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Australia Post: letter of contract dispute

Members may be aware of a new individual contract or letter of offer template that Australia Post has recently developed.

These so called ‘contracts’ are reportedly being given to new employees, as well as existing employees upon transfer or promotion to a new role.

Whilst the Union had been advised that Post was looking at updating the template for new employees, there was no mention of it being used for existing employees nor any indication that the document would now encompass an extensive number of employment matters that were never in the initial scope. What’s more, Post went ahead and began issuing the new version without initially consulting with the Union.

After making representations on the matter, we are now in talks with Australia Post about the substantive elements of the new template. As frustrating as it is, Post insists that they can’t (or it is extremely difficult to) undo the implementation, but rather we would need to replace it with a new template, this time one that the Union has had a say in.

One of the biggest issues with the new template is that it has gone from a 1–2-page letter of offer to approximately 10 pages of information about terms and conditions of employment. Whilst we understand that it may be sensible for some key terms to spelled out in a letter of offer, for example, the role you have been successful in obtaining, the location and classification level for that role, however, we do not believe this can be used as an opportunity to undermine terms and conditions of employment that are contained in the Enterprise Agreement. 

A whole range of issues that have been included in these templates by stealth are matters for bargaining, and that is where we will insist, they stay.

If you are an existing employee, and you have been given one of these 10-page letters to sign for a new role appointment, please do not sign without first speaking to your CWU State Branch Official.


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