01 MAR 2020

We have written to Post outlining some important issues that must be resolved. We have been promised a response early this week. Our Letter stated:

    I am writing concerning the matters below.

    1. SPF Overtime records are not visible to staff. The principle was that overtime be offered on a fair and equal basis so that no issue of alleged favouritism arises. This is not being done and therefore the lack of sharing of overtime is creating concerns.
    Action needed: We seek that the previous practice of keeping transparent overtime records continues.

    2. Refusing Overtime. Members have been told that they will be punished if refusing to agree to overtime. This is a breach of the Fair Work Act. We are further told that this is the case when short notice is given. Again this is a breach. Members have a right to refuse overtime if certain conditions exist. Short notice is high among those reasons as it is usually accompanied with family commitments.
    Action needed: No adverse action should be taken against any member who refuses overtime.

    3. Reliable rosters are not being published. There have been several iterations.
    Action needed: We need rosters containing the following be published (as in the past) - dates - times - work sites - RDO days - rostered overtime

    4. Welcome back interviews. One member is being required to have a "welcome back" meeting when taking carer's leave. While we do not agree with the clear intimidation of staff with "welcome back" interviews for sick leave, it is not appropriate for carer's leave.
    Action needed: We seek assurances that a "welcome back" interview is not needed for carer's leave.

    5. Carer's Leave/Sick Leave. Communications from managers indicate a policy exists that adverse action is to be taken against staff who take sick/carer's leave. This is under the guise of a "welcome back" meeting. The real agenda is to change shifts and take away overtime from any member who takes sick leave or carer's leave. These meetings are not urgent and can be undertaken after resumption of work. This is a serious breach of the Fair Work Act. In the case of Mr Cassar, Post took 4 hours overtime from him because he took carer's leave.
    Action needed: An undertaking that the practice will cease. Payment to Mr Cassar for 4 hours overtime cancelled because he took carer's leave.

    6. Structure. With the changes that have taken place we are unsure of the management structure
    Action needed: Can we have an organisation chart identifying particularly the managers.

    If we do not have your immediate agreement to the above, then we seek an urgent meeting to discuss the matter.

Optus has responded stating that the SOC has been reviewed and is rated at Grade 13. This is contrary to the findings of a review in 2018 which found the grading to be at Grade 14. We intend to challenge the decision and have sought details of the review documents and findings.

We have arranged to meet Telstra this week (Friday) to discuss 2 issues - answering times (with a mouse) and the location of a box under their decks (an OHS issue). We will report progress next bulletin.

John Ellery (Vic T&S) and I met with Telstra last week to protest the secret reclassification of a number of staff. An example is the demotion of a CFW8 to SW8 - Salary is reduced from about $110,000 to $100,000.

Telstra then provide for salary maintenance of about $10,000 to make up the difference. There would appear to be many hundreds of staff in this position. Telstra never told staff of the demotions. It is difficult to find out what has happened. As a result of the meeting,

Telstra undertook to provide within about a week the following:
- to provide the steps that members can take in Workday to determine their classification, their salary and their salary maintenance (if any).
- to provide numbers of staff that have been reclassified across Aust. This would include CFW TW SW CSSW
We will advise members of the response.

With daily revelations of wage theft dominating the start of the new parliamentary year, the Morrison Government has today passed a bill which will waive penalties for employers who have stolen superannuation from workers.

The bill protects employers from prosecution by the ATO for any theft of superannuation back to the birth of the system, regardless of the size of the theft or the intent of the employer. This is an unprecedented move by a federal government blanket pardoning of a serious contravention of federal law, with no caveats or limits. The Government has said publicly that if employers cannot determine the extent of their theft before the end of the amnesty, it will be extended.

ACTU President Michele O'Neil: We are living through a national crisis of wage theft and superannuation forms a significant part of this issue. Instead of punishing the employers who have been stealing money from their employees, potentially for decades, the Morrison Government has waved them through without any penalty whatsoever.

The best way to stop wage and super theft is to allow unions to once again conduct compliance checks in workplaces to end this epidemic of ripping off workers.

Vision stream has advised as follows: Due to ending of the MIMA and FTTC Projects we have no other option but to commence the demobilisation process. Based on current volumes and forecasts work on the MIMA and FTTC will progressively end and it is envisaged that all work on these projects will be completed by end June 2020. The impact on the workforce is significant and regrettably this means that a number of employees could be made redundant if we are unable to identify other alternative roles.

Current forecasts indicate that circa 30 EBA employees and 220 Salary employees will be impacted as part of the demobilisation. We have commenced the release of Contractors and Agency Staff in the abovementioned areas.

In a press release this week, Post has advised of performance for the six months to 31 Dec 2019.

  • Group revenue at $3.8 billion, up 4% on last year
  • Parcels and Services: $2.7 billion revenue, up 13%, profits rose 12% to $193 million
  • Letters: $1.1 billion revenue, down nine per cent, losses $87 million increased 112%
  • Group profit before tax at $83 million, down $71 million or 46%

    Australia Post's parcel and services revenue growth was up almost $300 million or 13 per cent on the same period last year to $2,698 million, underpinned by strong growth in parcels, financial and international services, supporting both business and consumer customers. Community Post Office revenue grew four per cent reflecting stronger performances in both corporate and licensed stores.

    Letter revenue was down. Although Australia Post secured $129 million in efficiencies in the period and has benefited from strong growth in other areas, this still has not fully compensated for the increasing costs supporting this important community service.

    "This Christmas was our busiest ever and we delivered over 50 million parcels in December, with over 3.1 million on our biggest day. Over 190 million letters were delivered, 4600 staff hired across the national network and pleasingly during this time complaints to our customer service teams decreased by 14 per cent," Ms Holgate said.

    "Ahead of Christmas we also opened the largest parcel processing facility in the Southern Hemisphere in Brisbane and invested in new automation capabilities across a number of our large processing facilities to continue to service our customers.

    "During this period of exceptional growth, our entire workforce worked through unprecedented weather conditions across the country with drought and an early start to our bushfire season in November, and we still met all of our service obligations for letters and parcels. The mail continued to make it through to our customers. Although we were lucky to not lose any facilities or Post Offices during the bushfire crisis, many of our employees lost homes and property and faced extreme stress as they were evacuated for their safety. Our Post Offices and posties were able to play an essential role supporting impacted communities including with access to critical funds through our Bank@Post services, providing free mail redirection, mail hold services and accepting over the counter donations for Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, which has raised over $1.4 million to date."

    Consultants have a reputation - the answer is always staff cute - about 20%. Will this one be different?

    This is a short extract from the Sydney Morning Herald: See SMH

    Christine Holgate is optimistic. "Within two years we'll be back in growth," Holgate says in an interview with The SMH. She rolls off a list of where changes will have to take place at the 210-year-old company, all focused on removing "duplication" across the business.

    She wants to revisit how Express Post is managed, which will see the service rely less on third-party deliverers, instead loading up posties with more same-day delivery items. She has high hopes post offices offering bank services, named Bank@Post, will also continue to deliver solid earnings growth.

    And a fleet of Boston Consulting Group consultants are currently sizing up the place as well. The national postmaster is also on the hunt for new revenue streams, currently tendering to run the government's lucrative $1 billion visa processing services. It's a two-horse race between AusPost and another five-member strong consortium. (Communications Minister) Fletcher brushed off suggestions there was trouble at the national postal service, saying instead the business was facing the same troubles as postal services across the world.

    Please note the following changes as we simplify our phone numbers
    0428 942 878 dan.dwyer@cwunion.net Dan Dwyer Secretary/Lawyer - for industrial matters & advice
    0447 365 443 reception@cwunion.net Administrative eg payments, applications, change of details

    Authorised by Dan Dwyer Branch Secretary
    CWU Telecommunications & Services Branch, Sydney City, NSW.

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