Australian Newsagency Blog

A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

Are licensed post office businesses set to take action against Australia Post for fair pay?

Mark Fletcher
September 26th, 2018 · 8 Comments

Yesterday, I heard a radio interview with the head of an association representing Licensed Post Office (LPO) businesses in which they canvassed taking action against Australia Post for fair pay. They outlined the current model and, in particular, a decline in gross profit because of constraints in their agreement with Australia Post and because of the way they are compensated for selling stamps.

The association made a submission to a recent Senate inquiry and say they were promised a resolution by Australia Post. This has not been forthcoming. Hence their engagement with the media advocating their position.

One example was given that a $800.00 lift in revenue resulted in around $150.00 in gross profit. They said that is not acceptable given the labour model required under the Australia Post contract.

The core argument I heard was that they earned less than an award wage for doing work covered by an award.

While this is an LPO fight, newsagents may find it interesting, especially if they do take legal action.

16 likes

Category: Australia Post

8 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Colin // Sep 26, 2018 at 6:21 AM

    Australia Post will be put under pressure to settle. It would be a minefield if it got to court. Who can sell newspapers and cover fair work rates for doing so.

    1 likes

  • 2 Graeme // Sep 26, 2018 at 6:47 AM

    It depends on the volume of sales. $6k p.w. in shop sales makes it viable.

    1 likes

  • 3 Colin // Sep 26, 2018 at 7:44 AM

    Maybe at weekends. Physically not possible to sell weekday tabloids and cover hourly pay rate. Same issue with low value scratchies.

    0 likes

  • 4 Steve B // Sep 26, 2018 at 8:54 AM

    There are many in LPOs who expect Australia Post just to provide their income without working on their business themselves.
    Newsagents have learnt they need to diversify or die. Many LPOs have the same opportunity, and Australia Post encourage them to , but they have purchased an LPO just to see themselves through to retirement with a supposed guaranteed income.
    Life doesn’t work that way anymore.

    2 likes

  • 5 Paul S // Sep 26, 2018 at 10:33 AM

    Steve B you’re very wrong in your summation and there are significant difference between the purchase and requirements of running a LPO and a Newsagent. I suspect you have done neither.

    A newsagency has NO government or franchiser mandated requirements (unless you have Tatts) where as there are a raft of them in a Post Office. For years AP wanted to control what was done inconjunction with the Post Office. AP wanted to control working hours and has mandated nearly 100% of the payments or income received for the services provided by the Post Office. You tell me how they are similar (I own both and they are VERY dissimilar).
    AP has very happily increased payments to their own staff and provided them bonuses year after year well above the CPI increase they have provided LPOs , periodically on only some services, over the same time. At the same time service levels have decreased, mail has gotten slower for more money, AP has poached business from it’s own LPOs and AP has tried to force LPOs into taking AP services that would make AP more money at the cost of the LPO.
    AP could get rid of some of the fat arses sitting in many of the management seats that are just waiting for their retirement and do the right thing and pay LPO’s fairly. Not extravagantly , just fairly, for the services they are obliged to provide to the community. Maybe if they get rid of some of the chaff from AP corporate they could do that ?

    The other major difference between LPOs and many Newsagencys is that Newsagents had the chance many years ago to do something about their future when deregulation occurred. However infighting, weak splintered representative groups (some of whom are more than likely in the pockets of the suppliers and not representing the people they should be) and the general disfunction of individual newsagents prevented any such action. Fortunately for LPOs they now have a representative body who are active LPOs who actually involved in the business and who have the best interests of other LPOs at heart and are willing to fight for their futures. Don’t begrudge them that because they could do something that Newsagents couldn’t.

    Unless that is that you are a person of large posterior which may explain your reason for posting what you did here…..

    39 likes

  • 6 Adrian // Sep 27, 2018 at 7:00 AM

    Graeme your retail sales should not subsidise your delivery costs and trying to get hwt and fairfax to come up with more money for delivery is very unlikely to happen. We are in the same boat , lose money on delivery but shop retail sales are still strong

    0 likes

  • 7 Graeme // Sep 27, 2018 at 8:38 AM

    100% agreed Adrian. Problem is sorting out the difference with the latest Distribution take by News Corp for the Sydney Metro reducing over 400 territories to 9 Zones.
    Lot’s of pain and heartache. Many a sad story will come from this no matter how enevitable it was.

    0 likes

  • 8 Steve B // Sep 27, 2018 at 1:42 PM

    Paul S, sorry to disappoint you but I run a Newsagency/LPO and have done for over 20 years.
    Whilst I agree with some of what you say, in particular the way AP tried to control everything that happened in LPOs up to, say, 10 years ago times have changed and my recent experiences with AP and their staff have positive and in fact they have been supportive in helping me with extra ways to make money in my business.
    I do however not condone the way AP poached business from LPOs in the past however thankfully I did not get targeted in this way.
    I think what LPOs do need to focus on now, much the same as newsagents do, is how they can grow their business. There is no point in focusing on AP staff salary increases, or fat cats, the same as there is no point focussing on Gotch’s supply issues. They are out of our control.
    AP gave both of us a framework to make an income and whilst they worked against us for some years I now find them fully supportive. AP are also well aware of income issues for LPOs which is why the reins have been loosened as to what can be stocked in an LPO. They want to keep the network alive as the sheer number of Post Offices they have is their ace up the sleeve in their battle against the Tolls and other carriers trying to erode their parcel business.
    Threating legal action against AP for fair pay to me is an indication that perhaps those that support this action are perhaps working harder, but certainly not smarter in changing their business to meet current market trends.

    1 likes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Reload Image