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2016-04-28

Retail

New, fair Retail transfer process to enable better work/life balance

Following months of vigorous negotiations, your Union has secured the introduction of a new, fair transfer process to be rolled-out nationally for base-grade Retail PSOs and PDO box sorters.

NSW Branch Secretary Jim Metcher, who led calls for the reintroduction of a Retail transfer list that until a few years ago already applied in NSW and the ACT, said Retail’s predominately female workforce were being unfairly denied in their pursuit of a better work/life balance.

“We’re talking about mothers working on the other side of cities from their kids,” he said.

“Every time a vacancy would occur at a popularly-located post office closer to home or the kids’ schools they’d find themselves competing for the role with up to 50 other applicants.

“Ironically, the 49 who were told they weren’t good enough for the advertised role were always good enough to return to their nominal workplace as soon as the interview was over.”

Mr Metcher also explained that in many cases, Retail employees get their start in high-turnover networks where recruitment and staff retention is difficult. It isn’t long after commencing that many begin contemplating resignation due to the cost of attending for work.

“In some cases, we’ve found PDO box sorters engaged for only three hours a day laying out up to 30% of their weekly take-home pay on public transport fares, tolls or parking just to get to work - It’s ridiculous.”

The new process allows members to register for a transfer from one work location to another, or from part-time to full-time (and vice versa). When a matching vacancy occurs, it will be immediately filled with the next applicant in the transfer queue. Priority in the queue is based on the date they submitted their transfer application – or by seniority for multiple applications submitted on the same date.

National Secretary Greg Rayner said the current merit selection process was flawed and allowed Australia Post to use geographic locations and full-time jobs as an unfair means to drive performance outcomes.

“I don’t care if you’re a PSO at the Melbourne GPO, or in Broken Hill – the job is the same, the competency and training requirements are the same and, importantly; the pay is the same.

“How do you determine which base-grade, competent PSO is better qualified for the same job – at a more desirable location?

“You can’t - and that’s why the process is a sham.”

Mr Rayner said the new process would also remove a constant source of frustration for Postal Managers – the common extended delays in filling vacancies in post offices.

“It’s a win-win for both our base-grade members and for our Postal Managers.

“Base-grade employees get access to a transfer system, and in the absence of what was a long and drawn out recruitment process, Postal Managers will now experience a much more efficient process to fill vacancies in their outlets faster.”

National Assistant Secretary Nicole Robinson said this was the first time many employees would have access to such a system outside NSW and the ACT.

“It’s about fairness,” she said.

“Greg and I have been working closely with the NSW Branch to extend this process nationally - ensuring all our retail members across the country have access to a fairer way to achieve a better work/life balance.

Joint management/Union teleconferences to explain the process to Postal Managers across the country will be taking place over the next fortnight. All Retail members will receive an information pack in the mail shortly - or can download one now by clicking here.

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