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Media Release: Transport bureaucrats blow out while workers still battling for basic safety asks

Jan 17, 2022Media releases News

More transport bureaucrats are being employed than ever before – on salaries averaging around $250,000 – while at the same time the NSW Government is fighting against transport workers basic safety asks as part of current enterprise agreement negotiations.

RTBU NSW Secretary, Alex Claassens, says the disparity between a willingness to employ more managers on high salaries, as revealed in media reports today, and the ongoing push back against workers’ basic asks around safety and hygiene in current negotiations is incredibly disappointing.

“We have been negotiating for many months to secure a fair new enterprise agreement, but workers’ basic asks around hygiene and safety are being knocked back at every opportunity,” Mr Claassens said. 

“At the same time we’re being told that the NSW Government is unwilling to commit to basic safety and hygiene provisions – presumably at least in some part due to cost – and yet we’re seeing that record numbers of managers are being employed on eye-wateringly high salaries.

“The current NSW Government’s priorities are completely wrong. We need to see the safety of commuters and transport workers being prioritised.

“Our transport workers have been putting themselves and their families at risk throughout this pandemic in order to keep our community moving. While the NSW Government will happily sing workers’ praises when it suits them, but when it comes to actually delivering on workers’ very basic needs, they’re nowhere to be seen.”

Sydney and NSW Trains employees are currently negotiating a new enterprise agreement to replace the agreement that expired in May last year.

Among the key sticking points in current enterprise agreement negotiations are:

  • Privatisation – workers want a commitment to services and jobs in the event of privatisation;
  • Safety claims – workers want a guarantee that any changes to our services will leave them as safe or safer;
  • Hygiene – workers want a commitment to maintaining the existing level of hygiene using good, full time jobs.
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