CWU T&S WEEKLY BULLETIN NO 2020 /
30 Aug 2020
NOTICE OF ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
The Branch Committee of Management has determined that the Annual General Meeting be held on Wednesday 16 September 2020 at 6.00pm at the Office of the Branch at Level 2/321 Pitt St, Sydney 2000. Given the Covid situation, the BCOM advises that the meeting be open to members via telephone and Zoom. Details later.
TELSTRA EXCHANGE FACILITIES
Telstra has advised that it is closing facilities in some exchanges. It may be an overall cost saving measure and we are concerned that members will be deprived of basic lunch and amenities. Telstra said:
As there are exchanges with minimal foot traffic, a decision has been made to decommission amenities in these exchanges and invest in maintaining the amenities in exchanges that are more highly used. Foot traffic has been analysed using 12 months of data.
+ High foot traffic sites will be ear-marked for an update in amenities, including toilet and kitchen facilities and there will be an ongoing site maintenance program to align with the foot traffic.
+ Low foot traffic sites kitchens and toilets will be closed/locked and alternative public amenities have been identified and available for employees to check via an app.
The closures will be a phased approach, beginning from Oct 20. Sites in TAS, ACT, NT, QLD and WA will be initiated first. A list of 76 exchanges was attached - where facilities are to be closed. (None in NSW yet)
On last Sunday night, ACTU launched our new campaign, For the workers, to highlight the enormous sacrifices and heroism of so many workers through this pandemic. Australian Unions stand for workers, and we're asking that you stand with us to support the workers who carried Australia through the crisis. Find out more and add your:
Thanks for your support,
MORRISON GOVT UNDERMINES RIGHTS TO BARGAIN
The Morrison Government has restricted bargaining rights and handed a windfall to the scandal-plagued for-profit superannuation sector. A new law restricts workers' rights to bargain for a single superannuation fund or set of funds in an enterprise agreement. This Bill is a gift to the under-performing for-profit bank-owned superannuation funds at the expense of workers. "The passage of this Bill is a gift to the banks and bank-owned for-profit superannuation funds." ACTU
HOLGATE LASHED BY A SENATE COMMITTEE
The nation's highest-paid civil servant has been lashed by a bipartisan parliamentary committee for attempting to avoid scrutiny over the future of Post's service delivery. Christine Holgate, who earned more than $2.5 million in pay and bonuses last financial year as the publicly-owned entity's chief executive, was urged to complete basic training in accountability, along with other staff and officials, so they could meet their responsibilities to the Senate and Australian taxpayers.
A Senate inquiry into regulatory changes allowing Post to deliver letters every other day in cities and push out delivery times on some routes was scathing over responses from senior management, condemning them for "a lack of understanding of the critical scrutiny role played by the Senate". The inquiry was established in June after Labor and the Greens sought to scrap the changes, fearing it would result in postie job losses.
The damning report found some responses provided by Post to senators' questions failed to grasp the responsibility of a publicly-owned entity to be accountable to "the people of Australia through the Parliament and its committee system".
See SMH Article for more.
POST MANAGERS NEED TRAINING
The Senate highlighted particular evidence from Ms Holgate and general counsel and corporate secretary Nick Macdonald during the hearing, where Ms Holgate did not answer questions on alleged efforts to monitor staff for leaks and took the question on notice. The postal service later replied in writing that it maintained "a risk-based security program". "Details of that program are commercial-in-confidence. Publication of such information is likely to cause detriment to Post as a consequence of the details of its security program being publicly available," it said.
The Senate committee criticised officials for claiming immunity from an obligation to provide a detailed response. "It is unclear to the committee why the ground for refusal in this case would be commercial in nature; no specific detriment, commercial or otherwise, has been outlined."It appears that no consideration has been given to providing the information to the committee on a confidential basis, an option about which Post was informed."
Ms Holgate's predecessor, Ahmed Fahour, ran foul of the Senate committee process, including attempting to conceal his $5.6 million salary from the public.
The report's number one recommendation was for . Post, to provide regular training and support to senior staff and officials to ensure they can meet their responsibilities to the Senate. This training should include "proper processes for raising claims of public interest immunity including - acceptable and unacceptable grounds for making a claim of public interest immunity; and the requirement to specify the actual harm that may result from the disclosure of information."
See SMH Article for more.
POST PARCELS ARE MAKING A 1500 KM DETOUR
From the SMH - an interesting summary:
If you've tracked your online purchases through Aus Post recently, you may have noticed your package making a curious and faraway stopover. Perhaps it was the case of wine that went the long way from Adelaide to Geelong. It went through Sydney before reaching the final destination. An unprecedented level of demand for online deliveries has resulted in parcels being sent from Melbourne for sorting interstate, as stage four COVID-19 restrictions reduce the number of staff allowed to work. In some cases, this has led to the unusual situation of parcels travelling thousands of extra kilometres in Sydney before being sent straight back again to Melbourne to be delivered by a postie.
"The demand is just massive at the moment," said Gary Starr, Post's EGM. "Online shopping has exploded during the COVID-19 pandemic, with Post experiencing a 157% growth in Victoria in the first week of August compared to last year.
Mr Starr said that the surge in demand was being felt in Post's metropolitan Melbourne distribution centres, where staff numbers have been cut by 10 per cent as part of the state government's measures to combat the virus. To manage the influx of parcels with fewer people, Post is running split shifts around the clock while conducting regular deep cleans. In recent weeks the volume of mail has become so high that parcels have been sent to the Sydney processing facility on trucks and planes for sorting. Mr Starr said the Sydney centre had processed two million packages last weekend, up 30% on the usual numbers.
SENATE VOTE FAILS
On Monday, 27 Senators representing the Liberal Party, Centre Alliance and Jacqui Lambie Network teamed up to back-in Post's Alternate Delivery Model - voting against Labor and the Greens motion to disallow the regulatory changes. Unless another motion to disallow the changes is moved and passed by Oct 6, this model that cuts services to our communities will be here to stay until at least June 2021, when that temporary regulation change is currently set to expire.
POST FINANCIAL RESULTS
From the CEO: I am pleased to announce that we achieved a new revenue record of $7,499m in the 2020FY up 7% on last year to deliver a profit before tax of $53.6m. While total revenue grew by more than $500m during the period, boosted by the boom in eCommerce, growing losses in the letters business and increased network costs resulted in a profit before tax increase of only $13m compared to FY19. Our parcel and services revenue reached $5,503m, up 15%, adding $729m to the full year result.
Domestic Post branded parcels rose 25% to $2,456m. In the second half of the year parcel revenues were boosted by the continued growth of eCommerce as consumer demand grew while people adapted to lock down restrictions and more businesses went online. Our International business has been impacted by global conditions, due to a significant fall in air freight capacity to and from Australia, as well as many countries closing their borders in the second half of the financial year. Although international letters and packets volumes were down 16% year on year, the strong performance of AP Global, our cross-border eCommerce business, saw revenue grow by $146m to $225m.
As you are aware our costs increased significantly over the period up by $477m including higher operational network costs to support growth in parcels and AP Global, additional processing facilities and chartered air freight to meet customer demands, as well as personal protective equipment for our people.
Thanks to your hard work, Post also generated over $280m in cost savings from business efficiency programs implemented across the organisation including reducing support costs by $62m.
POST THANK YOU PAYMENTS
Post CEO: In honour of this dedication and hard work, it has been an absolute privilege to recognise our hardworking frontline teams of posties, Post Office workers, parcel and mail processing employees, delivery partners, call centre, Post Office Licensees and Award employees across the business with a special Thank You payment. This year has been one of great challenges - we have persevered through bushfires, floods and a pandemic to be there for our customers and communities that rely on us, while achieving business results we should all be proud of. And I am most proud of how we did it - through support and care for each other. Your efforts have been remarkable and I am grateful for everything that you have done, and continue to do.
The thank you payments are an average amount of $600 to 33,000 employees. This is not a fair response for all the effort staff have made. Particularly when you read the next article!
POST BOSSES MAY GET BONUS - SMH
Post's top executives could still share in millions of dollars in bonuses this year despite offering to forgo their right to the special payments amid a looming coronavirus-induced recession. The national mail service has opened the door for its executive team to share in up to $7 million in bonus payments after the organisation defied dire forecasts to record a 7 per cent jump in full-year revenue and a profit before tax of $53.6 million.
Post boss Christine Holgate could still get her bonus despite offering to reject it in March. Holgate announced to staff in late March that senior management would take 20% pay cuts and waive their right to bonuses as it looked to slashed its costs amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Holgate, who was paid $2.5 million last year as the nation's highest earning civil servant, is estimated to be in line for a $1 million-plus bonus while other executives could take home up to $600,000.
Post was given temporary permission by the federal government in April to move to every second day delivery of mail in metro areas until June 30 next year, as part of a broader movement within the postal service to cut costs.
Authorised by Dan Dwyer Branch Secretary
CWU Telecommunications & Services Branch, Sydney City, NSW.