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An Update from the Negotiation Table: Sydney Trains

Jul 14, 2021Loco Express

The RTBU and the Combined Rail Unions (CRU) attended a second bargaining meeting with Sydney Trains via Microsoft Teams due to the current health restrictions. 

Management did everything possible to avoid discussing our claim for one enterprise agreement for both NSW Trains and Sydney Trains.

Their position is still 0.3%

Last weekend the Sydney Morning Herald reported that 34 senior executives had received massive pay increases as, once again, front-line workers work through a global pandemic. 

On top of this, the Fair Work Commission ruled a few weeks ago that the Minimum Wage for Federal Awards would increase by 2.5%.

Instead of updating their offer in light of the changing context, Sydney Trains once again reiterated their position of 0.3% for the first year of the new agreement.

Management attempted to justify this insulting offer by talking about the state wages policy, which they refused to make available to your representatives.

The 0.3% increase is based on a decision by the NSW Industrial Relations Commission for state-based award dependent employees. NSW Trains and Sydney Trains are in the Federal system and your Federal Agreement is not enforced in the NSW Industrial Relations system  

Management is deliberately taking a confusing and conflated position to try and disguise an offer of 0.3%. An offer that members have already resoundingly rejected.

Who is at the table?

In an insulting and unnecessarily hostile act, Sydney Trains dared to suggest that if your representatives were not rostered to attend EA meetings or were on leave, they could participate in their own time. 

That’s right. Sydney Trains thinks it is appropriate for your representatives NOT to GET PAID to attend EA meetings. 

This is a ludicrous position that in no way reflects good faith bargaining or the way that we have always negotiated. We made it very clear this position is entirely unacceptable. 

Log of Claims

The RTBU and the Combined Rail Unions (CRU) have now forwarded our combined log of claims to both NSW Trains and Sydney Trains and proposed a simple way to take both entities through what members want. 

We have invited NSW Trains and Sydney Trains to attend a meeting with your EA Delegate team from NSW Trains and Sydney Trains so they can hear directly from Delegates about what these claims mean and why they are important. To this time both entities have refused to meet your entire bargaining team.

Since February, we have been working with Delegates and members to design a detailed log for both NSW Trains and Sydney Trains. We built the claim together and it would be a disservice to our entire bargaining team to present our combined log separately. 

Sydney Trains finally agreed to consider our request for a combined meeting with NSW Trains and committed to respond by close of business Tuesday, 20 July.

What happens next?

Your representatives will continue to try and negotiate in good faith. On Friday, we will be in the Fair Work Commission seeking our application for a Protected Action Ballot, which, if approved, will allow members to vote to take protected industrial action. 

Both NSW Trains and Sydney Trains have engaged expensive union busting lawyers to try to stop you taking action to advance your industrial interests.

It is imperative your details are up to date and that the records we have match those you have provided to your employer. Fill in this form so we can update your details to allow you to have your say when the Protection Action Ballot order is achieved. 

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