we will bargain together

8 February 2022

Dear Members

You may have heard on the news that we met with the Transport Minister first thing on Monday morning after pressure mounted on the weekend as our industrial action commenced. At 0001 on Sunday, RTBU members across the state banned:

  • Overtime
  • Working with contractors
  • Foreign depot work for train crew

The Minister told your representatives that our industrial action had got his attention and that it was time to start seriously talking about our claims for a new enterprise agreement. Of particular concern to the Minister was the ongoing overtime ban by Sydney Trains Signallers.

Late yesterday, the Minister advised us that he would be willing to include the following claims into the new enterprise agreement if Signallers lifted their overtime action until 21 February. This afternoon, the Minister committed in writing to:

With respect to staffing arrangements on the New Intercity Fleet – the NSW Government commits to no driver only operations, and to retain status quo which means that station staff (at stations that are currently staffed), on train repeaters, PSS, a fully safe working qualified guard and a driver will continue to work in conjunction to ensure safety at the passenger train interface.

A union representative with the appropriate expertise to be involved throughout the whole risk assessment process with Transport for NSW (or their agencies). Where there is disagreement, the matter will be referred to an independent third party.

Changes to rostering arrangements for Signallers and Area Controllers, including

  1. Long and short fortnights to be worked concurrently for Area Controllers; and
  2. Relief Signallers and Area Controllers to be put on standard 24×7 rotating roster when not filling a line ensuring guaranteed access to weekend work.

With the above commitment from the Transport Minister, our Signallers Sub-division executive met and decided that they would lift their ban on overtime in good faith to achieve these claims for the entire union, and to hopefully ensure that the Minister comes to the party in the future as our industrial action continues to bite.

As such, the union has advised the Minister that Signallers would lift the ban. However, should there be any reneging on these commitments, this ban will return.

The rest of the union will continue the three bans in place until 21 February ensuring that the pressure remains on. Further, with the new PAB finishing tomorrow, there is likely to be a new suite of actions commencing shortly.

Congratulations to the solidarity of our signallers who have landed this blow and pushed us ever so slightly closer to finalising an agreement.

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: 09/02/2022