we will bargain together

Propaganda and Games from NSW and Sydney Trains

29 June 2021

Dear Members,

Once again, while our members work through another wave of the Covid-19 Pandemic, Sydney and NSW Trains have communicated misleading messages about negotiations for your Enterprise Agreement.

Protected Action Ballot Order

Last Friday, RTBU Officials attended a directions hearing at the Fair Work Commission where both Sydney and NSW Trains said they would fight our application for a protected action ballot. The disgraceful waste of taxpayers’ money on expensive lawyers was once again on display – money that could be used providing hardworking members with a pay rise!

In yesterday’s email to members, Sydney Trains’ dared to imply that RTBU Officials and Delegates had not raised the issue of bargaining together with them before the Sydney Trains bargaining meeting on Wednesday 16 June.

This is simply not true.

The issue of bargaining together for one Enterprise Agreement has been raised on numerous occasions and deliberately ignored by management. The issue was put to Sydney and NSW Trains on 26 May 2021, 7 June 2021 and 24 June 2021.

We even invited management representatives to attend a meeting of Sydney and NSW Trains Delegates on 3 June 2021, and they refused.

Instead, they have ploughed ahead, booking separate meetings in separate locations despite knowing that members wanted to bargain as a united group of rail workers, for one agreement.

We attended these meetings, in good faith, but saw Sydney and NSW Trains use every trick in the book to try and avoid talking about this first and vital claim.

More legal games

Yesterday, we received notification that NSW Trains, in another desperate attempt to get the unsafe New Intercity Fleet (NIF) on the tracks, was suing the RTBU again.

This time, NSW Trains is trying to use a legal loophole to stop the Fair Work Commission hearing our dispute in relation to management forcing employees to board and “observe” the NIF. NSW Trains are saying that members have no right to agitate safety concerns in the Fair Work Commission and that their managers should have the right to direct employees to do whatever they say under the auspices of “managerial prerogative”.

Once again, NSW Trains is wasting taxpayers money by engaging expensive lawyers to exploit an unfair system and legal loopholes rather than meaningfully engaging with their workforce to work through the issues in a mature and productive manner.

Although they are making it painful, NSW Trains WILL listen to their workers and the NIF will only enter service if is safe. Reckless and irresponsible managers will not be allowed to push through their unsafe operating model.

The decision to fight for one Enterprise Agreement and launch the protected action ballot application was endorsed by your EA Delegates, who will continue to provide direction as we go through this process.

Make sure you keep an eye on your inbox and www.ourrightsourfight.com.au to get the real information about what is actually happening throughout this bargaining period.

In Solidarity,

PS: Update your details right here.

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: 29/06/2021