we will bargain together

2 September 2021

Dear Members,

Today we met with NSW Trains to continue bargaining for a new enterprise agreement. This is despite the insult that was delivered to delegates last Friday when neither NSW Trains nor

Sydney Trains showed up to a meeting to hear your combined log of claims.

This disrespect will not be forgotten as members embark upon a period of protected industrial action.

Despite clearly saying last meeting that NSW Trains had finalised its claims for the new agreement, we had a number of new claims put on the table:

  1. Change to the Dispute Resolution Procedure – NSW Trains proposed to limit what can be disputed in the agreement. Currently, you can dispute anything to do with your employment. The change NSW Trains is seeking to limit what you can dispute to the clauses in the agreement, and the National Employment Standards.
  2. Delete clauses 12 and 13 entirely – NSW Trains wants to remove the clause that allow for change to occur during the life of the Agreement (clause 12) and the clause that stops them from making changes without the consent of union members. These are the clauses that were used to stop NSW Trains pushing the unsafe NIF out onto the network.
  3. Add a limitation to clause 34.2 – NSW Trains wants to add the words “so far as is reasonably practicable” to the clause that obligates them to ensure a safe workplace, effectively reducing their obligation to keep members safe at work.

With the mandate from members on the importance of the DSP and clauses 12 and 13, the CRU rejected the claims by NSW Trains immediately. In relation to clause 34, given that we have a claim relating to this clause, their proposal will be discussed in the context of our claim to ensure changes are as safe or safer than current practices.

NSW Trains also added some detail to its claim to change the customer facing classifications. They have put the new pay rates proposed, with some classifications proposed to have their base rate increase by between 1% and 20%. However, the catch is that these same classifications will be losing out on conditions NSW Trains have proposed be changed (ADOs, unpaid meal breaks, the time overtime kicks in). For example, we have performed a quick analysis on Passenger Service Attendants, and on the information available, some shifts will actually be worse off. We’re seeking more detail on this proposal.

In terms of CRU claims, we put to NSW Trains:

  1. Our claim for an Electrical Safety Rules Allowance
  2. Right to disconnect
  3. Union inclusion in HSR election process

The only response to claims that we previously put was  NSW Trains saying NO to our claim that the current COVID cleaning regime, and the same level of cleaning into the future, be performed by staff who are directly employed.

In some good news, NSW Trains have moved somewhat on their staunch opposition to including the Redundancy Deed in the new agreement. NSW Trains are now actively considering which terms can be put in the new agreement following the pressure from the EA delegates team across both NSW Trains and Sydney Trains. We’ll keep you posted on that development.

As always, stay safe

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) 92611342
nswho@rtbu-nsw.asn.au

Last modified: 07/09/2021