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Friday, 6 December 1985
Page: 3230

(Question No. 113)


Senator Vigor asked the Minister representing the Minister for Communications, upon notice, on 19 March 1985:

(1) How many industrial disputes within Australia Post's New South Wales operations lasted at least three hours in the period between 1 September 1984 and 28 February 1985; and in each case:

(a) at what time of the day did the dispute first arise;

(b) what was the most senior rank among management personnel present in the area or available for immediate contact;

(c) what steps were taken to settle the matter in its first three hours of currency; and

(d) how long was it before work resumed as usual.

(2) What proportion of the labour costs in each State have been due to overtime approved by Australia Post for each of the last three financial years.

(3) When new mail centres have opened as part of the decentralisation process in New South Wales, on what basis has their initial allocation of staff been made; and in each case:

(a) what adjustments have been needed in the first six months of operation;

(b) what proportion of labour costs has been due to overtime worked at each centre in the first six months of operation; and

(c) what has been the average throughput each day at such centres in the first six months of operation and for what portion of the time has there been a backlog of at least one-quarter of that amount.

(4) What detailed information is provided to postmasters when there is a backlog at any mail centre or an industrial dispute is current; and have there been any changes in practice regarding the provision of this information since 1 September 1984.


Senator Walsh —The Minister for Communications has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question, from advice provided by Australia Post:

(1) 33. It should be noted that while a number of industrial disputes endured for several weeks, these disputes almost always involved work bans of a minor nature which did not affect the mail service. In each case:

(a)

(b)

(c)

(d)

10.9.84

10 p.m.

Mail Centre Manager (Rushcutters Bay)

In the first three hours, the steps taken to resolve a dispute depended on the time of day it commenced, the cause and the nature of the dispute. In most cases, initial discussions were held with local APTU staff representatives. In some instances, discussions also took place with State Branch officials of the union and/or the matter was referred to management in the State administration.

10.2.85

2 p.m.

12.9.84

10.15 a.m.

Mail Centre Manager (Leightonfield)

12.9.84

1.15 p.m.

13.9.84

3.45 p.m.

Mail Centre Manager (Leightonfield)

9.10.84

3 p.m.

20.9.84

8.30 a.m.

Divisional Manager (Sydney City)

28.9.84

6.30 p.m.

3.10.84

10.50 p.m.

Transport Overseer and Supervisor Postal (Grade 1) (St Leonards)

4.10.84

3.50 p.m.

15.10.84

2 p.m.

Supervisor (Postal) Grade 3 to Mail Centre Manager (Rushcutters Bay)

6.12.84

9 a.m.

16.10.84

12 noon

Mail Centre Manager (Rushcutters Bay)

17.10.84

9 a.m.

22.10.84

2 a.m.

Assistant Divisional Manager (Sydney South West)

10 a.m.

24.10.84

2.43 p.m.

Supervisor (Postal) Grade 2 to Mail Centre Manager (Rushcutters Bay)

25.10.84

5.51 a.m.

31.10.84

12.27 a.m.

Supervisor (Postal) Grade 1 to Mail Centre Manager (Rushcutters Bay)

31.10.84

5.17 a.m.

1.11.84

10.45 p.m.

Supervisor (Postal) Grade 1 to Mail Centre Manager (St Leonards)

3.11.84

10.45 p.m.

9.11.84

12.45 a.m.

Supervisor (Postal) Grade 1 to Mail Centre manager (Leightonfield)

9.11.84

8.06 a.m.

12.11.84

noon

Divisional Manager (Hunter)

12.11.84

10 p.m.

16.11.84

1.02 a.m.

Supervisor (Postal) Grade 1 to Mail Centre Manager (Leightonfield)

16.11.84

5.21 a.m.

19.11.84

10 a.m.

Divisional Manager (Sydney City)

23.11.84

Noon

19.11.84

9 a.m.

Divisional Managers (All Divisions)

30.11.84

9 a.m.

21.11.84

6 a.m.

Divisional Manager (Sydney City)

14.12.84

11.30 a.m.

23.11.84

8. 15 a.m.

Supervisor (Postal) Grade 2 to Mail Centre Manager (International)

23.11.84

12.45 p.m.

26.11.84

8 a.m.

Divisional Manager (Sydney North)

26.11.84

Noon

6.12.84

1.20 a.m.

Divisional Manager (Illawarra)

6.12.84

4.55 a.m.

7.12.84

11 a.m.

Divisional Manager (Hunter)

7.12.84

2 p.m.

8.12.84

10 p.m.

Manager, Mail Processing and Transport Department (State Head Office)

9.12.84

9.51 p.m.

10.12.84

8.30 a.m.

Various Departmental managers (State Head Office)

10.12.84

4.36 p.m.

27.12.84

10 p.m.

Divisional Manager (Canberra)

28.12.84

8 a.m.

27.12.84

2 a.m.

Supervisor (Postal) Grade 2 to Mail Centre Manager (Rushcutters Bay)

27.12.84

5.51 a.m.

2.1.85

10 a.m.

Divisional Manager (Sydney West)

2.1.85

1.45 p.m.

16.1.85

11 a.m.

Departmental Managers (State Head Office)

16.1.85

4.36 p.m.

24.1.85

10.15 p.m.

Supervisor (Postal) Grade 1 to Mail Centre Manager (St Leonards)

25.1.85

10 p.m.

29.1.85

9 a.m.

Postmasters and Divisional Managers

1.2.85

9 a.m.

31.1.85

8 a.m.

Senior Postal Officer Grade 1 to Mail Sorting Office Manager (Waterloo)

31.1.85

3.30 p.m.

6.2.85

9.30 a.m.

Assistant Divisional Manager (Sydney East)

25.2.85

9 a.m.

7.2.85

10 p.m.

Supervisor (Postal) Grade 2 to Mail Centre Manager (Rushcutters Bay)

12.2.85

2 p.m.

18.2.85

8.45 a.m.

Divisional Manager (Sydney South West)

18.2.85

5.30 p.m.

(2) The approximate proportion of labour costs in each State due to approved overtime in each State, in each of the three financial years to 1983-84, follows:

State

1981-82

1982-83

1983-84

%

%

%

New South Wales...

10

8

10

Victoria...

5

4

5

Queensland...

3

3

2

Western Australia...

6

6

6

South Australia...

3

3

4

Tasmania...

6

5

6

(3) The initial allocation of staff for each Sydney Suburban Mail Centre was made on the basis of transferring existing mail processing staff numbers from the Mail Sorting Offices in the region to the new building, together with extra staff necessary for additional functions at the new centre.

The table below shows those new mail centres which opened and which became fully operational prior to 19 March 1985 (when the Honourable Senator asked this question) as part of the decentralisation of the New South Wales mail network. The date full operations commenced at the new Centres is shown and the answers to (a)-(c) relate to the 6 months from this date.

Mail Centre and date Centre

became fully operational

(a)

Adjustments

to staffing

(mail officer

positions)

-extra

positions

provided

(b)

Approximate

proportion

of labour

costs due to

overtime

(c)

Average

daily

throughput

Approximate

time there

has been

back-log of

at least 1/4

of average

daily

throughput

%

%

St Leonards 4.4.83...

27

22

806,000

4

Leightonfield 30.10.83...

23

21

343,000

64

State (Alexandria) 30.9.84...

26

32

435,000

44

Seven Hills 1.12.84...

23

33

328,000

83

(4) Postmasters receive, via their Managers, daily information bulletins concerning volumes of mail on hand at mail centres and details of industrial disputes, both internal and external, which impact on mail deliveries.

Changes have been made to the format of the information which, prior to 26 November 1984, showed each mail centre in the State and the volume of delayed mail on hand at 6 a.m. for each Centre. Information now provided shows all mail centres where delivery delayed mail exceeds 15% of the average daily throughput, highlighting the degree of delay.