Australia Post will begin rolling out their random Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy in Transport. As readers are aware, this is required due to recent legislative requirements.
At a trial run in Sydney last Tuesday several managers and the State transport union organiser were tested.
Australia Post has agreed to ensure that the testing co-ordinator, who will work on the logistics of the testing with the company who performs it, will receive specialised training in issues of addiction and substance abuse. Substance abuse and addictions are health issues and should be treated as such and specialised training for the AOD co-ordinator will give them awareness of these health issues. All State Branches have been involved in the National discussions on these issues and have had every opportunity for full input.
Australia Post has indicated that they wish to roll out the testing to all ‘safety sensitive roles’ and initially wanted to have the policy rolled out further but after representations from your Union they agreed that the legislative requirements should be the initial focus. Information and statistics from the legislative testing in transport will determine the need, if any, for any further roll out and what ‘safety sensitive roles’ may be.
Your National Office will be monitoring the testing as it occurs and Australia Post has agreed to share data with us while bearing in mind privacy concerns.
Given that there are legislative requirements we are compelled to support them but substance abuse issues are health issues and as such must be handled with sensitivity as well as at all times protecting individuals privacy.
While some may try to politicise this issue, your National Office will endeavor to achieve the best balance possible on this sensitive topic.
We welcome member views on this issue and if you have any problems with substance abuse your National office has a list of people who can assist, confidential assistance is available through Australia Post with Davidson Trahare, State and Federal Governments also have dedicated resources available.