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centricity program

Centricity program Retail members are not cleaners

Australia Post recently consulted with your Union over the intentions of the Customer Centricity program, the principles of which are fully supported. However, they seem to have left out the part where all Retail employees were required to become free deep-cleaning labourers for Australia Post.

In an email addressed to Area Managers and obtained by the CEPU, a senior manager, who is now known as “Mr Gumption” around the Union office, made some pretty outrageously inappropriate demands of staff working in Retail outlets participating in the Centricity program.

After rattling off a Bunnings shopping list of cleaning products he requires employees to purchase, Mr Gumption gives pretty specific directions for what he “emphasises” as “essential” to occur prior to your first Centricity visit.

Amongst dismantling furniture and wall shelving, Mr Gumption directs employees to undertake tasks such as using a paint scraper to remove gunk from walls and counters, and to use a screwdriver to tediously clean between slat-wall grooves.

And just in-case you couldn’t stomach reading to the end, he attaches a photo of some of his favourite Bunnings cleaning products required to undertake these tasks to ensure you get the point.

Putting aside the fact that the directions on their own are highly inappropriate, where does Mr Gumption think Retail employees are going to find the time to engage in such tasks? Must be some of that unpaid overtime “custom and practice” rife throughout the minds and expectations of senior Retail management across the country.

When questioned on his outrageous directions, Mr Gumption’s initial response was one along the lines of; “you’d have to agree that some of these post offices need this clean-up”. Yes, we do agree.

Members complain to us almost daily about the grotty state of some outlets, like the months-worth of cockroach and rodent droppings we recently had to demand management finally clean and remove from Annandale post office in inner-western Sydney. So go and hire a cleaner to clean it.

Despite commitments that these directions would be withdrawn, we are still receiving word from retail members who are being asked to undertake these cleaning duties. Australia Post claims that there is no need to worry – they’re now only “asking” and no longer “directing”.

Let us be extremely clear – these are not reasonable directions, or even requests. Australia Post are not within their rights to ask that you engage in such inappropriate duties and you should not feel obligated, or “guilt-tripped”, into doing so.

If you are asked to participate, make sure you seek urgent assistance from your State Branch Official.


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