we will bargain together

26 July 2022

Dear members,

Letter from Ministers

Last night, we received a letter signed by Employee Relations Minister, Damien Tudehope, and Acting Transport Minister, Natalie Ward.
In the letter, the NSW Government states that RTBU members’ objection to their offer are “without basis” and demand that we cease taking industrial action and finalise the bargaining process.

The Government continue to push its tired line that the New Intercity Fleet is safe, despite overwhelming evidence that it is not. Remember this is the same Government that bought ferries that are breaking up on Sydney Harbour, and Trams that are currently decommissioned as they are literally falling apart.

To say they have no credibility on public transport matters is an understatement.

The Government has said that the $264 million it has stated is there to fix the NIF does not make up part of the pay and conditions package put forward for the new agreement. However, it goes onto to say that the money is contingent on the approval of their substandard wages offer.

The letter then says on to state that the Government’s offer of 2.5%, 3% and 2% (granted – this includes our newly won conditions) is “generous”. However, there is no mention of the fact that inflation is running hot, and their wage offer actually entails members taking a significant cut in their real pay.

The Government then goes onto defend its backdown on the CRUs claims for better protection from Domestic Violence, and its refusal to allow women to have a half an hour unpaid break (on top of the two paid breastfeeding breaks members will be entitled too) if they need to lactate or express milk. Instead, they want to leave the decision on whether to allow women this right to local line managers’ discretion as “flexibility”.

The letter adds very little to the bargaining process and seems to be just a general whinge by a flailing Government. The purpose seems to be either an attempt to shame us in the media, or simply to tell us that we don’t deserve a fair deal.

Email from Sydney Trains about 4-hour stoppage on Thursday

Last night, members received an email from Sydney Trains stating that they were to either inform their line manager that they were taking action or notify using email if they use Transport Equip.

Once again, this is misleading and a cynic may see this as a way to dissuade members from taking action by putting up a barrier before that action is taken.

As an RTBU member, you do not have to advise your employer you are taking action. We have already done that when we notified them on 18 July 2022.

The only time that you should advise your employer of anything to do with the taking of industrial action is if you make the decision not to take the action.

Remember, if you hear anything like this that you don’t think sounds right, contact your delegate or organiser to get the facts.

In Unity,

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: 26/07/2022