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fixed termers

Delivery fixed-termers across the country celebrate permanency win

Unreasonable overtime levels are often exacerbated by a prevalent management culture determined to plug holes in staffing establishments with the use of temporary labour, most often in the form of fixed-term employees.

This abysmal approach to resource management is failing the fixed-term employees who are exploited by non-secure employment arrangements, it is failing the rest of the employees who are left to pick up the slack and it is failing Australia Post’s customers who are fuelling the media’s relentless attack on the company’s service standards.

The only motivating factor behind this culture is purely greed and it is simply a rort.

And it’s just like a grazed knee – you can keep changing band-aids, but without proper attention to the wound, you’ll likely end up with an infection that becomes worse and worse that no band-aid can cure.

Not to mention, the long-term use of fixed-term employees is prohibited by our EBA in all but four very explicit scenarios:

  1. Recruitment for a specific project or task to provide special skills which are not encompassed by current operational roles;
  2. Filling temporary resource needs resulting from specific employee circumstances (ie. Long service leave, workers compensation, career break leave without pay etc);
  3. Facilitating workforce adjustment/transition strategies for implementation of change or acceptance of new business opportunities which are the subject of consultation; and
  4. ther circumstances agreed between Australia Post and the Union.

Specifically, the fixed term employment category is not to be used to fill permanent vacancies, to artificially extend the three-month probationary period or to relieve pressures on a workplace that is simply under-staffed! Any instance of this use of fixed-term employment is an abuse of Post’s obligations under the EBA.

At a recent meeting with Delivery management at the executive level, National Secretary Greg Rayner made it abundantly clear that we are continuing to uncover examples of this rort and that it will not be tolerated.

Pleasingly, following this meeting, Post have have indicated they will be rectifying the issue. In a letter to Mr Rayner, Group Executive eCommerce Deliveries Peter Bass confirmed the following:

“At this meeting we also discussed that we will be undertaking a review of our fixed term employees. I can confirm where we have PDO Delivery Staff who are approaching 12 months service or have been held against a vacant round above 3 months (subject to satisfactory performance/behaviour) we are now taking steps to permanently appoint these employees.”

However, although this matter has been most prevalent in Delivery, it is not limited to that workgroup. But we can only react to those instances where we are made aware of them occurring.

Therefore, if you are a fixed-term employee and suspect you are concerned about your employment arrangements, then you should contact your State Branch Official as soon as possible for a confidential discussion around your circumstances.

Similarly, if you are a permanent employee but are concerned about the validity of the use of fixed-term employees in your workplace, you should also contact your State Branch Official as soon as possible.

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