we will bargain together

Updates from the Sydney Trains EA Meeting

16 June 2021

Dear Members,

Today, RTBU Representatives and many Delegates from the Combined Rail Unions had our first bargaining meeting with Sydney Trains.

About 70 people sat through a presentation from management about their rationale and business case that will, apparently, guide their decisions during this Enterprise Bargaining Process. Beyond “death by PowerPoint,” there was very little substance in the discussion.

The items that management put on the table included:

Delegate Release and Code of Conduct

Management spent a lot of time reminding your Delegates that they will still be bound by the code of conduct when they were at the table and should wear the Sydney Trains Uniform accordingly.

We disagreed with this and sent a clear visual message with a sea of blue RTBU shirts demonstrating our solidarity and professionalism in bargaining for your EA.

Management agreed to reconsider this position.

A Pay Rise but only through “Employee Cost Related Savings

Management advised that their priority was to award a pay increase of 0.3% in the first year and 1.5% in the second year. Anything beyond this would be delivered through “employee cost-related savings.”

Your Representatives were clear that members had already rejected the 0.3% variation attempt, and to put this back on the table was an absolute insult.
Management tried to justify this outrageous suggestion by linking this to the “Premiers Priorities.” and the NSW Governments future plans for public transport.

Understandably the blueprints, links, and PowerPoint slides did not convince your Delegates.

NSW Trains not released

There was a notable absence in our Delegation with NSW Trains Delegates NOT RELEASED to attend.
Your Representatives repeatedly attempted to raise this issue and finally at the very end of the meeting, Delegates were able to reiterate the Combined Rail Union position that we wanted to stick together and bargain for ONE ENTERPRISE AGREEMENT.

Today we showed management the level of anger around this deliberate divide and conquer tactic and told them that the issue of scope (or one agreement to cover all NSW and Sydney

Trains Employees) was a threshold issue that members had provided us with the mandate to fight for.

Management have agreed to take this away and consider this position, again. We will let you know when they respond.

Over the coming days, your EA Delegates will be meeting, debriefing, and planning our next steps.

We will be in touch very soon.
In Solidarity,

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: 22/06/2021