Sydney Trains Bargaining Update

21 October 2021

Dear Members,

Yesterday we met with Sydney Trains at the virtual bargaining table. This will hopefully be the last meeting to take place purely over teams and future meetings will be face to face, COVID permitting.

Today’s meeting happened after Sydney Trains backed off its attack on your delegates. The strength of your combined delegates, and the unity of the Combined Rail Unions was on show for the last two weeks through a refusal to continue the process while delegates were under attack. It is a relief that this saga is over and we can continue bargaining, but we are on the look out for any further bad behaviour particularly during periods of industrial action.

After a prolonged period of industrial action by members, Sydney Trains’ Chief Executive finally attended the bargaining meeting to hear your delegates put forward their claims. This is something that we have been calling for since the start of negotiations, and it is a step in the right direction. We have urged Sydney Trains to continue to show your delegates this level of respect.

In this meeting, we presented the following claims:

  • Change the termination on medical advice (TOMA) procedure to ensure that all options of redeployment are looked at before an employees is terminated.
  • The staff review process to be overseen by a review panel comprised of a union, an employer, and an independent representative.
  • Any workplace restructure must ensure that any displaced employees are placed somewhere else on the railway.
  • Contractors and labour hire workers are to be afforded the same pay and conditions as the same classification under the agreement.
  • Contractors will be offered a permanent job with Sydney Trains after 3 months work.
  • The Redundancy Deed will be incorporated into the Agreement and retained.

We continue to push for a single agreement for both Sydney Trains and NSW Trains. It remains very important that RTBU members at both employers remain united and share a common set of employment conditions, including any gains we make during this negotiation. While the employers refuse to accept this claim, we will continue to escalate our industrial action.

In the meantime, keep speaking to each other about the log of claims and what is important to you and those you work with. Let your delegate know that you’re behind them and you have their support. Your delegates are working hard to ensure we all achieve the best possible 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: 22/10/2021