Pre-Bargaining Meeting with Sydney and NSW Trains – Nothing to see here
On Tuesday evening, the Combined Unions were invited to a meeting with Sydney and NSW Trains to discuss some questions posed by the Unions about their intentions for the upcoming bargaining round.
The Unions had asked Sydney and NSW Trains to consider and address the following points:
- Whether Sydney and NSW Trains intended to bargain together as has occurred in the past – and as RTBU members have overwhelmingly supported;
- Attendees at bargaining meetings and arrangements for booking off delegates;
- The time and length of bargaining meetings;
- Frequency of bargaining meetings – the Unions’ proposal was for fortnightly meetings for the first four months;
- Location of bargaining meetings – our proposal is to alternate between Trades Hall and a location chosen by Sydney/NSW Trains; and
- Format of meetings – our proposal is that they be in person and not online.
- At the meeting, the Unions put squarely to both employers that they should immediately produce the Notice of Employee Representative Rights (NERR) and commence bargaining with the full delegate team by next Thursday, 13 May 2021.
The only answer provided was that both Sydney and NSW Trains needed to “understand” why the Unions were asking these questions. Neither Sydney or NSW Trains agreed they would commence bargaining. They would not even agree to meet again with the Unions to give their positions on the above points.
How we have got to the expiry of both Agreements without Sydney or NSW Trains having made a decision to bargain is anyone’s guess. However, both organisations were able to act quickly and decisively when it came to putting a 0.3% pay offer and 6-month extension to Union members. We all know how that went…
There is no excuse to delay the process any further.
Although both organisations have said that they are “committed to bargain”, neither Sydney nor NSW Trains have done it yet.
Both Sydney and NSW Trains have undertaken to give the Unions an answer to the above, and when they will commence bargaining by no later than 5pm on Tuesday, 11 May 2021.