NSW COVID Restrictions: Information for members at Australia Post (UPDATED)

UPDATE 24 August 2021:

Information in this post is no longer current. Members should refer to the following post for the most up to date restrictions that apply to members living in, or working in, NSW local government areas of concern: https://www.cepu.org/2021/08/new-restrictions-for-nsw-authorised-workers/

UPDATE 18 July 2021: NSW Health has updated their precautionary testing requirements for the affected LGAs.

Members residing in the Liverpool and Canterbury-Bankstown LGAs who are required to leave their LGA for work are no longer required to undergo precautionary testing every 72 hours.

However, members residing in the Fairfield LGA who are required to leave that LGA for work are still required to undergo precautionary testing, even if they do not have any symptoms.

The Australia Post testing facilities at Chullora, SWLF, Alexandria, Minchinbury, Villawood and Smeaton Grange will still continue to operate until further notice, despite the change in requirements. Members are reminded that they can visit any government testing site for this precautionary testing, in addition to the Australia Post sites.

However, if you are requiring a test because you have cold or flu symptoms, DO NOT attend for work. Visit your closest testing site and isolate until receiving a negative test result.

For the sake of completion and to avoid confusion, we are reissuing the below advice with this update to reflect the new requirements.

As you are most likely aware, the NSW Government  yesterday announced new public health orders to address the current COVID outbreak.

As part of the government’s measures, a hard lockdown commenced at 11:59pm, 17 July, for people who live in the Fairfield, Canterbury-Bankstown and Liverpool Local Government areas which restricts workers from engaging in employment outside of these areas. These arrangements will continue through to 30 July.

We have engaged with Australia Post at the highest levels throughout the day to ascertain how these new restrictions may impact Australia Post’s operations and to examine how affected members can continue to engage in meaningful work to maintain their incomes over this period.

What these restrictions mean for members

The NSW Government has now authorised for people working in the freight, logistics, postal, courier or delivery services industries to travel outside the affected LGAs, if required for work purposes. This includes employees and contractors engaged in delivery processing and post office operations at Australia Post.

We urge members to read the following information carefully:

  • Employees and contractors who live in the Fairfield Local Government Area (LGAs) will continue to be permitted to leave their home to attend for work at their usual workplace, if their work cannot be performed from home.
    – Those living in the affected LGA who will attend for duty at workplaces outside their LGA of residence must take a precautionary COVID test every 72 hours (3 days).
    – From Monday, Australia Post will provide on-site testing at Chullora, SWLF, Alexandria, Minchinbury, Villawood and Smeaton Grange. Members may choose to take a test at other recognised testing sites should they wish to do so. A full list of Government testing sites can be accessed by clicking here.
    – If you are questioned about the validity of your movements by law enforcement, you should advise them that you are an essential worker employed by Australia Post and required to attend for duty.
    – The Government has not issued a requirement for workers to carry a permit at this stage. However, Australia Post has developed a template for managers to use to provide members with a form confirming you are employed by Australia Post if you would like one.
     
  • All facilities, including post offices will remain open – including those within the three impacted LGAs.
     
  • Face masks must be worn at indoor workplaces across NSW. Face masks must be carried with you at all times and worn when working outdoors, including when performing delivery duties in Greater Sydney – including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour.
     
  • If you can work from home, you must work from homeThis includes those based at Strawberry Hills head office which remains closed, but also admin and other office-based roles across all other NSW Australia Post facilities.
    – If you work in a role where it is possible to work from home, your manager will speak to you to facilitate this as soon as possible.
     
  • Non-essential visits to operational sites by employees who do not ordinarily work there will not be permitted. 

Pandemic leave continues to apply

Members are reminded of Australia Post’s pandemic leave policy. Members can access this special leave provision if you are unable to attend for work for a variety of COVID related reasons. A copy of the most up to date version of the Pandemic Leave Policy can be accessed by clicking here and members are encouraged to familiarise themselves with these provisions.

Branch office remains closed to the public

Members should take note that the Branch office at Parramatta is currently closed to the public but continues to operate a small essential administration operation to assist members with enquiries pertaining to their membership.

Should you require any industrial assistance during this period, please contact your Branch Official directly. Mobile phone numbers and email addresses for your Officials can be accessed by clicking here.

We will continue to engage with Australia Post as necessary as this situation evolves and will keep members up to date with any important changes.

On behalf of your Union, I wanted to take this opportunity to again thank and recognise each one of you for keeping critical human communication possible through the work you have continued to undertake throughout this pandemic.

Our members have proved well and truly just how essential they are in ensuring our communities remain connected.

Please stay safe during this very trying time,

SHANE MURPHY
BRANCH SECRETARY

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