17 May 2022

Dear Members,

Many of you will have seen the news last night following a meeting between us and the NSW Premier, Dominic Perrottet.

Last week, the Minister for Employee Relations, Damien Tudehope threw a curve ball when he advised us that he would not be supporting our claims for safety alterations to the New Intercity Fleet, nor would he be supporting our claim for one agreement for Sydney Trains and NSW Trains.

Following that meeting, we immediately wrote to the Premier demanding a meeting in an effort to have him pull his Ministers into line.

Yesterday, we met with the Premier to discuss the change in position put by Minister Tudehope. The Premier predictably was not happy with the NIF remaining in storage while our safety dispute drags on and was anxious to know, if the alterations were made, how soon it could enter service.

We made it very clear that there was too much at stake for the safety of commuters to allow the NIF to enter service without our alterations, including removing traction interlocking, relocating the bell and door controls, and moving the CCTV monitors. We told the Premier the horror stories of the grief felt by members who are involved in fatalities, and that without the alterations, they will happen in increased numbers.

The Premier was concerned about the price tag being placed on the alterations – $1 Billion – a cost that even the Transport Minister is disputing. We told him that the cost seemed wildly exaggerated , and it appeared that the misleading information came from a small group in Transport for NSW and NSW Trains who had an agenda to see the NIF unchanged.

The Premier undertook to conduct his own investigation and fact checking with key stakeholders and have the numbers independently assessed. We suggested that the Government obtain three quotes before making a decision.

On the One Agreement claim, it was obvious once again that he had been given misleading information by some within Transport. We reiterated that this was not a claim that would cost the Government any money, our claim would streamline our conditions and unite rail workers, as was always the case before 2014 and could potentially save money in management costs.

This is all meant to be taking place this week, as the Expenditure Review Committee (ERC) is meeting on Thursday to determine a position on our 84 claims. However, this may be delayed if they are serious about getting the real costs for the ERC process.

It is very important that we put pressure on the Ministers who sit on the Government’s ERC. We’ve set up a template letter tool to be sent to these ministers.

Please distribute the following link to your networks, members, family, and friends: https://ourtransport.org.au/tell-the-nsw-government-to-support-rail-workers/

In the meantime, we will continue bargaining in good faith with a bargaining meeting and a further meeting with the Transport Minister to take place on Thursday.

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: 18/05/2022