Senator the Hon. Mathias Cormann
Minister for Finance
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Senator for Western Australia
The Hon. Paul Fletcher
Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts
Date: Tuesday, 7 July 2020
Shareholder Ministers of Australia Post welcome the decision of Australia Post employee representatives to support the implementation of temporary regulatory relief measures so that Australians can continue to receive the postal services they need most during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Following Australia Post’s extensive consultation with employees and the CEPU, Australia Post will continue to proceed with temporary adjustments to its operations in line with targeted regulatory relief. These changes secure the jobs of around 2000 posties by redeploying them from delivering letters (which are sharply declining during the pandemic) to delivering parcels (amid surging demand by Australians and small businesses), with letter delivery occurring every second day in metropolitan areas.
The real issue here has always been about how Australia Post can best serve Australians as parcel volumes have exploded during the pandemic, as well as offering posties the best possible prospects of continuing employment. This has been the Government’s focus – in contrast to Labor which shamelessly politicised this issue before now abruptly changing its position, evidently on the instructions of its union masters.
The memorandum of understanding (MoU) entered into by Australia Post and the CEPU involves no change in Australia Post’s consistent and public position on these matters, but just demonstrates that Labor’s destructive claims about the regulatory relief were untrue from the beginning in multiple respects, including:
- It is and always was untrue that one in four posties would lose their jobs.
- It is and always was untrue that posties’ take-home pay would be cut.
- It is and always was untrue that the regulatory relief is permanent.
The agreement confirms the Government’s position that Labor was running a baseless scare campaign in the context of a by-election and spreading misinformation - choosing to cast uncertainty around the job security of posties, and the critical postal services provision for Australians, for the sake of political point scoring.
The MoU provides certainty for Australia Post workforce through the continuation of the existing enterprise agreement until 9 August 2021. Australia Post has again reiterated that no postie will be made involuntarily redundant as a result of these temporary changes.