The post office has long been the source of political debate.
However, this year the issue has seen a rise in protests, particularly from the working class, who have been protesting the postal service’s low wages and poor services to them.
A recent survey found that about 40 per cent of post office workers surveyed said they felt they were paid less than the national average and about a quarter of the respondents said they had felt discriminated against.
While the postal services own staff is recognised as a public service, it has been criticised by some for working to cut costs in order to fund its pension scheme.
The union representing the post office’s 3,000 workers has said that this is not a fair representation of the majority of postal workers.
It has said: “A recent report by the International Franchise Association (IFA) has found that a majority of postmasters in Australia’s post offices have been paid less on average than other workers in the same job category.”
In 2016-17, more than a quarter (27 per cent) of post masters in the post offices surveyed reported a pay gap of $15,500 to $17,500 compared to about one-third of the workforce (24 per cent).
“And over half of the postmasters surveyed said that they felt undervalued, while one-quarter of postmaster staff felt underpaid.”
Postmaster pay gaps are often the result of under-valued workers and under-paid management.
“The IFA report said the postal sector’s average pay for its postmasters was around $24,500.”
If the postal industry was as fair and just as productive as it should be, postal employees would be earning more money than they are,” it said.”
Yet the Post Office of Australia has failed to meet its financial obligations.
“Postal workers have been on strike since late last year, demanding a pay rise.
In a statement, the union said:”The postal sector is a publicly funded, publicly-owned and managed industry, which operates under strict rules and regulations, which reflect a diverse and competitive workforce, in which all are required to adhere to a set of labour and employment standards.”
The union recognises that the postmaster is a public employee, but has raised serious concerns about the unfairness of the wages paid to the workforce.”
While it is an employer, the Postmaster is the sole representative of the postal workforce, which is the same person who decides on pay and conditions for all employees.