In 2021 RTBU Delegates will be negotiating with Sydney and NSW Trains for our new Enterprise Agreement.
We have no doubt that this negotiation will be tough, and we will have to fight harder than ever before to maintain and build on our existing conditions.
We are facing a challenging year. Last year, in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic the NSW Government attempted to freeze the wages of public sector workers. The Union movement fought bitterly against this decision, but the NSW Industrial Relations Commission ruled that NSW workers were only worth 0.3%.
On top of this the Federal Government successfully passed their Omnibus Bill through the Senate on March 19. While Union and Community members successfully stopped some of the worst aspects of the bill the Government was successful in redefining casual employees which will make these insecure jobs, even less secure.
We have no doubt the Government will come for workers rights again and are ready for the fight. The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) has just announced they are seeking a 3.5% pay increase for all Award based employees in Australia.
We will back in this campaign as well as working to get the best deal for RTBU members through this Enterprise Bargaining period.
Throughout our strong and proud history RTBU members have stood strong and protected conditions through hostile Governments and legislation. We have already had a first victory with members collectively rejecting the NSW Governments proposal to roll over this agreement for a measly 0.3%
This first victory was achieved by members standing together and we will need to continue this solidarity as bargaining kicks off.
Only by sticking together and taking collective action can we overcome these challenges.