we will bargain together

EA Update: NSW Trains Bargaining Meeting and PAB in FWC 23 July 

22 July 2021

Dear Members,

It has been a challenging few weeks on the railways with Covid-19 restrictions rapidly changing the way we work, how we work and where we work.

But while this has been going, RTBU Officials and Delegates have continued to try and progress negotiations for the NSW Trains and Sydney Trains Enterprise Agreements.

Today, NSW Trains once again ploughed ahead with their plan to divide your EA team, insisting on meeting with JUST NSW Trains Delegates.

In an attempt to progress good faith negotiations, the Combined Rail Unions invited Sydney Trains to participate in today’s meeting and hear about our Combined Log of Claims. Once again, Sydney Trains did not attend.

It was not evident whether NSW Trains refused to allow Sydney Trains to come or Sydney Trains declined to show up. Either way, it is a slap in the face to members and delegates who have worked hand in hand to design a claim for all passenger railway workers.

NSW Trains have committed, once again, to consider our request for a combined meeting of your EA delegate team so we can explain our Combined Log of Claims.

Your delegate team once again asked for a log of claims from NSW Trains. In response we were presented with fluffy aspirations for the agreement. Management wants the agreement to provide “flexibility” and “career mobility” for station staff and on-boarders.

The only item of substance was an obscure reference to an all-inclusive wage for station staff and on-board roles with absolutely no detail about what this meant or where they would gain the “employee related cost savings” that is apparently required.

When management pitches an all-inclusive salary and flexibility; they are talking about flexibility for them and cuts to your conditions.

RTBU Officials and Delegates called out the lack of specificity and asked for a detailed proposal that we could genuinely consider.

By contrast, our claims are clear. They include:

  • 5% pay rise for the life of the agreement
  • 1% increase in superannuation above the compulsory amount
  • Job security by maintain the redundancy deed
  • An anti-privatisation clause
  • An annual bonus for all railways workers forced to work through pandemics or disasters

Specifically for on-board and station staff:

  • Guaranteeing the retention of the roles of station staff and on-board staff at the platform train interface
  • Establishing enforceable rostering and working arrangements for station staff and on-board staff
  • Increasing night shift allowance by 15%

You can find our full log of claims at https://www.ourrightsourfight.com.au/log-of-claims/

Management also requested we discuss our log of claims. We had to painstakingly explain, again, that our log of claims was designed and developed by our entire EA team with the intent of negotiating for core and common conditions across NSW Trains and Sydney Trains. If there are claims that do not affect Sydney Trains members at all, we’re happy to discuss them.

Management has agreed to identify which claims they think only relate to NSW Trains and provide us with their questions in writing.

After our third meeting with NSW Trains, we have made very little progress. Only by taking action can we show our real power and force management to respect us, at the table and at work.

This Friday, 23 July, RTBU Officials will be in the Fair Work Commission applying for an order which will allow members to vote to take protected action. If we are successful, you will be able to vote on the type of protected action you are willing to take to advance our campaign for respect at work.

To ensure things can move quickly when we achieve the order, we have engaged an external agency that will run the vote online and provide the results straight away. The agency has signed a legally binding declaration that all data will remain private. It is vitally important that every member votes so if you have any concerns, please contact us for further information.

What members can do right now:

Your details must be up to date with BOTH your Employer and the Union Office. You can update your details with the Union Office right here.

Talk to your workmates and make sure they have updated their details as well.

Share this update with your workmates to make sure everyone knows our campaign for the respect we deserve is heating up.

In Solidarity,

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: 23/07/2021