Bus drivers should be from NSW
Read the article below and check out our RTBU Bus Media Release here.
“A private Sydney bus operator’s plan to ship in drivers from New Zealand has been slammed by the NSW opposition.
Young Sydneysiders could miss out on the opportunity to become bus drivers because a new private operator is targeting New Zealand workers, the state opposition says.
Labor leader Luke Foley says Transit Systems – which in February won a government contract to run bus services in Sydney’s inner west – should be recruiting drivers from NSW instead of across the Tasman.
“It’s a vote of no confidence in our own youth,” he told reporters on Tuesday.
“They ought to be recruiting from areas such as the Hunter and Illawarra and North Coast, with chronically high youth unemployment.”
Mr Foley said the move was another example of the state government sending jobs overseas, after it awarded a $2.3 billion contract to build new intercity trains in South Korea in 2016.
But a Transport for NSW spokesman said Transit Systems is recruiting drivers in NSW, along with other states, for the 300 positions it needs to fill.
Its outreach in New Zealand is part of a strategy to ensure it has sufficient drivers from the outset, the spokesman said, and local applicants will be preferenced.
“This is a mitigation strategy and relatively few drivers are expected to be recruited from New Zealand,” the spokesman said in a statement on Tuesday.
Rail, Tram and Bus Union secretary Chris Preston said he was not surprised the state government was struggling with bus driver retention.”
He said it has been disrespecting the workforce, including through timetable changes that anger commuters, who then take their frustrations out on drivers.
“When you drive down morale, you can expect to drive out workers,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.