Another change to Gillard’s cabinet? I note  the comments from “a public servant” about that meeting at the Holy Grail in Kingston. This meeting also provided an insight into why a high-profile minister will soon be demoted to the back bench due to a major issue with the famous four. A split portfolio again will be whole …

Greens locked out in Marrickville. A done deal with the Independents in Marrickville Council — which saw Labor given the mayor baton for the past two years — will see Morris Hanna become mayor “one final time” next week. No Labor-hugging greenies when it comes to council, it seems: the Greens have five councillors and Labor has four; Independents make up the 12.

The ratepayers of Marrickville already know Hanna doesn’t like the Greens. Considering Grayndler is now marginal with the 2010 election results having 2PP Labor/Greens you would think that Labor would stop putting its eggs all in the Independents’ baskets just to hold onto some semblance of power. But the deal to have Sam Iskander mayor — coincidentally in the early part of the year when he could return to his country of birth as mayor on ratepayers’ money — will come full circle next week. Again the Greens will be locked out of the mayor race.

Seven’s show gone to the dogs? Rumour has it that Seven’s new Border Security spin-off about sniffer dogs has hit a snag with Customs officers refusing to co-operate. Apparently the Seven crew returned home from a planned shoot at Sydney Airport on Friday with nothing in the can after Customs staff voted to not participate.

Customs dog handlers have a long list of unresolved workplace issues, including being paid up $8000 a year less than “doggies” in Australian Protective Services and Quarantine. They are also getting tired of the way management uses the dog-handlers for cute and fluffy PR but refuses to deal with real workplace problems. Meanwhile, CPSU members right across Customs have overwhelmingly rejected management’s latest pay offer and industrial action is possible in coming weeks.

A disgruntled Aus Post worker writes: The proposed agreement to Australia Post workers offers a 10% pay rise over three years. Pretty good, hey? No — it’s actually 1%/year. Why? The 4% rise in December was already agreed to two years ago (but will now be removed if we vote no). This means our pay is actually only increasing an extra 6% over three years. However, 3% is dependant on performance targets being met, including mail volumes increasing.

As small letter volumes have been decreasing, that leaves us with 3% over three years. Australia Post also fudges its figures on pay increases by neglecting to mention that the 15% shift penalty has been abolished for posties starting in the past five or six years (i.e. that’s effectively a 15% pay cut for new starters) and they also don’t mention that the rate for meal allowances has not increased for at least 15 years. Factor in these two things and postal workers’ pay increases have been way below CPI.

Managers get their bonuses though by reducing costs (via the postie’s pay and by increasing posties’ run sizes without giving them more time to complete the run) and by “reducing” lost time injuries (by making it virtually impossible for a postie injured at work to be allowed time off — they prop us up in a corner doing nothing all day so there is no “lost” time). Shonky. I feel better now …

A ghost on the station … Dennis Station on the Hurstbridge line in Melbourne has been unmanned for several years. This does not stop the air-conditioning going full bore in the office. Who knows why?