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DISPUTE WITH SYDNEY TRAINS – Clause 139.1 (H) Overtime Meal Allowance Unpaid Since 2010

May 29, 2019Bulletins

Bulletin 35/19

To: All RTBU Infrastructure Members – Sydney Trains

 DISPUTE WITH SYDNEY TRAINS – Clause 139.1 (H) Overtime Meal Allowance Unpaid Since 2010

During the recent Sydney Trains negotiations the RTBU Infrastructure Division fought hard for a meal allowance to be paid to all Infrastructure Workers consistent with other parts of the maintenance directorate.

This is an allowance which most Infrastructure Workers now receive almost each shift. It is a massive win for our members.

Following from this win, the RTBU has been investigating a potential breach of past and present agreements in Sydney Trains relating to the underpayment of meal allowances.

Since at least 2010 clause 139.1 (h) has been in every enterprise agreement.

Clause 139.1 (h) states the following;

“In relation to Employees to whom either the Signal Mechanical, Track, Structures, Resurfacing or Surveying, an Employee who is required to work overtime for more than 2 hours will, where it is reasonable to have a meal or meals away from where the Employee would ordinarily have the Employee’s meal, be allowed the sum of the amount as set out at item 17 of Schedule 5B for each meal necessary, unless the meal or meals are supplied free by the Employer. The Employer may grant a crib allowance (to be paid for at ordinary rates) in lieu of a meal break in which case the meal grant shall be the amount as set out at item 17A of Schedule 5B.”

Accordingly, if a Signal Mechanical, Track, Structures, Resurfacing or Surveying employee is required to work overtime for more than 2 hours, we think that they should receive a meal allowance payable for EACH meal where the employee was away from where they would “ordinarily” have their meal. Where a meal allowance isn’t paid, the Employer must provide a meal or pay a crib allowance.

Through further investigation, the RTBU has not been able to identify a single individual within the above mentioned streams who has ever received a meal, meal allowance or crib allowance payment on an overtime shift prior to the 2018 Enterprise Agreement.

Therefore, the RTBU lodged a dispute with Sydney Trains which we are currently awaiting agreement to escalate to Step 4 to seek resolution with the Fair Work Commission immediately.

If the RTBU is correct on this point, the potential underpayment of allowances by Sydney Trains/RailCorp could be huge.

Rest assured, Sydney Trains will use every possible legal measure available to them to fight this claim.

The RTBU will fight this case so that all members receive what they are entitled to under their hard fought enterprise agreements.

We will keep all of our Infrastructure members in Sydney Trains up to date through the Fair Work Commission process as new information becomes available.

Any questions, queries or concerns please contact me on 0499 710 707 or via email on lhayden@rtbu-nsw.asn.au


Issued by: Authorised by:
Luke Hayden


Alex Claassens

Branch Secretary