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Jul 23, 2019Bulletins

Bulletin 42/19

To: All John Holland Country Regional Network Infrastructure Workers,




On Wednesday, 12th June 2019 the RTBU alongside your nominated bargaining representatives met with John Holland CRN for the first time to discuss the enterprise agreement negotiations.

At the meeting the framework for the negotiations was agreed upon with negotiating meetings scheduled for every 2 to 3 weeks in Bathurst.

In this meeting John Holland notified the RTBU bargaining team that they were seeking to roll over the current agreement for a further 4 years with minimal changes. Their proposed changes as well as their pay rise offer are as follows;

  • A 2.0% pay rise per year to all wages and allowances (except Living Away Expenses); and
  • Changing the wording in the ‘Living Away Expenses’ clause so employees who are at home are no longer paid LAE

Much debate has been had on the proposed wording change to the ‘Living Away Expenses’, with your bargaining team aggressively arguing against any changes that would allow the company to apply the entitlement multiple ways in an effort to avoid paying the expense.

This is a hot topic item for the company and debate will continue on this specific item in the negotiations.

In response to the company’s proposal, the RTBU compiled the union member Log of Claims from a member survey conducted throughout April and June 2019. The log of claims presented to the company is as follows;

  • 0% increase to all wages, expenses and allowances (effective from 31st August 2019)
  • 4 Year Agreement (depending on negotiated outcomes)
  • Improvements to Redundancy Provisions
  • Introduction of an Inclement Weather penalty
  • Introduction of a Truck Drivers Allowance
  • Introduction of a Protection Officer Allowance
  • Formally introduce the 9 Day Fortnight roster
  • Accommodation while away will be of a NRMA 3.5 star standard (up from 3)
  • Improvements to Acting in Higher Grade provisions
  • Introduce Swab Testing in place of Urine Testing for drug and alcohol tests
  • Introduce Local Rostering Committees
  • Enforce clause 51.2 – ‘Through consultation, all Employees will be provided an individual training plan in accordance with their classification stream
  • Introduce a Classification Stream for ‘Construction
  • Introduce a Classification Stream for ‘Signal Construction
  • Introduce a Classification Stream for ‘Vegetation


The most recent enterprise agreement negotiation meeting occurred on Wednesday, 17th July 2019.

John Holland offered some responses to your log of claims with most being rejected by the company at this point in time, however negotiations will continue on these items in spite of their initial response.

The company has agreed/entertained some of your claims and are willing to negotiate improvements/inclusions of them, such as;

  • Term of the agreement
  • Improvements to redundancy provisions
  • The introduction of the 9 day fortnight (enforced locally through current rostering parameters in the current agreement)
  • Increasing the Living Away accommodation to a minimum of NRMA 3.5 star standard up from 3
  • Improvements to acting in higher grade provisions
  • Rostering to be an ongoing agenda item in all depot toolbox meetings to allow members to raise issues with rosters
  • Providing individual training plans to all employees up to the point of the natural progression level within their stream (E.G. RTCW 4) as well as allowing opportunities for employees to request a meeting in an effort to progress beyond the natural progression limits

The details of these claims and what has and hasn’t been agreed to will be determined in the coming negotiation meetings to be held next week.

Updates from the negotiations will now be distributed after each meeting to keep our members up to date in their fight for a fair agreement that protects and improves your conditions at work.

If you are not an RTBU member, now is the time to join the union.

To join the RTBU, please contact (02) 9264 2511 or email nswho@rtbu-nsw.asn.au and request an RTBU membership application form to stand alongside your brothers and sisters at work!



Issued by: Authorised by:
Luke Hayden


Alex Claassens

Branch Secretary


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