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2019-03-27

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Australia Post Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy Roll-Out

You may be aware of the impending roll out of Australia Post’s new Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) Policy through briefings which may have occurred already occurred at your workplace. Australia Post has maintained the policy’s intention is to address safety risks to promote a safer overall working environment for our members. 

Whilst your Union cannot and will not prevent the introduction of initiatives that aim to make our workplaces safer, we have actively engaged in consultation over the past two years to mitigate against unintended and unfair consequences to our members. As such, we have worked through many disagreements over the substance and procedures of Post’s proposal. 

Australia Post has been determined in their prerogative to introduce their policy – our objective throughout consultation has been ensuring the final policy provided transparency and procedural fairness to members. 

We have focused on ensuring the policy achieves outcomes through appropriate training, awareness, counselling and support – prior to the commencement of any disciplinary action. Further, we have been vocal in seeking equality, safeguards and protections to ensure members are not unfairly and inappropriately targeted. 

We are confident that our concerns have been heard – the policy detail reflects this, for the most part, and Australia Post have committed for management to lead by example. The most senior manager on site will be expected to submit themselves for testing when it occurs at their facility. Where they have been tested in the previous six months, the next most senior manager will be tested, in place. Additionally, all levels of management will be included as part of the random selection process for testing at facilities, regardless. 

However, Australia Post are yet to disclose how and when the disciplinary process may be invoked, and to what extent it may be applied. This, we are extremely critical of – it is unacceptable and should’ve been finalised well in advance of any briefings occurring in workplaces. 

As such, we are continuing to engage in consultation with management to ensure the disciplinary process is not abused. Once the policy is implemented, we will be watching the process extremely closely – ready to engage in any and all options available to us to lawfully ensure this. 

Prior to any testing commencing at your workplace, all staff will undergo comprehensive training to ensure the policy and its procedures are clearly understood. 

Should any testing occur at your workplace prior to receiving training, please contact your State Branch Office for immediate assistance.

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