Recently Your Union was provided with several documents that outlined a change in the guidelines and principles for NPBS employees to become eligible to receive Higher Duties Allowance as per Clause 16.7 of the 2015 EA.

When the USU reviewed these documents we raised our concerns with NPBS Management by way of formal documentation.

By way of background the concerning changes outlined in the document entitled “Higher Duties and Alterations of Employment- Principles” include the statements:

  • “Roles being vacated for less than 2 weeks will not be filled unless it is required to allow a branch to open.”
  • “Roles being vacated for more than 2 weeks and up to 2 months will be backfilled using higher duties only if:” this was followed by three qualifying criteria

Upon receipt of NPBS management’s response Your Union’s concerns were further heightened when NPBS management stated, in part, “..that for absences of less than two weeks, a replacement is not required where the work can be put on hold or reasonably managed.”

Our view is that if the FTE is set and is to be adhered to – as has been past practice – why is there now an apparent acceptance that leaving Branches/ Departments short for up to 2 weeks is OK.

For example if a branch has 4 MSOs and 1 goes on leave how can Customer Service levels be maintained? Will it adversely impact the Customer Experience?

We asked several questions to gain an understanding of what type of work could be “put on hold” or “reasonably managed” as we do not want to see Union members have to do more work than usual simply because NPBS want to save on salary costs.

Their answer was, in our opinion, flippant and dismissive of our genuine concerns for the long term wellbeing of Union members.

BUT you be the judge … this is their latest response for your perusal.


YOUR UNION representatives WILL be looking to meet with NPBS management to discuss this, and other matters.

In the interim should USU members be asked to perform significant duties above their current position level or asked to take on extra duties to cover for absent employees because of a lack of cover please contact your Union representatives for advice.

If you have any questions about this email, please contact me on 0409 0766 33 or via email at or one of the below delegates. 

Dannielle Hunt – USU Workplace Delegate
P: 4943 7455

Skye Ferfoglia – USU Workplace Delegate
P: 4952 4422