There have been many reports of companies such as Countdown paying a bonus to all essential workers who have continued to work through the lockdown. We have proposed to your employer a similar scheme for all NZ Post union members who work over this time. Watch this space, we’ll update you with progress.
Your safety at work
E tū has been in daily contact with the company about how they are managing health and safety during this lockdown. We have worked with the company to ensure that all essential workers are kept safe and provided with adequate PPE. This is the primary concern raised by most union members.
Below is of what Post promise will be provided at all sites:
ALL SITES (PRINTING, PROCESSING, CONTRACT LOGISTICS AND SERVICE DELIVERY) MUST HAVE:
- Daily site cleaning provided by external cleaning suppliers at most sites.
Note: There will be a small number of remote sites where we don’t have external cleaner providers and local leaders will need to implement their own alternative arrangements. The risk profile at some smaller sites (eg. less number of people on site during the day, coupled with other controls) may also mean full daily cleaning is not necessary. Each site will be assessed and risk based approach to cleaning protocols applied.
- All basic sanitary items – soap (liquid or bar), toilet paper, paper towels for hand drying. This remains the most effective personal hygiene approach. Site based bottles or dispensers of hand sanitizer (alcohol or non-alcohol) are additional to this or could be a short term substitute. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer should be prioritised for delivery people who cannot easily access other hand washing facilities.
- Access to toilets.
- Surface (desks, counters, tables, kitchens, etc) cleaning products for wiping down in between externally provided cleaning. These could include easily purchased disinfectant spray and wipe type products from local supermarkets.
- Alcohol-wipes (or substitute) for shared equipment used by the same person during a shift – eg. Scanners, forklifts, Paxsters, etc. Substitutes could include meths and disposable wipes or other disinfectant spray and disposable wipes. Give the extremely low risk profile of other items such as barrow, roles cages, etc, the other controls (particularly regular hand washing and not touching your face) will minimise any risk. Sites will discuss and determine which shared items are to be wiped down.
- 2 mtr social distancing practices and monitor these are being applied.
- Leaders making sure that all team members are well – ie. Regularly reminding them not to come to work if they are sick and intervening if anyone comes to work appearing unwell. Leaders also need to ensure any vulnerable people, or primary carers of vulnerable people who live in the same house, are not coming into work.
ALL SERVICE DELIVERY SITES MUST ALSO HAVE:
- Alcohol-based Hand Sanitizer for delivery people (or substitute). Short term substitutes could include, non-alcohol-based hand sanitizer, small bottle of liquid soap and bottle of water for rinsing and paper towels for drying, or baby wipes.
They have also stated: If mandatory requirements (or agreed substitutes) are not in place, then people should not be working.
What is printed above is an excerpt from a full paper provided by the company called “COVID-19 – Personal Protective Equipment and Services”. Ask your team leader for a copy.
E tū has been continually advocating for our members who are unable to attend work for health or childcare reasons. We have asked the company to apply for any subsidies available on your behalf, and we have clearly stated what should be available for members who may not be able to attend work at the present time.
A comprehensive table has been produced by the company showing what is available to all workers. This has been sent to all delegates, and all team leaders should have a copy.
Key situations include:
|In isolation due to:
|Leave type and process
|Being a vulnerable person (as defined by MoH criteria)
|Working from home if the job allows, or special paid leave (reviewed every 14 days).
|Absence of essential worker due to childcare needs
|The team leader will work with our member to determine whether there is an alternative carer within the household or if a “trust buddy” can be used. Where there are no other options for childcare, a leader may allow the employee to take special paid leave.
|Absence due to living with a person classed as vulnerable.
|NZ Post’s medical advice is if they are taking all appropriate steps to protect employees from COVID-19, then the risk of bringing it home to a vulnerable person is low. However, some employees will live with people who are especially vulnerable, and they will address these examples on a case by case basis; special paid leave may be available.
Again, each site should have a full copy of this paper titled “COVID-19 – Managing Leave”. Ask your team leader for a copy.
E tū, PWUA and NZ Post will be working through the draft terms of settlement and other documents via videoconference on Thursday 2 April.
Following feedback from the E tū national delegate team and discussions between both unions, it has been agreed that ratification will be postponed temporarily. We will evaluate the situation regularly over the coming weeks and decide as soon as possible about how and when to proceed. All agreed increases will still be backdated to 1 April 2020.