Retail members across the country are ropeable at management’s continued manipulation of the terms of the new transfer process.
One Victorian PSO, who asked for their identity to be withheld for fear of reprisals, said it was nothing but sour grapes.
“For years we’ve been subjected to management favouritism when filling vacancies in Post Offices.
“How is it that I can be good enough to work in a post office on one side of Melbourne, but not in one on the other side?
“For me, it means around $30 per week difference in my traveling costs and up to two hours per day in travel time — that’s time I could be spending with my kids instead of paying for child care.
“For management, it should make no difference. But, in reality, it means they no longer get to pick and choose who worked the most amount of unpaid overtime, or brown-nosed deep enough, when it comes to deciding who gets to work closer to home, who gets to come off the network relief pool or who gets the next available full-time job.
“It’s all sour grapes. They didn’t want a transfer list from the beginning, they’ve lost all control — that’s why they’re interfering with the process. They just can’t help themselves.”
NSW Branch Official Elly Huttly who, along with NSW Secretary Jim Metcher, successfully secured the reinstatement of a retail transfer process in NSW/ACT, and then extending the process to the rest of Australia, said that there had been continued push back and internal complaining against the transfer process by a handful of middle-level Retail management representatives across the country since the process was introduced earlier this year.
She explained that members were now suddenly being removed from the transfer list completely, or being required to remain in one job for at least six months, despite an opportunity meeting their first preference becoming available, if they had initially accepted placement at one of their second or subsequence preferences.
“For example, a PSO working at the Sydney GPO who resides in Blacktown (approximate travel time of over one hour) may have nominated Blacktown Westpoint Post Office as their first preference, Seven Hills as their second preference and Parramatta Westfield as their third.
“To speed along the process of eventually getting to work as close as possible to their home, this PSO may accept appointment to a vacant role at their second preference, being Seven Hills Post Office in the interim.”
“Under management’s new unilateral determination, this PSO would be required to sit out at least six months at Seven Hills Post Office before being able to be transferred again under the same, original application.
“This means that during that six month period, if an opportunity at their first preferred location or hours of engagement (full time/part time) arises — they miss out.
“In some cases, they’ve been removed from the transfer list completely.
“This isn’t what we discussed and agreed to when developing the guiding principles of the process with Australia Post and it’s totally out of order.
Ms Huttly said this was another example of an out-of-touch management group shifting the goalposts half-way through the game. She went on to describe the practice as discriminatory.
“Many of our PSOs are females, and a majority of them are working mothers.
“To disadvantage them from being able to work closer to home and be closer to their children, for no logical benefit to the business is disgraceful and we won’t stand for it,”
She went on to explain that in some instances, members have even been denied access to enquiring where they sit on the transfer queue for their preferred locations or hours of duty request.
“When we were finalising talks on this Agreement, we specifically moved to ensure members had access to enquiring where they sat in the queue based on their preferences.
“That was agreed to, without hesitation, by Australia Post at the time — they even provided a phone number for members to call to obtain this information.
“There’s no reason as to why that should now change.”
Ms Huttly said that the Union has made formal representations to have the matter resolved.
“We’re determined to ensure that management’s manipulation of the transfer process does not continue.”
If you’re experiencing issues with your Retail transfer request, contact your state Branch Official immediately for assistance.