we will bargain together

5 August 2021

Dear Members,

Today, NSW Trains Delegates were again forced to meet with NSW Trains alone in an attempt to progress negotiations.

Once again, we intend to write to both Sydney Trains and NSW Trains requesting that they meet with the entire Delegates team to hear about our whole log of claims. Both entities have so far refused, demonstrating a shocking lack of good faith from your employers. Our claim for One Enterprise Agreement is still outstanding.

After the resounding victory in the Federal Court with the NIF, we did expect a shift in the tone and respect for today’s meeting. We did start to get some specifics about what NSW Trains has in their plans for you and proposed the Enterprise Agreement negotiations.

Here is what happened at the “table”

Federal Court and the New Intercity Fleet (NIF)

The Elephant in the room was the Federal Court decision on Tuesday. Your EA delegates asked directly if NSW Trains would now agree to bargain regarding our claims for safety and the Platform Train Interface (PTI) or if they would continue trying to use legal proceedings to force the NIF on to the tracks.

NSW Trains did acknowledge that this issue forms part of our Log of claims. But they could not tell us if NSW Trains would finally agree to resolve our numerous safety concerns at the bargaining table.

An offer for Station Staff, On Boarders and PSS

One proposal put forward by NSW Trains was to create a new section in the EA with a different payment arrangement for customer service roles. NSW Trains are promising a higher base rate in return for greater flexibility and simplification. We all know that when the boss asks for “flexibility” and “simplicity”, it is rarely for the benefit of workers.

Management did admit the offer would not impact penalty rates or shift allowance. Still, through critical questions, your EA Delegates identified the intent to introduce 10-hour shifts, remove a paid lunch break, and move the goal post for overtime.

We have requested the specifics of this claim to be detailed in writing so we can consider the offer in its entirety.

We also requested a full copy of the NSW Trains Log of Claims. It is nearly impossible to consider proposals in a vacuum. We can only consider any offer when we know the full intent of what else management are trying to change.

The Deed

We also got a very clear answer on one thing. NSW Trains does NOT intend to renegotiate the Redundancy and Redeployment Deed.

Your delegates made it very clear that NSW Trains should reconsider this position. Members have resoundingly told us they will fight to retain the deed, and your delegates told them that in no uncertain terms.

We are expecting an imminent decision from the Fair Work Commission regarding the Protected Action Ballot, and when that happens, members will have the opportunity to vote to take action and demonstrate just how serious we are about the fight for our rights.

We will be in touch soon.


Issued & authorised by Alex Claassens, Secretary, Rail, Tram and Bus Union – NSW Branch

Level 4, 321 Pitt Street,
Sydney NSW 2000
Tel: (02) 92642511
Fax: (02) 92611342

Last modified: 06/08/2021