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Monday, 30 March 1987
Page: 1511

(Question No. 1496)

Senator Hamer asked the Minister representing the Minister for Communications, upon notice, on 13 November 1986:

(1) What restrictive work practices are in force at the Australian Postal Commission, which, in the opinion of management, reduce productivity without any compensatory safety or industrial health benefits.

(2) What restrictive work practices in force at the Australian Postal Commission, while having some safety or industrial health benefits, are done in such a way that comparable benefits could be achieved with less loss of productivity.

(3) What new restrictive work practices, of the type noted above, have come into force in the last year.

(4) What restrictive work practices, of the type noted above, have been eliminated in the past year and what have been the benefits to productivity in each case.

(5) Has the management advised the Minister for Communications of the total annual cost of these restrictive work practices; if so, what is the total annual cost of these restrictive work practices.

Senator Walsh —The Minister for Communications has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question, based on information provided by the Australian Postal Commission:

(1) No restrictive work practices have been identified by management other than those referred to in (4) below.

(2) See (1) above.

(3) None.

(4) The following measures have been introduced in the last twelve months:

a continuous shift rostering structure which has aligned staffing more closely to the work available;

a Work Improvement Programme for mail processing and supervisory staff at mail centres aimed at ensuring all staff are working to the required standards;

a procedure for preventing the creation of unnecessary and avoidable backlogs of mail by transferring mail between mail centres and post offices;

the abolition of unwarranted time concessions such as unduly lengthy wash-up times and tea-breaks; and

the elimination of unnecessary expenditure through the calling of overtime on an `as required' rather than an `all on' basis.

The elimination of these unsatisfactory working arrangements has improved productivity, resulting in a much improved standard of mail service, particularly in New South Wales.

(5) No.