EA Update: Voting NO in solidarity

18 March 2021

Dear Members,

Last Friday, we wrote to members advising of some confusing communications from management about the voting process. Management circulated an example question that was at best confusing and at worst deliberately misleading.

The Combined Rail Unions wrote to management and have now been told that management WILL NOT use the example question listed on Vero.

The question Members will be asked to vote on starting Monday, 22 March is:

Do you vote in favour of the proposed variation to the Sydney Trains Enterprise Agreement 2018?”

The answer every member should give as supported by the initial RTBU Member survey result is NO. 

There has also been some confusion about the documents that management has sent members explaining the variation.  The document changes to the clause containing pay increases, that have ALREADY BEEN PAID – the proposed variation was contained at the end at (d) and was a paltry 0.3% on 1 May 2021.

The offer is for only 0.3%. You can find an urgent notice for members right here.Please download and circulate to your networks.

Make sure every one of your workmates understands and that every one of your workmates votes no.

By voting no, we are not just advancing our own interests; we are voting in solidarity with the fight of other front-line workers (nurses, doctors, police, etc.) who the NSW Government has forced on this measly 0.3% increase.

The NSW Government used the cover of the Covid-19 pandemic to slash the wages of public sector workers. While the community applauded our essential work, the Berejiklian Government quietly and deliberately hatched a plan to stop paying front-line workers any pay increase at all.

The Union movement bitterly fought this move to slash wages, but the NSW Industrial Relations Commission ruled that state covered public sector workers would only receive a 0.3% pay increase for working through a global pandemic.

Every time we have bargained, we have beaten the state wage cap, but this negotiation is not just about money. It is about respect, job security, and our opportunity to negotiate with management about what we want.

By making sure there is a significant NO Vote, we will send a message to our employer and the NSW Government that we will not accept a pittance to give up our industrial rights.

Things you can do today: 

  1. Have you got your voting details yet? If you have not, contact management straight away and let them know.
  2. Download and put a poster up at your workplace you can grab from either the RTBU Express or Loco Express.
  3. Take a selfie, either by yourself or in a group holding a vote no sign. When we gather enough, we will share these pictures so that members and management can see a groundswell of support for this NO VOTE. 
  4. You can email these pictures to nswho@rtbu-nsw.asn.au.

When voting opens next week, be ready to stand with your workmates and workers everywhere by Voting NO together.

In solidarity,


Last modified: 01/04/2021