History and the CEPU today

The CEPU has emerged as a national Union representing workers in the Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Industries.The CEPU was formed in 1994 as the result of an amalgamation between the Communication Workers Union of Australia [CWU], the Electrical Trades Union [ETU] and the Plumbing and Gasfitters Employees Union of Australia (now known as the Plumbing Trades Employees Union [PTEU].Your Union, the NSW Postal & Telecommunications Branch of the Communications Division had it’s roots grounded from the CWU, predominantly from the Australian Postal & Telecommunications Union [the APTU].

The APTU holds it’s origins in the Australian Letter Carriers’ Association and the Australian Telegraph, Telephone Construction & Maintenance Union [later known as the Australian Postal Linesmen Union of Australia] which were both registered federally in 1912.

In 1924 the Australian Letter Carriers’ Association changed its name to the Commonwealth Public Service Fourth Division Employees’ Union of Australia only to amalgamate a year later with the Postal Sorters’ Union of Australia and the Australian Postal Linesmen Union of Australia to form the Amalgamated Postal Linesmen Sorters’ & Letter Carriers’ Union of Australia.

From 1926 it was known as the Amalgamated Postal Workers’ Union [APWU], covering postmen, sorters and linesmen.

The APWU served until 1974 when it changed its’ name to the Australian Postal & Telecommunications Union as a result of a further amalgamation with the Union of Postal Clerks and Telegraphists.

From 1990 the Union amalgamated with the Australian Postmasters’ Association and later the Postal Supervisory Officers’ Association to eventually be known as the Communication Workers Union and later to be joined by the Australian Telecommunications Employee Association/Australian Telephone & Phonogram Officers Association [ATEA/ATPOA] and the Telecommunication Officers Association [TOA].

By 1994 the CWU had merged with the Electrical Electronic Plumbing & Allied Workers Union of Australia [the end product of a merger between the ETU and the PTEU] to form the Communications Electrical Electronic Energy Information Postal Plumbing & Allied Services Union of Australia.

Today, combined, the CEPU currently represents over 130,000 workers Australia wide, with over 50,000 represented by the Communications Division.

Through a Divisional structure, each branch of the CEPU operates autonomously and maintains a close relationship with it’s members.

The NSW Postal & Telecommunications Branch is governed by it’s own Executive (The Branch Committee of Management), elected by the Union’s members every four years.

The elected full-time officials as prescribed in the Union’s Rules are also elected by the membership every four years.

The Communications Division of the CEPU is administered on a national level through a Divisional Office.

The Divisional Officials and Executive are directly elected by the membership of all branches which belong to the Communications Division on a National level.

On a combined National level, the Communications Division is represented on the Executive of the CEPU by way of the Divisional Secretary holding the position of CEPU National President, and elected representatives from the Communications Division holding Executive positions on the CEPU National Council.

The NSW Postal & Telecommunications Branch and the Communications Division is affiliated to the following organisations:

  • The Labor Council of NSW (Unions NSW)
  • The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU)
  • Union Aid Abroad (APHEDA)
  • The Australian Labor Party NSW Branch

The NSW Postal & Telecommunications Branch is located on Level 3, 81 George Street Parramatta NSW.

The Branch is the owner of the building and currently lets out two floors of office space, and three ground floor retail spaces.

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