoke
17 January 2020
Comcare officers visit postal the delivery centre in Melbourne’s outer north east to investigate the PIN notice issued on Monday 13 January (above). They consult with management and separately with the health and safety representative and his advisors from the Communication Workers Union (Victorian Branch).
4 Australian Acting Chief Medical Officer and State and Territory Chief Health Officers: Advice on the use of masks for those exposed to bushfire smoke (6/1/2020)
Some key points:
- Wearing a P2 mask can make it more difficult to breathe.
- Those with underlying heart or lung conditions should consult their doctor for advice before using a P2 mask.
- If the P2 mask becomes damaged, soiled, moist or contaminated, it is best to refit and replace or remove it.
- On average, masks may need to be replaced three to four times per day depending on the level of physical activity and subsequent build-up of moisture.
- Wearing a P2 mask can increase the risk of heat-related illness.
5 Comcare: Poor Air Quality: What are your WHS obligations? (6/1/2020)
Some key points:
With bushfires impacting communities across Australia, Comcare would like to advise PCBUs (Persons Conducting a Business or Undertaking) of their obligations under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011.
PCBUs must ensure they provide and maintain a safe working environment for their workers in indoor and outdoor environments so as far as is reasonably practicable.
Indoor working environments
PCBUs should ensure that indoor environments are safe and without risks to health for workers during periods of elevated smoke. PCBUs should:
- work with their property management, such as building landlords, to monitor the air quality of their buildings or workplaces
- act if the air quality is not within the acceptable levels
- keep staff informed of the measures taken.
PCBUs can contact Comcare via WHS.firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Indoor air quality
There is no single Australian standard that addresses acceptable indoor air quality.
PCBUs should work with their property teams and/or building landlords to address any concerns about indoor air quality resulting from bushfire smoke.
Outdoor working environments
PCBUs should ensure that outdoor or field work is rescheduled until conditions (e.g. visibility and air quality) improve. However, if work needs to go ahead PCBUs should take the following steps:
- Appropriate risk assessments should be undertaken prior to work commencing.
- Appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) such as face masks, should be provided to workers with instructions on its correct use and fitting.
- If workers are required to work alone, remotely or in an isolated place, PCBUs should ensure they always have an effective means of communication. Further information is available in the Code of Practice: Managing the Work Environment and Facilities.
- PCBUs should remain aware of any bushfires near the proposed work area(s) and advise workers accordingly, including to follow instructions and advice from emergency services and evacuate the area if needed.
- PCBUs should monitor outdoor air quality levels via the appropriate State and Territory authority: Air Quality in the ACT, Air Quality Alerts NSW,EPA Air Watch Vic, Air Quality Monitoring SA, Air Quality Qld, Air Quality WA, Bushfire smoke advice in Tas, and NT Health Alert.
- PCBUs can also access information on particulate matter relevant to elevated smoke levels via NSW Health and ACT Health.
6 Australia Post: Guidance Note (8/1/2020)
Some key points:
- State Incident Response Committee to assess and manage risk and operations.
- Committee to consult and advise unions on a regular basis.
- Adopts Air Quality Index, applying community exposure recommendations.
- Separate recommendations are suggested for indoor and outdoor work, and for health and sensitive individual (four combinations in total).
7 WorkSafe Victoria: Health risks of outdoor work in areas impacted by bushfire smoke (15/1/2020)
Some key points:
Air quality and recommendations
The information below provides guidance on what level of physical activity is safe to do in different levels of air quality, and recommended respiratory protective equipment. Employers should undertake an assessment of their specific work activities to determine the appropriate risk controls.
- Light physical activity includes sitting with light manual work with hands or hands and arms, and driving. Standing with some light arm work and occasional walking.
- Moderate physical activity includes sustained moderate hand and arm work, moderate arm and leg work, moderate arm and trunk work, or light pushing and pulling. Normal walking.
- Heavy physical activity includes intense arm and trunk work, carrying, shovelling, manual sawing, pushing and pulling heavy loads, walking at a fast pace.
Most postal delivery work is at least Moderate physical activity.
- Very Poor Air Quality: Limiting healthy workers’ exposure
Recommended advice: general population (not sensitive):
- Avoid undertaking heavy physical activity outdoors
- Reduce time spent doing moderate physical activity outdoors
For anyone indoors, including vehicle cabins, close the doors and windows to prevent smoke and dust entering the workplace. Switch air conditioners to recycle or recirculate, to eliminate or minimise the requirement for outside air. Do not use an evaporative air cooler.
Recommended respiratory protective equipment:
If employee is required to do light physical activity outdoors for minimal (short) period of time:
- P2 disposable mask may be used as a precautionary measure.
If employee is required to do moderate physical activity outdoors for short periods of time, they should wear a P2 disposable mask. Employers should consider:
- limiting the period of time spent outdoors
- ensuring the P2 mask fits well to achieve air-tight seal
- males must be clean shaven
- masks fitted with exhalation valve may make it easier to breathe when doing physical activity
- regular replacement of P2 disposable masks should occur if they become damaged, moist or contaminated
If an employee has facial hair, a P2 disposable mask will not provide protection. The employee should:
- avoid working outdoors if possible
- not undertake moderate to heavy physical activity outdoors
- break up the day with time being spent indoors in a clean air environment and less time spent outdoors
- Employers should restrict the requirement for an employee with facial hair to carry out physical activity outdoors in weather conditions that are rated very poor.
- Hazardous Air Quality
General population (not sensitive):
- Avoid working outdoors
- If going outdoors is unavoidable, only do light physical activity and minimise the time spent outdoors as much as possible.
For anyone indoors, including vehicle cabins, close the doors and windows to prevent smoke and dust entering the workplace. Switch air conditioners to recycle or recirculate, to eliminate or minimise the requirement for outside air. Do not use an evaporative air cooler.
Recommended respiratory protective equipment:
As for Very Poor air quality (above).
8 Conclusions and Recommendations (CWU Vic Branch 21/1/2020)
- A formal risk assessment should be developed and documented in consultation with workers, elected health and safety representatives, and the Communication Workers Union (Victorian Branch).
- Decision making, review and action should proceed as a matter of urgency.
- A formal ongoing consultation process for worker and representatives should be developed, agreed and commenced as soon as possible.
- There should be a preparedness to update procedures and advice frequently, as new information and experience are gained. An agile response is appropriate at this time.
- There should be an immediate (within days) attempt to quickly engage with potentially affected workers via suitable qualitative assessment techniques, such as documented toolbox two-way consultations, simple online surveys etc. This is quicker than more rigorous processes and will act as part of formative evaluation, to assist ongoing decision making.
- Key issues are: reasonable practicability of control measures, including but not limited to the following issues.
- Usability and comfort of different types of P2 mask, including those with exhalation valves
- fit of masks
- overheating and fogging of glasses due to the mask
- durability of masks and frequency of replacement throughout shift due to damage, moisture, soiling or contamination
- potential obstruction of parts of the peripheral visual field of workers, particularly in relation to safety in road traffic for all delivery workers.
- The Australia Post guidance note should be reviewed and updated immediately taking into account the WorkSafe Victoria guidance note, which is the most authoritative, up-to-date and relevant statement by a workplace health and safety authority in Australia.
- In particular outdoor work should cease where and when Hazardous Air Quality exists, as at relevant nearby monitoring stations. If there are differences between monitoring stations in the areas near the working area, the worst of these ratings should be heeded, not the best.
- Australia Post should advise workplaces with evaporative cooling systems not to operate them during Very Poor or Hazardous air quality conditions.
- In mid 2020, after the end of the summer fire season in Australia, policies and procedures should be formally and rigorously reviewed, in consultation with Communication Workers Union Victorian Branch, using appropriate existing or new consultative structures and procedures. The aim is to enter future fire seasons with robust, workable policies and procedures for smoke exposure to postal workers, indoor and outdoor.
Leroy Lazaro Mark Hennessy
Branch Secretary Branch Health and Safety Officer
21 January 2010
Provisional Improvement Notice and Safety Alert
A Provisional Improvement Notice has been issued to Australia Post regarding their actions re the recent hazardous air quality conditions. The HSR who issued the PIN does not believe there was adequate consultation and that Australia Post failed to ensure any risk assessments regarding the use of the P2 were carried out in a rigid manner, if at all and therefore the P2 masks potentially create further risks.
These risks include but are not limited to
Wearing while undertaking physical exertion
Poor visibility due to fogging of safety/prescription glasses.
Distraction caused by general discomfort
Maintaining air tight seal especially when riding at speed.
The HSR is meeting with Comcare shortly.
In the meantime members are strongly advised to not work outdoors under any circumstances if very poor or hazardous air quality conditions exist until such time as adequate risk assessments have been undertaken and there has been full consultation with HSR's in the network and the P2 masks are deemed fit for purpose with no unacceptable risk.
You need to make yourself available for indoor duties unless you have a medical condition.Contact us on 9600 9100 if you require any further information
EBA 2020 member survey
Your survey for next years EBA 2020 is up online. We have already sent out paper based copies but if you would prefer to fill out online and have not already done so then click on the link below.
The survey takes less than five minutes and will assist us greatly in developing your log of claims.
Authorised Day Dispute
Our dispute regarding Australia Post notifying the Authorised day for 2019 in 2020 was in the Fair Work Commission this week. Australia Post argued that the Commission did not have jurisdiction to hear the dispute because the Authorised day is enacted by the Principle determination that is part of the Australian Postal Corporation Act and is not part of the EBA.
In-spite of the Commission agreeing that our arguments were logical and that the day should be in 2019 Commissioner Sarah McKinnon stated that she did not have jurisdiction to make a recommendation and that the Authorised day is not actually legally defined in the EBA. The clause surrounding the Authorised day is yet another one of a number of clauses that need to be fixed up in EBA 2020 and unlinked from the Principle determination.The Authorised day goes back to the 1950's .On the completed EBA 2020 surveys returned so far over 70% of members have stated that the Authorised day is a very important issue for them.
Indoor times, Back to the Future!
The same old Management are back in town with the reintroduction of “Indoor times’. Some Managers are saying that your branch somehow agreed to this form of micro management. Let us be clear, your branch will NEVER support the timing of staff for any function in Australia Post. Quite simply the job takes as long it takes to perform safely while at the same time ensuring a high level of customer service.
Members should have regular counts of their parcels and mail conducted before engaging in any “chats” with management on this issue and ALWAYS ensure you have your Shop Steward or other witness/support person present.
Do not have meetings on your own and let us know immediately if your requests are refused.
Cynically Australia Post are using manipulated data from the “Say to Action” survey to infer that over 40% of staff wanted to see the reintroduction of indoor times , a completely ridiculous proposition!
The reintroduction of indoor times follows the renewed attack on your Authorised Day by senior management and if the CEO thinks that such measures will help her to rebuild trust with the workforce then she is seriously misguided!
Dispute re use of Contract Labour at Melbourne North PDC
Your Branch has listed as a dispute the proposed use of contact labour at the new Melbourne PDC site at Somerton.
The sorting of Parcels is to be automated with the installation of a new Cross Belt Sorter Machine.
Australia Post are proposing to have a certain proportion of the Machine staffed by contact labour for the terminating product from 12.00am onwards .We are strongly opposed to any automation in any facility in Victoria been staffed by any form of contact labour.
We have sought a final meeting with Australia Post to resolve the dispute and failing that we will be left with no option but to escalate the dispute to the courts.
Authorised Day Latest
Your Branch has received numerous phone calls regarding Australia Post's move to declare the Authorised Day at a time other than the Festive season.
An nomination form is circulating that has two options
1) An additional flexible day of annual leave that you can use whenever and however you want.
2) Authorised Day on a date nominated by Australia Post.
Option 1 does not mention that there has to be 5% or less of staff rostered off on the day you would choose, so it's at best misleading.
In regards to option 2 we have asked Australia Post on a number of occasions to put the day they are intending to nominate on the form so employees are able to make an informed choice, but to date they are refusing.
Australia Post are obliged under the current EBA to nominate a day for this year at some stage.
We have heard reports of mangers stating that Australia Post could declare the Authorised Day of 2019 in March next year.
This is false and misleading.
Please contact us directly if you feel you are been misled by management as this would potentially be a breach of the EBA.
Court case for alleged Part Time underpayments
Part time Underpayments for Public Holidays
Your Branch has listed in the Victorian Magistrates court for conciliation the issue of Public Holiday Pro Rata pay for Part Time employees.
Many Part Time staff work additional hours and are paid Pro Rata for Recreation Leave but Australia Post are refusing to pay the same for all Public Holidays.
Our claim is for Post to pay Pro Rata for all Public Holidays and to back date it for all Part Time staff for a period of 6 years which is the maximum allowed under the law.
If we are successful in obtaining a Judgement in the courts Australia Post may be subject to penalties that would be paid to your branch.
We will keep members informed of the case and the first hearing is scheduled for Wednesday 18th of this month.
AEC Post Election Report
AEC Post Election report
Members are advised that a copy of the Australian Electoral Commission Post Election Report for the 2019 Branch Quadrennial election is available from the Branch or the Australian Electoral Commission on request.
Dispute re proposal for Indoor times for posties (ETOR)
ETOR IN DISPUTE
Australia Post management have decided to re-introduce ‘indoor times’ for posties. They are calling this new system ETOR (Estimated Time on the Road).
The union believes this is a backward step, and have placed the matter in dispute. (See below)
“Indoor times” went out of favour, when the union and management conducted a stop-watch trial in 2013 about Miscellaneous Times. This established that these far exceeded the 65 minutes Australia Post had allowed and showed that they differed greatly from Delivery Centre to Delivery Centre. At this time, there was also an understanding that the cost of producing accurate workload estimates in a timely fashion was very expensive.
The final nail in the coffin of individual indoor times was that new processes – sequencing small parcels and scanning were introduced and no-one knew what would be reasonable rates.
Now Vance Duke (Deliveries Operations Manager – VIC/TAS/WA) has randomly selected a rate for sequencing small parcels of 11 per minute! He has also decided on a rate of 7 parcels per minute for scanning. These are obviously far too high.
One of our main concerns is about the lack of suitable equipment for posties (and night-sorters) to deal with parcels inside. It has been over 5 years since our jobs have transitioned from letters to a greater proportion of parcels. Where is management accountability? They want us to do our job better and faster, but they don’t do theirs!
Management are ignoring the dispute process and are planning on counting posties parcels and times over the next two weeks to validate their times. This is NOT the right way to establish sorting rates.
Beware of ‘speed-ups’ and ‘bullying’ inside during the next few weeks. Please report any of this to the union office and shop-stewards should monitor the figures and times being recorded.
As always, we will keep you informed of the issue as it develops.
4 June 2019
45 Grosvenor Street
ABBOTSFORD VIC 3067
Dear Mr Duke
Re: Indoor Estimated on Road Tool (ETOR)
I am writing to place this matter formally in dispute under Clause 42 of the Australia Post Enterprise Agreement 2017.
The union does not agree with the implementation of posties’ ‘indoor’ times.
- The dispute is primarily about the times that you are trying to set for the sorting of parcels and for scanning.
- The union is also in disagreement with your arbitrary times set for miscellaneous times.
- We are also at odds about the whole concept of managing posties’ indoor times in this manner.
As you will be aware, there have been various attempts at providing estimates of work-loads and work-rates for the indoor times for PDOs.
- Management have employed Team Leaders who are supposed to supervise the PDOs’ indoor time.
- The cost of data collection to an accuracy that is fair is more than any savings that could be achieved by having ETOR.
- The time at which such data would be available (after night-shift finishes), comes at a time which makes it unfair to expect posties to have met that estimated time. For example, a postie who starts at 6am would be unlikely to been given an estimated time until 7.45 or 8 am.
- It was difficult enough to get reasonable sort rates when posties dealt solely with letters, now that they receive up to 120 parcels a day, it is obvious that the parcels can be a range of types (express, registered, etc), and completely different sizes and weights.
- It is also clear that there is a compounding factor the greater the number of parcels to be dealt with.
- The different equipment and systems used by posties also makes a difference to their sort rates.
So far, you have conducted a ‘mickey mouse’ trial with 3 people. You presented the data to me and a delegate at a meeting on May 20, 2019. It was clear from this, that the estimates management had made were not valid on most occasions. Your reports of times achieved differed substantially from the times reported by the participants.
Management have not even tried to examine the different functions and methods involved in dealing with the parcels and scanners inside. There have been no studies about whether the rates you seek to impose are safe from a manual handling and cognitive load perspective and whether these rates can reasonably be done by a significant majority of the work population.
I know that you are familiar with the required processes under the Work Health Safety Act for when an employer seeks to set a sort rate. I know you are familiar with ‘the 18/13 small letter’ sort rate setting exercise conducted by LaTrobe University.
Either you need to adopt modern methods of supervising staff while they are working indoors or if you insist on a ‘time and motion” approach, you need to do the work involved in doing this properly.
The definition of a ‘time and motion’ study is: “the systematic investigation and analysis of the motions and the time required to perform a specific operation or task with a view to seeking more efficient methods of production as well as setting time standards.”
This needs to be conducted by experts in a proper manner.
In relation to the Miscellaneous Times I refer you to the stop-watch trials conducted jointly by management and the union over the whole of Australia several years ago which found a large variation in this time according to the size of people’s facilities and tasks.
This probably needs to be updated due to the modes of delivery and different work practices.
I seek your urgent response to this dispute notification.
Communication Workers Union
Postal & Telecommunications Branch Victoria
0419 345 134
Notification from the AEC on uncontested positions
Communications, Electrical, Electronic, Energy, Information, Postal, Plumbing and Allied Services Union of Australia Communications Division
DECLARATION OF RESULTS - E2018/281
The results of the election for the following offices conducted in accordance with the provisions of the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 and the rules of the organisation are:
Victoria Postal and Telecommunications Branch Branch President (honorary) (1)
PUNSHON Christopher Roger
Branch Secretary (1)
LAZARO Leroy Brendan
Branch Organiser (3)
HENLEY Brendan Michael
HOWSON Andrew Barry
Branch Vice President (honorary) (2)
SAN JOSE Meredith
SHEAD Peter Thomas
Victoria Postal and Telecommunications Branch Postal Industry Section Divisional Executive Member (honorary) (1)
Divisional Conference Delegate (honorary) (2)
Branch Committee of Management Member (honorary) (8)
Victoria Postal and Telecommunications Branch Lines and General Industry Section Divisional Executive Member (honorary) (1)
BUTLER Valerie Ann
Divisional Conference Delegate (honorary) (1)
BUTLER Valerie Ann
Branch Committee of Management Member (honorary) (3)
BUTLER Valerie Ann
As the number of nominations accepted did not exceed the number of positions to be filled, I declare the above candidates elected.
Benjamin Murray Returning Officer
Email: email@example.com 24/04/2019
MORE BAD NEWS FOR POST HR
The Magistrates Court imposed a penalty of $4,500 on Post following a finding that Post breached several clauses of the Post EBA. The money is paid to our branch in Victoria.
The case was simple. A manager called 2 women into his office without notice, told them that the team leader was upset, that he was not going to listen to their excuses and told them that he was moving them to another job (no loss of pay).
The Magistrate found that the manager had denied them the opportunity to have a support person (EBA Clause 42.1.4) and denied them natural justice (EBA Clause 36.5) and denied them other rights (EBA Clause36.6)– which he described as a fundamental right of workers. The case involved 5 witnesses (3 workers and 2 managers). Your EBA is important and contains many protections.
Know your rights and let us know if you believe that they have been breached.
POST BAD NEWS - WHAT THE EBA SAYS
42.1.4 An employee who is a party to the dispute may appoint a representative of their choice, including a union representative, for the purposes of the procedures in this clause.
36.5 In exercising these rights, Australia Post shall not take action which is harsh, unjust or unreasonable.
36.6 Australia Post shall furnish written advice to an employee of a decision under clause 36.1 and of reasons for the decision together with details of the procedures for lodging an application for review.
REGULATOR SANCTIONS AUSTRALIA POST FOR THEIR TREATMENT OF INJURED WORKERS
A former Compensation Manager has blown the whistle on Australia Post to the Safety Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission (SRCC), the regulator of self-insurers under the SRC Act 1988.
He alleged that Managers had delayed decisions on workers’ compensation claims to benefit financially from meeting KPIs. The SRCC’s investigation found evidence of delays in processing claims to meet Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate targets in 2012/13 and 2013/14 (under the previous CEO Ahmed Fahour)
The regulator has now imposed new conditions on Australia Post.
- The CEO will have to provide annual confirmation that practices to delay workers’ compensation claims or manipulate reporting are not occurring.
- Comcare will conduct targeted reviews of Australia Post’s claims files for the next 3 years.
- Employees have to be informed of this license breach and will be asked to make claims if they have been disadvantaged.
The Victorian Branch of the union has been meeting with Compensation, Rehabilitation and Human Resources managers about the short-comings of their treatment of injured workers.
- They have promised to take action against any Manager who refuses to provide an incident report or compensation claim to an injured worker.
- They say they will give priority to determining claims for new starters and others without leave entitlements.
- Managers are not to discourage workers from going through the Injury Management process.
- Rehabilitation Programs have to be set in consultation with the injured workers and their treaters.
- Managers are not to attend medical examinations.
CAN AUSTRALIA POST CHANGE
THEIR LONG-STANDING CULTURE IN THE TREATMENT OF INJURED WORKERS?
We need to make them for the sake of our injured members. Please report any poor behaviour to the Union office on 9600 9100
Authorised by Leroy Lazaro Branch Secretary
Increase to Retail Shoe Allowance
In a win for retail members the shoe allowance will be increased to $128 per annum. This will allow retail members, who are on their feet all day, the ability to purchase quality footwear. The new allowance will commence from April 1st. Well done to all members who have assisted us with this outcome.
If you have any questions on the application of this allowance contact your retail organiser Cindy Shelley on 0407 334 397
My Health Record
MEMBERS URGED TO CAREFULLY CONSIDER THE IMPACT OF MY HEALTH RECORD
Under a new Federal Government initiative, every Australian will shortly receive an online digital record of their medical history.
The My Health Record system, by default, records all interactions between patients and their medical practitioners, including test and pathology data, and is accessible by any health care provider who may be involved in your care.
This would include employer nominated doctors who may be conducting pre-employment medical evaluations, but, , those who may be examining sick and injured workers for the purpose of determining a workers’ compensation claim – including medical information unrelated to the claimed illness or injury.
Today, should an employer seek to access medical information unrelated to the injury or illness claimed as workers’ compensation, they must first obtain explicit permission from the employee with a medical release authority.
Therefore, your branch is strongly urging all members to carefully consider how this access to your medical information may impact employment related matters in the above scenarios.
Your branch believes access to this crucial medical information should not be permitted for employment related matters, full stop.
Submissions to a recent Parliamentary Inquiry in to the My Health Record heard from experts about concerns related to employment along with governance and privacy overall, along with a criticism of the technology being used to underpin the system and the lack of public communication about being able to opt out of having a digital record created.
A range of privacy and security controls allows individuals to restrict access to certain information contained within their digital record.
Your branch is urging all members to carefully consider those access controls. Information on available restrictions and how to enable them can be found at this web page:
For members who wish to opt out of having a digital record altogether, you have until 15 November 2018 to do so. Following this cut-off, every Australian will get a My Health Record.
To opt out, visit the following web page:
Authorised Holiday Arrangements
Authorised Holiday declared for December 31st
Authorised Day to be declared on Monday 31 December 2018
All employees entitled to the Authorised day to be provided with an Expression of Interest (EOI) , and asked to nominate their preferred option as below.
Option 1: work the Authorised Day (with payment being in accordance with applicable "public holiday" penalty rates); or
Option 2: take the Authorised Day off on 31 December 2018 (with payment being in accordance with applicable ordinary rates); or
Option 3: bank an "Authorised Day credit", to be taken at an alternative, locally agreed date (with payment, when taken, being in accordance with applicable ordinary rates).
AP have agreed that if option 3 is chosen that there will be no expiry date on the "Authorised Day credit"
Mail and Parcel Processing facilities: reduced normal public holiday roster (80- 100%) on the Authorised Day, with no deliveries on New Year's Day. Processing facilities to operate according to normal public holiday arrangements, with respect to which will be negotiated with your branch as part of usual Christmas Arrangements. Parcel Processing Facilities will work a public holiday roster on Saturday 28 December 2018 to cater for Boxing Day volumes, which will be reviewed closer to the date - if volumes do not warrant this, a Sunday roster will be implemented.
Transport: normal public holiday arrangements will apply on the Authorised Day.
Delivery: reduced public holiday roster (approximately 50-80%) - if the network does not have sufficient volunteers through the EOI to work the Authorised Day, the network may then consider asking posties to work Saturday 29 December 2018.
Mail Centres will work a normal Saturday roster, which will be consulted with your branch in line with usual Christmas Arrangements.
Retail: relevant key carding locations to be open on the Authorised Day, and staffed by volunteers where possible. For Retail, the EOI will be provided to employees at relevant key carding locations as well as nearby facilities, to enable employees at closed outlets to express interest and volunteer to work the Authorised Day at an open outlet.
A list of relevant key carding locations is currently being developed and will be provided to your branch prior to the EOI opening.
Customer Call Centres: approximately 85% of normal staffing levels for the Authorised Day.
In all cases above, where there are insufficient volunteers available to meet the operational requirements for the Authorised Day, Australia Post will have further discussions with your branch.
The union recommends that you have a day off on the Authorised Holiday. We fought hard to win it many years ago.
It is especially important now that management in Victoria are attempting to stop employees being granted leave in late December and early January.
However it is a matter of choice and some members may wish to avail of the opportunity to earn extra income if avaliable.
EAMB Meeting on 13th July 2018
Report Back on EMAB dispute's meeting
DELIVERY SHOP-STEWARDS & MEMBERS BULLETIN
Meeting on EAMBs – 13 July 2018
The union (Joan Doyle, Martin O’Nea (Delivery Organisers), Mark Hennessy (the union’s OHS Advisor) & three shop-stewards - Enzo Mannuzza (Templestowe DC), Diana Grey (Mornington DC) and Rob Critch (Airport West DC) met with Australia Post (Vance Duke – State Manager, Tracey Smith, Michael Otteraa, Stephen Hehir (Enterprise Safety), Jamie Hamilton-Cox (Assets Manager), Monique Kokich (HR) to talk about the implementation of round conversions to EAMBs (electric bikes).
A written agreement is still to be provided but the union wants to consult delivery delegates about this agreement. Many issues were canvassed but the main issues were as follows:
1.Working Party to be Set Up
Management agreed to establish a working party of posties with special skills and interest in electric bikes.This group will be tasked with making suggestions of how to make the electric bikes ‘fit for purpose” and with making suggestions about PPE and uniform for push-bike posties.
IF YOU HAVE ANYONE AT YOUR DC WHO WOULD BE GOOD ON THIS GROUP PLEASE FORWARD THEIR NAMES TO JOAN OR MARTIN OR THE UNION OFFICE ASAP.
2.Assessment of Rounds
Where there is disagreement with management or the local National Delivery Modelling Tool meeting’s assessment of which rounds are suitable for conversion or with for example, the length of the EAMB round, posties can appeal the Decision to a Review Panel made up of management and the union.
Management agreed that if individual posties had ‘genuine’ reasons not to convert to an EAMB round that they would not be coerced to convert to an EAMB.These may be medical reasons or may relate to exposure risks or other practical reasons.Again, an appeal right would exist to the Review Panel.
4.Reverting to your motor-bike mode of delivery if you give the EAMB a try and don’t want to proceed.
Management said it was current practice to allow posties to change-over in an eight week period i.e. posties can use their motor-bikes if they are sore or it is a heavy day until the posties are ‘work-hardened.’ The union asked that posties be allowed to remain on their motor-bikes if they have tried the EAMB and couldn’t get comfortable using it.The union started off suggesting a 2 week trial period while management wanted to have an 8 week trial period.WE WOULD LIKE YOUR VIEWS ON WHAT WOULD BE A REASONABLE TRIAL PERIOD.
5.Upgrades to existing EAMBs
If posties are on older models of the EAMBs and need to upgrade for some reason, they need to provide their names to the union office with an explanation of why they need an upgrade.
Authorised: Leroy Lazaro Branch Secretary
For further information ring the union office: 9387 0189
Joan Doyle: 0419 345 134; Martin O’Nea: 0437 409 770
Letter to AP on forced eAMB Rollout
15th June 2018
E Commerce Delivery
Dandenong Letters Centre
120 Nathan Road
DANDENONG SOUTH VIC 3175
Attention: Tracey Smith
Dear Mr Duke
Re: Implementation of e AMB Conversions
The union is fielding many complaints about the accelerated and widespread introduction of e AMBs. We believe that the implementation approach is causing unnecessary barriers.
We have been dismayed about the local notification of the 'new approach'. To successfully implement this change we need rounds to be properly assessed and each postie to be assessed as to whether this mode of delivery is appropriate for them. We also need the pasties to be ergonomically fitted to their bikes. To have Managers coming out at Toolbox meetings saying that all rounds are to be converted post-haste (e.g. Manager at Nunawading DC this week declared all rounds will be converted) is not helpful and is a breach of our consultation rights in the Enterprise Agreement.
There are already some rounds that have been converted that are inappropriate either because of size or terrain e.g. Round 41 at Ferntree Gully Delivery Centre. These problems need to be fixed to restore confidence in the process.
It is of no value to convert rounds 'willy nilly' and to end up with other safety problems e.g. serious muscular skeletal problems from riding bikes not suited to the pasties stature, of injuries caused by repetitive peak force incidents because there are no made footpaths and rolled gutters.
The union is seeking to set up a consultative group to review problems identified during the implementation of the roll-out of eAMBs.
We are also seeking a commitment to issue red step-through bikes to pasties who are currently on uncomfortable yellow eAMBs and retrofitted AMBs and want to elect to upgrade. We have come across quite a number of pasties who are having difficulty getting on and offthe older bikes and this is a serious WHS concern.
We are also seeking an understanding of what management believe are rounds that can only be delivered on a motor-bike. This could reduce the amount of disputation out in Delivery Centres.
We are also seeking a commitment that management will show some respect to the older pasties who do not believe they are physically capable of pedalling on an eAMB and who want to remain on their motor-bikes until they retire in a few years' time.
I look forward to your prompt response.
Letter to CEO Christine Holgate regarding AMP and Superannuation for Accumulation members.
Ms Christine Holgate
Managing director and group CEO
111 Bourke St
20th April 2018
I am writing on behalf of our members to voice our concerns regarding the disturbing news from the Royal Commission into the Banking Sector regarding the exposure of practices at AMP.
Our members who are in the default AMP accumulation Superannuation fund have potentially been exposed to unacceptable risk. I am sure that you are as perturbed by these revelations as we are.
We would ask that you undertake a review of AMP’s status as the default Superannuation fund and also examine the circumstances of how and why AMP was appointed in the first place. We would be extremely concerned if commissions have been paid to individuals and or if there were improper business arrangements between Australia Post and AMP to gain the default fund status.
Our Branch’s preferred default fund has always been for an Industry Fund to be appointed. Take Australian Super, one of the biggest Industry Fund as an example. Workers in the Australian Super default option would have been far better off in regards to both returns and fees and charges, than being in AMP.
- Australian Super Balanced
Over last 5 Years 12.44% p.a.
- AMP Balanced
Over last 5 Years 7.39% p.a.
- Australian Super Conservative
Over last 5 Years 9.26% p.a.
- AMP Conservative
Over last 5 Years 4.12% p.a.
Not withstanding the unethical practices of AMP outlined at the Royal Commission, the above figures clearly show that the Australia Post accumulation fund members would have been far better off over the past 5 years in an Industry Fund and that is reason enough to end AMP’s status as the default accumulation fund. This is a benefit that Australia Post can offer employees without any cost to the corporation.
I look forward to your initial response and have full confidence that you will do all you can to deal with this issue
Communication Workers Union
Public Holiday Rostering
The Fair Work Act 2009 ( s114) states that an employer may request an employee to work on a public holiday if the request is reasonable. Likewise, the employee can refuse to work on a public holiday if the request from the employer is not reasonable or the refusal by the employee is reasonable.
In the former situation, the onus of proof is on the employer, while in the latter it is on the employee(s). There is nothing in the Act to support the idea that employees can only be requested to volunteer to work on public holidays or that work on public holidays is prohibited.
How do you determine whether an employer’s request — or an employee’s refusal — is reasonable?
The Fair Work Commission’s test is as follows:
· the nature of the employer’s workplace and the employee’s work
· the employee’s personal circumstances, including family/carer responsibilities
· whether the employee could reasonably expect the employer might request work on the public holiday
· whether the employee is entitled to receive overtime or other penalty payments or other compensation that reflects the expectation to work on public holidays
· the type of employment of the employee (e.g. full-time, part-time, casual or a shift worker)
· the amount of notice given by the employer when making a request
· the amount of notice given by the employee when refusing a request.
The relevance of each of these factors and the weight to be given to each will vary according to the particular circumstances. In some cases, a single factor will be of great importance and outweigh all others, while in others there will be a balancing exercise between factors.
Where an employee is employed in a workplace that requires a certain level of staffing on a public holiday and has been given warning of the likelihood of being required to work on public holidays, a request by an employer to work may be considered reasonable.
On the other hand, a refusal by an employee of a request to work on a public holiday may be reasonable where, for example, the employee has notified the employer in advance that he or she will not be able to work on the public holiday because of family responsiblities .
Family responsiblities may include
- Caring for children
- Travel with family
- Family social events
- Looking after elderly family members
If you are asked to work on a public holiday but are unable to due to family responsibilties , ensure you give management sufficient notice after the request to work has been made.
Remember that if you do work any public holidays then ensure you receive the public holiday loading of 250% and do not be conned into swapping any public holidays, including the Authorised Holiday, for another day later down the track.
Contact us directly on 03 9387 0189 if you need any further advice.
Another milestone for our Keep Me Posted campaign
Department of Treasury calls for submissions into banning charges for paper based bills and statements
The Department of Treasury has called for submissions on four options regarding fees/charges for paper based bills and statements in the latest milestone for our Keep Me Posted campaign.The options range from doing nothing to banning all fees/charges for consumers who wish to recieve their bills and statements via the traditional mail service. Members would be well aware of the increasing number of companies who charge a fee to tell Australians how much they owe!
Your Branch will be making a formal submission and we are urging members to do the same.Outlawing these unfair charges will increase the number of letters sent and will help protect your jobs
If you are involved with any community/advocate groups then please encourage them to make a submisson as well.
Here is the link to the Treasury submission page and the consultation paper that canvass the four options.
Submissions close on December 22nd
Federal Court AWOTE Superannuation Judgement
Unfortunately, the Federal Court did not rule in our favour on any of our 3 claims and has dismissed our Application.
Members would be aware of the decision by Ahmed Fahour that was implemented in July 2014 to cease AWOTE indexation thereby freezing the Final Annual Salary of 17,000 out of the 24,000 employees in the defined benefit Australia Post Superannuation Scheme.
To quote Justice Mortimer's Conclusion:
“This outcome may appear to give Australia Post some impunity for the way in which, without direct consultation with its own employees, it removed a superannuation entitlement of considerable benefit to a large number of employees, and which had been in place for a long time. The timing of Australia Post’s decision-making, so soon after the approval of the enterprise agreement, could certainly have been seen by employees as involving some deliberate withholding of information from them. At the least, it was far from good industrial practice. However, it was not a contravention of the law in any of the ways alleged by the applicants in this proceeding.”
This Decision is very bad news for members, but we are not giving up. We intend lobbying our parliamentary representatives about this retrospective attack on the retirement income of lower paid workers.
Thanks to Glenn Farley, Mick Walters and Gary Cleland, the members who helped bring the claim.
We will be arranging a meeting of affected members shortly to discuss this lobbying and any other further options.
Secretary CWU Victoria
Please find a link to the Decision below
Your Authorised Holiday under attack.Again !
The ink is not even dry on the recent EBA and Australia Post are up to their old tricks again. Recent communications from AP indicate that they are attempting to make a move on your hard won and worked for Authorised Holiday at Christmas time.
In typical fashion AP talk about giving you “choice” but your choice was made clear during EBA negotiations when the vast majority of Victorian members resolutely rejected the concept of adding this important day to your annual leave and it losing it’s importance.
EBA 9 is clear on the issue.
Clause 29 Public holidays
29.1 Designated Holidays
The following days will be observed as public holidays:
(a) New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Easter Saturday, Easter Monday, Christmas Day and Boxing Day; and
(b) the following days, as prescribed in the relevant States, Territories and localities: (i) Australia Day; (ii) Anzac Day; (iii) Queen’s Birthday; and (iv) Eight Hours’ Day or Labour Day; and
(c) in addition to the holidays prescribed in clauses 29.1(a) and 29.1(b), the following days shall be observed as holidays:
(i) New South Wales: An Authorised Holiday on the same day as determined by Australia Post to apply nationally;
(ii) Victoria: Melbourne Cup Day or local equivalent;
(iii) Queensland: Royal National Show or the day gazetted for the local show in the appropriate area;
(iv) South Australia: Adelaide Cup Day;
(v) Western Australia: Foundation Day;
(vi) Tasmania: Royal Hobart Regatta (Southern Tasmania) or Recreation Day (Northern Tasmania); (vii) Northern Territory: Picnic Day;
(viii) ACT: Canberra Day
DO NOT BE BLUFFED OR BULLIED!
Remember that with the current status of the Authorised Holiday, if you volunteer to work on the day you receive public holiday rates – 250%.
The EBA is clear that the day must be observed nationally.
Between Christmas and New Years’ is the ideal time. Many businesses are either closed or running with a skeleton staff and there many people on holidays with their families.
The Authorised Holiday is in the correct place already!
You all work very hard during the peak period and many are unable to avail of annual leave during December.
Your Authorised Holiday, that provides you with that little bit extra time with your own families, is off limits as far as we are concerned and you should let local management know that and remind them of what the EBA says on the matter.
Leroy Lazaro Branch Secretary
DELIVERY NIGHT-SHIFT CHANGES PROPOSED
DELIVERY NIGHT-SHIFT CHANGES PROPOSED
Management have announced major changes to Delivery Night-shift.
They wish to reduce night-shift operations to the following Delivery Centres:
- Port Melbourne
- Airport West
- Sunbury &
- North Geelong / Corio
In additional to this re-structure, they are looking to down-size. They believe about a third of Night-shift sorters are surplus.
This change is a consequence of the introduction of the new letter-sorting technology which allows the round-sorting of large letters. Management have released an Expression of Interest form which has been distributed to night-sorters.
The union is sceptical about the need to eliminate all other night-shift operations. There are large night-shifts operating at Mooroolbark, Moorabbin and Hoppers Crossing DCs that it would make sense to retain. We are concerned that the extra work in de-canting and distributing sequenced and round-sorted large letter mail and small parcels has been under-estimated.
(Small parcels going to Delivery increased by 46% last year, and 88% in the last month).
We are concerned about the long-distances some operations are being asked to shift (e.g. Templestowe, Mooroolbark and Deepdene are supposed to relocate to DLC and Brighton is supposed to go to Port Melbourne).
We have not been informed how the residue work sorted at the large DCs will reach the smaller DCs in time for delivery and just who will deliver this mail.
Organisers are currently visiting night-shift operations to discuss options with members. In the meantime, feel free to ring the union office (9600 9100) or Joan (0419 345 134) (any time if the matter is urgent, but preferably between 5am and midnight).
We would advise night-shift members to remember that
- there are no compulsory redundancies
- a reasonable redeployment is usually one with the same pay-rate and shift-time and within 30 kms and/or 30 minutes
- that you do not have to fill in an Expression of Interest at all but
- if you would really like to work at Melbourne Gateway Facility you should declare your interest immediately as there are only about 13 or 14 jobs available there
- if you are actively seeking a Voluntary Redundancy Package (VRP) now then make your interest known
- if your operations are slated to go to one DC but you would prefer to go to another, then make that known asap.
- Don’t panic; we believe this process will be done with consultation and that implementation of this stage of night-shift changes may take until November before they are completed.
Day-shift PDOs dreaming of a consequential VRP should apply to the Swaps Register (Contact Post People 1st 9107 1308).
Postal News Bulletin 13th July
EBA9 BALLOT RESULT
The results are in and a majority of Australia Post staff have supported the EBA9 offer from Australia Post. Almost 60% of employees eligible to vote returned their ballots. 74% of employees nationally voted ‘yes’.
Australia Post workers in Victoria rejected the deal with 55% voting ‘NO’.
In the run up to the ballot, CWU members in Victoria were clear that the proposed offer was unacceptable and asked the Branch to conduct a Vote No campaign. A random survey conducted by your Branch saw 75% of members wishing to take some form of industrial action in order to secure a better outcome (21% were unsure and and 4% were unwilling.)
Despite, the mother of all scare campaigns waged by Australia Post management and others, Victoria returned the highest NO VOTE recorded over the last 3 EBA’s.
EBA9 VICTORIAN MEMBER SURVEYS AND FEEDBACK
Members were clear on the issues that were important:removing the Superannuation FAS freeze, ensuring ALL operational staff are paid equally, guaranteeing shift penalty rates and a decent pay rise fully built into your hourly rate. None of these were a part of EBA9 offer.
The support in other State branches for the EBA, would have been due in part to the issue of Payroll Deductions. A number of branches outside Victoria have a significant proportion of their membership on Payroll Deductions and any threats from Australia Post to remove such would have had influence.
At the end of EBA8 Australia Post removed Payroll Deductions from your Branch as payback because your branch did not support EBA8 (due in part to inadequate Superannuation guarantees) and although it was a hit at the time, with strong member support we recovered and Australia Post no longer have any access to membership details and can no longer threaten the finances of your Branch.
POOR NATIONAL CAMPAIGN
Victorians were disappointed at the less than whole-hearted campaign run by the national union office.
The first signs of the campaign going off the rails was an email from the Divisional Secretary to the head of HR on 26 October, 2016 setting 3 EBA negotiation meetings before Xmas and then suggesting “resuming in February some time.” So much for achieving a back to back Agreement!
We were also worried about the fact that the Victorian Secretary was excluding from a meeting about the wage offer with Ahmed Fahour on 25 January 2017.
The Victorian representatives tried to get the EBA campaign back on track at a meeting of the Divisional Executive held on March 30, 2017 by moving a motion directing the Divisional Secretary to take action in the Fair Work Commission to secure a Protected Industrial Action Ballot. This was supported unanimously! The Divisional Secretary took no action, and only stirred himself and the national office officials, to go out with management to Victorian workplaces to sell a Yes Vote!
Our fight to fully represent your issues goes on and campaigns such as “Keep me Posted” that advocate for outlawing charging for paper based bills and statements will continue.
We need decent care for injured workers and to stop the unequal treatment of 6.30am start posties. Full enforcement of EBA terms and conditions will as always be a top priority.
With other mailing industry Unions such as the AMWU and CFMEU PPW we will be seeking a meeting with the new CEO as soon as Christine Holgate moves into the role in October. We will be putting the case for returning Australia Post to the position of the world’s best postal service. We will also be raising the other issues that were not secured in EBA 9.
Victorian members can hold their heads high for the fight you showed during the EBA campaign. You did not succumb to the biggest scare campaign ever waged on postal workers in this country and it is an honor and a privilege to represent you all.
It’s that time of year again. Remember that your Union dues are tax deductible and you may also be able to claim a deduction for the difference between any meal allowances that you receive and the meal allowance rate that is set by the taxation office which is currently $29.40. Discuss this with your Tax agent/Accountant. Shop Stewards and HSR’s may also be able to claim extra deductions for our of pocket expenses if they are related to your employment. Again discuss this with your Tax agent/accountant.
APSS AND AWOTE FEDERAL COURT CASE
We still await the result from the Court Case about APSS and the indexation of Final Annual Salary by AWOTE against Fahour’s decision that has seen the Final Annual Salary (FAS) for 17,000 of 24,000 employees frozen. Your branch took action in the Federal court on behalf of Victorian members and the case was heard at the end of March. A verdict is due any day now.
Authorised: Leroy Lazaro, Branch Secretary
EBA Vote no
EBA9 vote no
VOTE NO TO A PAY-CUT (IN REAL TERMS)
Ahmed is offering a pay-rise of 0.5%* in September & 1.5%** in December each year.
The CPI is already 2.1% and rising. It is expected to be at least 2.5% next year.
- *0.5% for a base level postal worker on the top increment and with 15% penalty rates =14.5 cents per hour or $5.33 per week
- It is equal to 11. cents per hour or $4.15 per week for a postal worker on the first increment without penalty rates.
- **1.5% for a base level postal worker on the top increment and with 15% penalty rates = 43.7 cents per hour or $16.06 per week
- It is equal to34.08 cents per hour or $12.52per week for a postal worker on the first increment without penalty rates.
VOTE NO – YOU DESERVE A REAL PAY-RISE
Australia Post has declared a $197 million profit for the half-year. We are done with tightening our belts. Remember EBA 7 with the three years of 1 ½ %. Remember the CEO’s and the General Managers pay hikes.
DON’T BE MISLED
MYTH 1: There is a government directive. For the government policy to apply to Australia Post the share-holder Ministers would have to issue a Ministerial directive. This has not been done as confirmed during the Senate Estimates hearing (24/5/17). There is a considerable political cost for the Government if they did this. It is selfevident that the policy does not apply because of the bonus on offer and the huge pay-hikes claimed by Executives.
MYTH 2: You will lose the RRR Agreement or your conditions.
EBA 8 continues on until a new EBA is voted up. A majority of staff would have to agree to giving-up our RRRAgreement and other entitlements. This is not going to happen!
MYTH 3. A Bonus is as good as a pay-rise.
The bonus on offer has strings attached to it and is therefore not guaranteed. It does not count for salary (e.g.allowances, penalties or over-time) or for Superannuation purposes. Once taxed and spent it is gone! The facts ofthe matter are that given the expected cost of living increases, if postal workers accept this offer we will have lower salaries in 2020 than we have now.
MYTH 4: You can’t do better.
We can and must do better. This offer is worse than even the government’s policy because most of it is paid at the end of each year. The last 1 ½ % will only be paid for the last few weeks of the agreement. We need to pursue better protection for retail, secure our penalty rates, including for newer starters and make sure that the value of our Superannuation is restored.
EBA9 - VOTE NO TO A PAY-CUT
EBA 9 covers 2017, 2018 & 2019.
Ahmed is offering a pay-rise of 0.5%* in September & 1.5%** in December each year. The CPI is already 2.1% and rising. It is expected to be at least 2.5% next year. *0.5% for a base level postal worker on the top increment and with 15% penalty rates =14.5 cents per hour or $5.33 per week
It is equal to 11. cents per hour or $4.15 per week for a postal worker on the first increment without penalty rates. **1.5% for a base level postal worker on the top increment and with 15% penalty rates = 43.7 cents per hour or $16.06 per week
It is equal to34.08 cents per hour or $12.52per week for a postal worker on the first increment without penalty rates.
VOTE NO – YOU DESERVE A REAL PAY-RISE
- REVISED OFFER - Australia Post have made small adjustments to their offer
- SURVEY - Union member survey about EBA offer
- EBA OUT TO A VOTE - We assume Aust Post will ask employees to vote on the EBA proposal.
If there are no changes to the current position from Australia Post, the Victorian Branch of the union STRONGLY RECOMMENDS THAT YOU VOTE NO.
EBA9 - UPDATE 21 MARCH 2017
- AHMED ROADSHOW - offered a "One Team Reward"
- THE MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR MAN - real reason for CEO departure
- EBA9 CLAIMS & GOVERNMENT POLICY - caps EBA pay rise
- FOCUS GROUPS - employee testing of EBA9
- NEXT STEPS - reject current offer prepare for protected action ballot
EBA9 - MEMBERS HAVE 3 ISSUES TO CONSIDER:
- FEDERAL GOVERNMENT BARGAINING POLICY - The Turnbull bargaining policy for the Public Service and Government Business Enterprises including Australia Post, is designed to limit or reduce entitlements that already exist in EBA8 and places a cap on pay rises that can be negotiated.
- AUSTRALIA POST CLAIMS - Australia Post have put 8 claims on the table and while 1 or 2 of these claims just amount to little more than tidying up the wording in the agreement the majority seem to be seeking an open cheque book for a range of issues.
- WINNING OUR CLAIMS - Your branch has submitted a number of claims on behalf of Victorian members that were identified from our member survey.
EBA9 NEXT STEPS
SUPERANNUATION COURT CASE
MEMBERS MEETING - Saturday, March 4th, 12 Noon
Union Office, 75 Melville Road, Brunswick West.
EBA9 Victorian Member Survey 1st
Members will be aware that the current Fair Work Agreement EBA8 expires on 31stt of December 2016. Negotiations for the new EBA should be starting anytime from the middle of August to the middle of September. Your branch is conducting a survey of the Victorian Membership so that we are well placed to put your issues on the table.
It's your EBA and it's essential that all Members take part in what is probably the most important EBA you will see in your time with Australia Post.
The survey is available for download >
and online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/X8JHFDX
You can also access through the facebook page https://www.facebook.com/CWU-Postal-Telecommunication-Branch-of-Victoria-216517875215594/
We have also posted out the survey and distributed via workplace visits and your local delegates. Let us know if you have any ideas or want to play a role in the campaign.
EBA9 Victorian Member Survey 2nd
Your Union needs to hear from you - EBA9 membership survey
The Victorian Branch has already commenced its EBA9 campaign and posted out the 1st EBA9 survey (below) to all members. Thanks to the hundreds of members who have returned their surveys. For those members who have not completed the first survey here is another opportunity to complete the 2nd survey and return it to the CWU P&T.
The second survey will be sent to you in the mail shortly, and is also available for download >
Authorised Holiday under attack Again!
7 September, 2016 Just over three years ago to the day, during EBA8 negotiations, Australia Post laid out its proposal to remove the Authorised Holiday (Union Picnic Day) and allocate employees with an additional Recreation Leave day instead. The proposal didn’t go very far. Members reacted immediately and in large numbers....
Union EBA9 Campaign Kicks Off
EBA9 campaign survey packs are in the mail. Over the next week members will receive a campaign survey pack in the mail containing an EBA9 Union member survey with a reply paid envelope to return it to your Victorian Branch. As your Union commences its campaign to deliver.... Read More>
An EBA9 that delivers for postal workers and their families.
As Australia Post embarks on yet more changes, it's more important than ever to ensure that our members are not forgotten and left behind in the process.
That’s why your Union will fight for an EBA9 that delivers the job security, the safety and the pay that postal workers and their families expect, deserve and rely upon.
Contact the Victorian Branch on 03 9387 0189 for union membership application forms and Reply Paid envelopes. Or use the Contact Us > link to order or share your thoughts with us.