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2013-11-29

Australia Post - Your pay

Postal eBulletin 2013 - #21

  1. Your Pay
  2. Australia Post award modernisation
  3. Senate to hold urgent inquiry into Australia Post
  4. Australia Post franchisees set to go postal over parcel delivery costs
  5. Three Australia Post employees reinstated by FWC with back pay
  6. Audit reveals discrepancies in leave balances
  7. National Delivery Modelling Tool roadshow
  8. Scanner in Delivery - non compliance
  9. Town stunned and angry to lose only post office
  10. The human cost of Walmart
  11. Philippines Typhoon Haiyan Appeal - Please make a donation

1. Your Pay

We have received many hundreds of petitions from staff supporting our call for an additional pay rise. The claim is based on four essential planks:

Post can afford it - it got away with a non-union agreement by crying poor.

Post had a great profit result after the non-union EBA was approved - no wonder it was rushed by Post!

Post like to play Santa each Xmas with some form of bonus - this time we want it to be significant and permanent in the form of a pay rise - not a handout.

The CEO has a 70% pay rise - this years 1.5% is not even up with inflation!

Keep those petitions coming to us. We want the CEO to know that you deserve more!

2. Australia Post award modernisation

The development of a modern enterprise award for Post is a major item on the CWU's national agenda before the end of this year. The union will seek to develop a modern enterprise award to replace the four enterprise awards covering Post. Post has indicated its strong desire to have a modern enterprise award.

 

A modern enterprise award will provide the safety net for future enterprise bargaining agreements. Australia Post, the CWU and other Post unions have had preliminary discussions about award modernisation. A meeting to discuss constructing a modern award is expected soon.

Ultimately it is the Fair Work Commission which has the power to determine the content of the new enterprise award. But it is obviously best if the proposed award has the support of all those involved in developing it.

3. Senate to hold urgent inquiry into Australia Post

Following complaints from Australia Post franchisees around the country, the Senate will hold an urgent inquiry into Australia Post. Independent Senator for South Australia, Nick Xenophon, together with Victorian DLP Senator John Madigan, and Queensland LNP Senator Ron Boswell, jointly moved for an inquiry with the terms of reference being:

a) the overall performance, importance and role of Australia Post in Australian communities, and the challenges it faces in the immediate and longer term;

b) the operations of Australia Post in relation to Licensed Post Offices (LPOs), with particular reference to:

i) the importance and role of the LPO network in the Australian postal system, with particular reference to regional and remote areas

ii) the licensing and trading conditions applicable to LPOs, including the Community Service Obligations, and any effects these may have on operating an LPO business, and

iii) marketing, retail and trading arrangements between Australia Post and LPOs and other entities; and

c) any related matters.

The inquiry will be held by the Senate Environment and Communications Legislation Committee and must report by Wednesday 11 December 2013.

There are almost 3000 Licensed Post Offices (LPO's) around the country - 75% of the Australia Post network - with many of them doing it tough because of the payment system in place. For instance, the cost of handling and delivery a parcel can be several times higher than the payment the LPO receives from Australia Post, Nick Xenophon said. (See the copy below for more on LPO complaints below)

"It's a bizarre business model, where the busier you are, the more money you lose", Nick Xenophon said. "These LPO's are a key part of the fabric of most communities - it they collapse it will have a massive impact".

We will put submissions that the corporate Retail outlets are even more important and Post needs to do more to reduce unpaid overtime, concentrate on service rather than measuring staff. Further, Post should not reduce standards in the rural and regional areas such as Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo, Gippsland, Wollongong, Central Coast, Bathurst, Wagga, Albury, Casino and Kempsey.

The Committee has invited the CWU to provide a written submission addressing issues that may be of relevance to the union and its members. Individuals can also provide submissions. These should be lodged by 25 November 2013 given short timeline later submissions may be accepted. Submissions can be sent online https://senate.aph.gov.au/submissions/pages/logon.aspx. Alternatively, submissions may be emailed as an attached document to ec.sen@aph.gov.au

4. Australia Post franchisees set to go postal over parcel delivery costs

Post franchisees are threatening to sue the government agency over cost increases in parcel deliveries. Licensed Post Office Group spokeswoman Angela Cramp says more than 500 franchisees are grouping together to fight for changes to the way Australia Post reimburses its 2895 franchisees for handling parcels. The group is set to meet this week with two federal senators, independent Nick Xenophon and the Nationals' Ron Boswell.

Post has responded to franchisees by increasing the reimbursement for parcel delivery "by around 75% for all of our licensees", said Post spokeswoman Michelle Skehan. She said letter volumes had dropped by a billion in five years.

Franchisees are paid 29 cents a parcel under a pricing structure in place since 1993, said Cramp, and under the newer scheme will be reimbursed 22 cents extra. But she said the barriers to claiming the extra reimbursement were too high, as it only applied to certain contractors with hand-held scanners. She said franchisees were dealing with parcels for six to eight hours a day and the extra money amounted to between $20 and $40 a week.

Cramp said to continue running her two post office franchises in Wollongong and the only post office in the outback New South Wales town of Lightning Ridge, she has sold her own properties. "The world's changed and Australia Post needs to be accountable for the private arm that they've already sold off."

Skehan said the franchisees are critical to providing key services in local communities, particularly in regional and remote areas. "Over half are run in conjunction with another business," said Skehan. "As letter volumes continue to sharply decline with one billion less letters sent than five years ago, we continue to work with our licensees and their representatives to identify and provide new sources of revenue." These include Australian Taxation Office services, reloadable payment cards, travel insurance and sweets, she said.

This story first appeared on SmartCompany.

5. Three Australia Post employees reinstated by FWC with back pay

Three Australia Post employees fired in 2010 for sending inappropriate emails sent to them by managers have been reinstated by the Fair Work Commission (FWC).

The ruling follows an earlier ruling in September that found the workers had been unfairly dismissed from their positions. The earlier ruling determined that even though they had breached Australia Post's IT policy, the workplace had a culture of tolerating such behaviour in the past.

The FWC returned to the case this week to decide what to do with the three workers. It decided to reinstate them. FWC Vice President Michael Lawler said he thought not reinstating the employees would be inappropriate.

The FWC however ruled that the three workers should not receive full back-pay for close to three years off work. "There must be a substantial discount for misconduct for each," Lawler said.

Notwithstanding this, and after deducting money earned elsewhere since their dismissal, the workers were awarded 25% of their back pay resulting in the workers being paid $30,083, $12,096 and $25,442.

In typical Australia Post fashion Post has initiated an appeal to the Federal Court against the decision that the workers were unfairly dismissed.

The union will continue to assist the workers to protect the current decision.

6. Audit reveals discrepancies in leave balances

An audit conducted in August 2013 which spanned a 12 month period identified discrepancies in the leave records of Post employees. Such discrepancies included many instances where an employee has taken leave (paid & unpaid) and the leave balance has not been updated in the SAP system. The approximate numbers of impacted employees by State are listed below:

NSW      1400       SA/NT   250         WA         400

VIC         1050       QLD        750

The leave includes sick leave, recreation leave, long service leave and leave without pay. Post say there are a number of reasons that gave rise to this situation chiefly people and process issues. The impacted employees fall into the following categories:

1. Approved leave events have been processed in SAP and leave balances updated, i.e. with no financial impact.

2. Leave balances adjusted and a positive variation such as for recreation leave loading, i.e. a positive financial impact.

3. An overpayment generated as a result of LWOP or insufficient balances. There is further analysis being undertaken with these scenarios. Once the analysis occurs further advice will be provided to the union.

The union has sought more details and has put the position to Australia Post that no recovery action should be taken where an employee has taken leave based on the incorrect advice from Post. We will keep you advised of the outcome. In the meantime contact you CWU Branch if you have any problems.

7. National Delivery Modelling Tool roadshow

The National Delivery Modelling Tool (NDMT) roadshow has been completed in all major capital cities. The union was represented by Michael Etue from the National Office and the State Secretary and Branch Officials from each State. The NDMT roadshow went to Sydney, Perth, Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne, Launceston and Canberra. Regional cities will be visited in early 2014.

NDMT is a modelling tool that should maximise full time employment. Facility committees will be established in each delivery centre to go through and validate "real time" data on each round. This information will then be fed into the local spreadsheet.

Daily assessments will not take place when NDMT is working in the facility but real time data gathered from the previous 3 months will be used as the base and each month the average indoor and outdoor times will be used. This information will be available on the wall in each centre so there is full transparency of data. Indoor and outdoor times will adjust with volumes.

The committee will be made up of the facility manager, union representative, HSR and interested PDO's. This initiative has been driven through the CEPU National Delivery Forum.

8. Scanner in Delivery - non compliance

The union has been advised that there have been several reports of posties using their scanner when delivering a parcel and the scanner software has not captured the information - with 9 non compliance reports in one day at a Canberra delivery centre. The union has raised this matter with Post. If you have had any similar issues with the scanners please let us know.

9. Town stunned and angry to lose only post office

The Montville Post Office will cease operation on November 1 after a search for a new licensee failed to attract interest. The closure has upset residents who use the Main St post office for banking, and business owners who rely on the PO boxes for stock delivery.

Montville Chamber of Commerce president Shiralee Cooper said residents were still trying to come to grips with the news. "It's going to be a sad day for Montville when the post office closes," she said. "You take these services for granted and they really need to be supported." The post office closure will see 244 PO boxes moved from Montville to Mapleton - at least nine kilometres away.

Pauline Goundrey, who owns a business on Main St, said the closure came as a surprise. "I use the post office every day to collect mail and pick up stock," she said. "We're upset to see it go. I've been in town 33 years and the post office has always been there - it's part of the community."

Ms Goundrey said plenty of businesses relied on the post office for the delivery of stock and mail. We get customers from New Zealand, Canada and England who want things posted overseas," she said. "It (the closure) will be a big inconvenience for everyone," she said. "The town is growing, not getting any smaller." Source of story: local news

10. The human cost of Walmart

What is the story behind the cheap clothing retailed by such global giants as US-based Walmart?

Union Network International (UNI) explores the realities of Walmart's global supply chain, from US retail employees with wages below the poverty line to the super-exploited workers who make the clothes in China and Bangladesh.

The message? The anti-workers strategies of such global corporations can only be countered by global action and cooperation by the labour movement.

See the human cost of Walmart's $5.97 t-shirt at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZC4neLax5o.

11. Philippines Typhoon Haiyan Appeal - Please make a donation

The CWU has donated $6000 to the APHEDA Philippine Typhoon Victim Relief Fund. We have also passed a motion calling on Australia Post to make a substantial donation to the APHEDA Philippine Relief Fund.

Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA is assisting Philippine typhoon victims by providing medical assistance to communities affected by Typhoon Haiyan.

Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines in the early hours of Friday 8 November 2013. It has devastated communities on Samar and Leyte Islands with wind speeds up to 315 km/h and a massive storm surge. Reports suggest at least 10,000 people are dead in the province of Leyte.

Tacloban city, the capital of Leyte province, has been virtually flattened with homes, schools and other infrastructure either blown or washed away. Hundreds of thousands of people have been left homeless.

Typhoon Haiyan, known locally as Typhoon Yolanda, may prove to be the deadliest natural disaster in the history of the Philippines. It is certainly one of the strongest storms ever recorded.

As with most catastrophes, it is the poorest who are hit the hardest. In the Philippines, the shanties of the poor are built on the lowest lying land and are the most susceptible to flooding and storm surges.

How will donations be used?

Funds raised will be directed to one of our partners in the Philippines, Community Medicine Development Foundation (COMMED). COMMED is arranging volunteer doctors, nurses and community health workers from the Philippines to conduct medical and relief missions to affected communities in Eastern Samar province.

The CWU encourages members to make a donation to the APHEDA Appeal.

All donations of $2 or more are tax deductible

How to donate:

Phone:
If you wish to donate by phone, please contact Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA on freecall 1800 888 674.

Post or fax:
You can also download the Donation Form below and post, fax or scan and email the completed form back to us.

Donate online:
If you would like to donate online, please click here and select "One off donation - The Philippines" from the drop down menu in section C. ONE OFF DONATIONS and APPEALS. Continue through to the next page to complete your details and finalise the donation.

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