we will bargain together

8 June 2022
Dear members,
Firstly, we acknowledge that over the past couple of weeks there hasn’t been much communication from the bargaining table. This is largely due to there being nothing to report. You may recall that on 19 May 2022, we reported that our 84 agreed claims (including our claims for the NIF and One Agreement) were to be subject to the Expenditure Review Committee (ERC) shortly.

The NSW Government’s “Expenditure Review Committee” – a mysterious process of the Perrottet Government, whose exact role and even committee members no one even seems able to confirm – was due to review a ‘package’ which includes many key elements of our enterprise agreement as well as the costs of ensuring the safety of the New InterCity Fleet.

We had been told that the ERC would be meeting last Thursday to decide on whether to approve the 84 agreed claims. As of Monday this week, we had still not heard of an outcome from the ERC process and demanded a meeting with the Transport Minister, David Elliot, and the Employee Relations Minister, Damien Tudehope.
Late yesterday we met with the Ministers Elliot and Tudehope in an attempt to get an update on our claims to move bargaining forward. Unfortunately, the Ministers advised us that the ERC has still not yet reviewed the ‘package’ and will not be doing so prior to the State Budget being handed down on 21 June 2022.
This was obviously a disappointing outcome, particularly after the Ministers indicated the process was due to take place weeks ago. To add insult to injury, this week the Premier announced that it would be lifting the public sector wage cap to a measly 3% (remembering that the NSW government is including the federally mandated superannuation increase in the overall wage rise, meaning it remains closer to 2.5%) at a time when inflation is out of control.
The NSW Government has been complaining about the cost of altering the New InterCity Fleet to make it safe, but it seems happy to leave the NIF sitting idle at significant cost to the taxpayers – reportedly $30 million a month. It also seems very content with allowing hardworking frontline workers to take a significant pay cut when the cost of living is going through the roof.
While the NSW Government seems happy to drag its heels, we are not and will continue to put pressure on the Ministers to provide an update on the government’s decision on the ‘package’. The union will be placing various pieces of new industrial action on over the coming weeks, so please stay tuned and prepare for more collective action.

We will provide members with another update as soon as more information comes to hand. In the meantime, if you’d like to send the members of the ERC (our best guess at who the members are anyway) a message, you can do so at www.ourtransport.org.au/tell-the-nsw-government-to-support-rail-workers/. Let’s remind them that this isn’t a political game and get ready to show them what happens when they try to make one out of the rights and lives of our members.
Remember to visit www.ourrightsourfight.com.au for resources and update for our EA campaign.

In Unity,
RTBU NSW

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)8 June 2022
Dear members,
Firstly, we acknowledge that over the past couple of weeks there hasn’t been much communication from the bargaining table. This is largely due to there being nothing to report. You may recall that on 19 May 2022, we reported that our 84 agreed claims (including our claims for the NIF and One Agreement) were to be subject to the Expenditure Review Committee (ERC) shortly.
The NSW Government’s “Expenditure Review Committee” – a mysterious process of the Perrottet Government, whose exact role and even committee members no one even seems able to confirm – was due to review a ‘package’ which includes many key elements of our enterprise agreement as well as the costs of ensuring the safety of the New InterCity Fleet.
We had been told that the ERC would be meeting last Thursday to decide on whether to approve the 84 agreed claims. As of Monday this week, we had still not heard of an outcome from the ERC process and demanded a meeting with the Transport Minister, David Elliot, and the Employee Relations Minister, Damien Tudehope.
Late yesterday we met with the Ministers Elliot and Tudehope in an attempt to get an update on our claims to move bargaining forward. Unfortunately, the Ministers advised us that the ERC has still not yet reviewed the ‘package’ and will not be doing so prior to the State Budget being handed down on 21 June 2022.
This was obviously a disappointing outcome, particularly after the Ministers indicated the process was due to take place weeks ago. To add insult to injury, this week the Premier announced that it would be lifting the public sector wage cap to a measly 3% (remembering that the NSW government is including the federally mandated superannuation increase in the overall wage rise, meaning it remains closer to 2.5%) at a time when inflation is out of control.
The NSW Government has been complaining about the cost of altering the New InterCity Fleet to make it safe, but it seems happy to leave the NIF sitting idle at significant cost to the taxpayers – reportedly $30 million a month. It also seems very content with allowing hardworking frontline workers to take a significant pay cut when the cost of living is going through the roof.
While the NSW Government seems happy to drag its heels, we are not and will continue to put pressure on the Ministers to provide an update on the government’s decision on the ‘package’. The union will be placing various pieces of new industrial action on over the coming weeks, so please stay tuned and prepare for more collective action.
We will provide members with another update as soon as more information comes to hand. In the meantime, if you’d like to send the members of the ERC (our best guess at who the members are anyway) a message, you can do so at www.ourtransport.org.au/tell-the-nsw-government-to-support-rail-workers/. Let’s remind them that this isn’t a political game and get ready to show them what happens when they try to make one out of the rights and lives of our members.
Remember to visit www.ourrightsourfight.com.au for resources and update for our EA campaign.

In Unity,
RTBU NSW


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) 92611342Bargaining Meeting #53 & Update on Wages Cap
Meeting #53 & Update on Wages Cap

Last modified: 17/06/2022