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Combined Rail Unions Collective Bargaining Update – Members vote YES

Jul 25, 2016Bulletins

Union Members Vote YES to Access Protected Industrial Action

Members of the Combined Unions (the RTBU, the ETU, Professionals Australia (APESMA) and the ASU) who are covered by the ARTC NSW Enterprise Agreement have voted to authorise access to lawful and protected industrial action via the protected action ballot (PAB) process. The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has announced the results; a strong majority of voters have voted to approve access to all 18 actions listed on the ballot.

After 15 months of negotiations, with extensive delays caused by ARTC’s reliance on the  Federal Government’s Workplace Bargaining Policy (which we now know  does not restrict ARTC from agreeing on items in our Log of Claims), union members are standing up and demanding a fair outcome – it is time for ARTC to negotiate a fair and equitable EA NOW.

Bargaining with ARTC is continuing. The Combined Unions and our members are seeking that the ARTC NSW EA includes:

  • Fair increases to pay including back-pay
  • Fair access and increases to allowances
  • Clauses that address safety issues arising from hours of work and fatigue
  • Entitlements that are equitable with (not lower than) other ARTC EAs
  • Fair processes, bringing ARTC up to the industry standard
  • Protection for important employment conditions

What happens next: No action to be taken yet

Importantly, although access to industrial action has been authorised,  members should not take any industrial action yet.

We are currently bringing delegates and reps together to discuss the type and timing of the action(s). After this, the Combined Unions must formally notify ARTC of the action(s), providing between three and six clear days’ notice, depending on the type of action. The Combined Unions will manage compliance with the legal framework for industrial action to ensure our members’ activities are lawful and protected.

Remember also that non-members must not participate in any industrial action. Non-member industrial action would be unlawful and could result in a large fine and/or disciplinary action. Protected action is only available to union members. Any non-member who is covered by the ARTC NSW EA and wishes to participate in industrial action at ARTC must join their relevant union – either the RTBU, the ETU, the ASU or Professionals Australia now.

How to Access Information and Advice during the Industrial Action – Make sure you read your Newsletters!

The Combined Unions will advise our members throughout the period of action. Please look out for newsletters for more information, speak with your local delegates and reps, and talk to your Organisers and Industrial Officers. Your unions employ legal and industrial officers with the expertise to guide members through industrial action. Protected industrial action is a heavily regulated activity – rely on your unions’ advice, not on the opinions of others. Please contact your union with any questions about the action.

Did you miss out on your ballot vote?

We understand that a significant number of members did not receive ballots from the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC).

If you did not receive a ballot and as a result did not get to vote in the Protected Action Ballot (PAB), please notify your union as soon as possible. Please note that as long as you are employed under the ARTC NSW Enterprise Agreement and are a member of one of the Combined Unions, you can participate in lawful protected industrial action, even if you did not vote in the PAB.

Read the full newsletter here.