The LPO Agreement - What Can We Find?
Who might know what we need to know?
In 1992 - 1993 Australia Post and POAAL drafted and implemented the LPO agreement, and then entered into a consultative agreement to manage the LPO Agreement that dictates all things pertaining to life in an LPO. And Licensees have been kept in the dark about it ever since.
No Licensees that we are aware of have been provided with a copy of the consultative agreement. Apparently that is 'commercial in confidence'. Not for Licensees eyes? Incredible as that may sound. No Licensees that we are aware of have seen the workings for the payment scheme. How were the payments designed. Who worked them out? Who checked? Who approved? What was the basis of the business model? In light of the fact that Licensees are now being so exploited by Australia Post, and ignored by POAAL, these questions become very topical. The LPO Agreement needs a thorough review, but does it need to be thrown out, or does it need to be modernised? How would we know that if we have never seen the bones of the thing?
So LPOG is looking for the rule book, then we will all know what the rules really are, instead of being told 10 different versions depending on the day of the week, or the state of your relationship with Australia Post, or even the state your LPO is in. LPOG wants the rules on the table so we can all have a good look.
Do you have any information on how the agreement was drafted? Any information on the actual intended rules and payments? Any idea who might know?
This Agreement is being abused by one party, ignored and neglected by another party, leaving the Licensees without any solid ground to stand on. This is not the way the Agreement was intended to be run. For years Australia Post had a Process and Procedures manager. This position was the adjudicator for all areas of dispute in regard to the LPO Agreement. There was a clear set of rules that was fairly administered for (dare we say it) mutual benefit for both sides.
It is unclear just when this position was done away with, but suffice to say it was some time in the last 6 - 7 years, that we can point to. Now instead of an overview of issues open to dispute, Australia Post advises Licensees to contact their Network Managers. With the greatest respect, some of these people are very nice people, but not many of them have any idea of what the intention of any aspect of the LPO Agreement was designed to cover in 1992. Some of the Network Managers might not have even been born then. Regardless of any of that aspect, they toe the company line. They believe what they are told to believe. Several years ago in NSW, Network Managers were not aware that the Agreement allowed for a Licensee portion of the LPO premises. They stood in front of Licensees and denied facts that were printed in black and white. It was quite an eye opener for many NSW Licensees.
The lack of the Process and Procedure Manager has allowed the distortion and deflection of basic rights and obligations to become part of Australia Post's every day in dealing with Licensees and our LPOs. Licensees need to reclaim the ground lost. There were Process and Procedure managers in every state and we need to find some of the old guard. We need to roll them out and call the 'new bloods' to account.
Unlike today, when reward on the corporate side is based on how much you can get out of paying the LPOs, there was a time when corporate success depended on the overall success of the LPO network. So jog your memories. Do you remember any AP friendlies who actually wanted LPOs to thrive and were delighted when we did, because they were rewarded for our success? We want to talk to those guys, so round them up if you know them. Check your back room for any old documents that might shed some light where AP would prefer it never to shine. Lets see what we can find.