Centrelink plus Australia Post equals one hell of a long queue

There will be riots this summer. They won’t happen because of austerity measures, racism or workers rights. They won’t even be because of football.

They will be because of the post office and Centrelink.

Treasurer Joe Hockey’s announcement that Centrelink and Australia Post’s shopfront services could be combined as part of his cost saving measures will see one of the greatest concentrations of human rage ever. Two of the most loathed bureaucracies in the country could soon be joined in the unholiest of unions.

Read more: Centrelink plus Australia Post equals one hell of a long queue | Paul Farrell | Comment is free | theguardian.com.

Online's postal potential

IN 2012, Australia Post delivered a billion fewer letters than it did in 2011.

 

At the same time, the service doubled the number of parcels it handled, as it has done every year for the past five years.

Last year, the organisation also did a very un-postal service thing: it began an online store for small volume, locally produced food, Farmhouse Direct.

At first glance, an online farmers market seems an odd diversion for a postal service. On a second glance, it’s all about packages.

Read more: Online’s postal potential – Agriculture – General – News – The Land.

Australia Post 'does not photograph mail'

Australia Post has confirmed it rarely records personal details on mail packages, and only then at the direction of police.

The statement comes as the US Postal Service made headlines over its Mail Isolation Control and Tracking program, which uses computers to photograph the exterior of every single piece of paper mail that is processed in the US.

The total for last year was a staggering 160 billion photographs of pieces of mail. It is not known for how long the US government saves the images.

Read more: Australia Post ‘does not photograph mail’ | The Rural.

Union to check NZ Post job losses not excessive

A union says it wants to make sure NZ Post’s plan to close three mail processing centres, with 500 jobs set to go, is justified by the numbers.The state-owned postal operator is closing its Wellington, Hamilton and Dunedin mail centres, along with a number of other smaller centres, and will concentrate its operations in Auckland, Palmerston North and Christchurch within the next two years.

Read more: Union to check job losses not excessive – 26-Jun-2013 – NZ Business news.

Toowoomba postal worker charged for stealing letters

POLICE have charged a 33-year-old man with stealing offences after investigations into the alleged theft of postal items in the Toowoomba area.

Officers executed a search warrant at a Highfields residence on Monday where a number of parcels and letters dated from November 2011 to 2013 inclusive were seized.

He works at the Toowoomba Mail Centre.

Read more: Postal worker charged for stealing letters | Toowoomba Chronicle.

Australia Post subcontractor launches legal action saying she has been 'underpaid'

There are claims that some workers who deliver parcels for Australia Post are being paid less than the minimum wage and are not covered by worker’s compensation or superannuation.

Fiona Lawson claims she is owed almost $16,000 by the contractor who employed her and is planning to launch legal action in the Melbourne Magistrates Court.

Read more: Australia Post subcontractor launches legal action saying she has been 'underpaid' – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation).

New Zealand postal union fights NZ Post plans for three day delivery

“NZ Post is a public service, not a cash cow”
3 May, 2013

nzpostNew Zealand Post is a vital public service and there is no justification for reducing mail delivery to three days a week, says the union for postal workers, the EPMU.

The call follows claims from NZ Post that it would need Government subsidies unless it is allowed to slash mail delivery services in half.

EPMU national industry organiser Joe Gallagher says there is no need for drastic cuts to delivery.

“Any talk about subsidies at this stage is pure speculation and scaremongering. NZ Post is actually returning a profit and will continue to do so for some time even without any changes.

“We recognise NZ Post faces serious commercial pressures, but current mail volumes do not justify the drastic and damaging cuts that are being proposed. This proposal only makes sense if you believe NZ Post exists purely to return a profit.

“NZ Post is not a cash cow for the Government. It is a vital public service and any move to reduce its social obligations will face resistance from the Kiwis who rely on it to stay connected with their families, their communities and their customers.

“We are calling on the Government to listen to communities, keep NZ Post’s social obligations in place and commit to wider public consultation on any future changes.”

The EPMU’s submission to MBIE over changes to the Deed of Understanding is available at: http://www.epmu.org.nz/assets/Post/EPMU-Submission-NZ-Post-2013.pdf

A selection of quotes from the more than 250 public submissions received by the EPMU is available at: http://www.epmu.org.nz/assets/Post/Public-submissions.pdf

 

Australia Post to simplify parcel products and raise prices

Australia Post has announced plans to increase prices and simplify its parcel products, as well as introducing tracking to all domestic parcels from 8th April, 2013.

The company said its price changes will not affect the basic 60c postage rate for letters.

But, prices will be adjusted for various parcel, international and bulk mail services, such as the 5% increase in the basic Parcel Post rate, and a 2.7% increase in bulk mail presort letters pricing.

Read more: Australia Post to simplify parcel products and raise prices | Post & Parcel.

NSW postal worker burned by acid in parcel

A postal worker suffered burns after a parcel containing an acidic substance burst open at a sorting depot on Sydney’s north shore.A postal worker is being treated for burns to his hands after a parcel containing a highly acidic liquid broke open at a post office on Sydney’s north shore.Several other Australia Post staff were taken to Royal North Shore Hospital as a precaution after the incident at a sorting office on Rodborough Road, in Frenchs Forest on Monday morning.

Read more: NSW postal worker burned by acid in parcel | SBS World News.

NZ Post to halve weekly deliveries

Postal deliveries may be cut to three days a week under a plan put forward by New Zealand Post to ensure the company remains viable.

Communications Minister Amy Adams released a proposal from the national postal service today to allow "greater flexibility" in its services due to falling mail volumes.

NZ Post wants to change its universal service obligations, signed in 1998, which require it to deliver mail six days a week.

Read more: NZ Post to halve weekly deliveries – Story – NZ News – 3 News.