The Fair Work Act 2009 (
) 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
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.
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
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
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
Management have announced major changes to Delivery Night-shift.
They wish to reduce night-shift operations to the following Delivery Centres:
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
Day-shift PDOs dreaming of a consequential VRP should apply to the Swaps Register (Contact Post People 1st 9107 1308).
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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 NEXT STEPS
SUPERANNUATION COURT CASE
MEMBERS MEETING - Saturday, March 4th, 12 Noon
Union Office, 75 Melville Road, Brunswick West.
EBA9 NEXT STEPS
SUPERANNUATION COURT CASE
MEMBERS MEETING - Saturday, March 4th, 12 Noon
Union Office, 75 Melville Road, Brunswick West.
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.
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 >
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....
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.