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Metro Trains Sydney – COVID-19 UPDATE

Apr 9, 2020Bulletins

Bulletin: 17.20
To: Rail, Tram and Bus Union – Metro Trains Sydney Members.

For the last few weeks, the RTBU have continuously called on MTS management to step up and do the right thing by consulting with staff and their union about their plan to minimise the risk and impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

On 6 April 2020, MTS agreed to meet with the RTBU to discuss what it will be putting in place to ensure that all members are safe during this unprecedented time. We are pleased to advise that the meeting had a collaborative approach and many of our members concerns were answered or taken on notice with a response to be provided by MTS.

At the meeting the RTBU argued that the health and wellbeing of all employees should be the main priority of MTS especially when facing something as unprecedented as COVID-19. MTS agreed that all employees will be able to access up to 10 working days special leave during this pandemic.  Further, we discussed how members can access additional paid leave. 

MTS advised there will be formal communications sent to all employees on Thursday 9 April regarding how employees can access this special leave.

MTS also advised that there is no intention at this stage to stand anyone down or reduce their hours of work like we have seen in big companies like Qantas and Myer.

The other matters that were discussed at the meeting included:

Vehicles for Maintenance Employees:

MTS are supplying disinfectant wipes for all vehicles for each user to wipe down the car’s surface.

Control Measures for Train Employees

Trains are being cleaned daily by cleaners by repeatedly wiping all high customer touchpoints with disinfectant. All trains will have driver consoles, vertical and horizontal handrails, window ledgers wiped down on a daily basis.

MTS also advised that Trains employees can remain at one end of the train to ensure social distancing is maintained from customers riding the train.

Control Measures for Station Employees

Stations are regularly being cleaned by cleaners. All high customer touch points which include seats, OPAL gates, rails, and lifts are being wiped with disinfectant.

The RTBU raised concerns around working in the open customer environment and we were advised that Station employees can work within their SMR rooms if necessary.

Available Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

MTS have advised PPE is available to all frontline employees including trains and stations staff. The PPE available are masks, sanitizers and gloves. Sanitiser dispensers are in common areas across the stations which is available for staff and passengers to use.

Annual Leave

MTS have acknowledged that many frontline employees’ holidays have been affected by this pandemic. Any employee who has rostered annual leave and wishes to defer it, MTS will consider it on a case by case basis.

Given the nature of our industry and how our members face a higher risk to this pandemic the RTBU suggested to MTS that regular COVID-19 meeting between MTS and the union should occur. It was agreed that weekly meetings (Every Friday) will occur until this pandemic subsides. Please advise your organiser if you wish to attend that meeting or have any issues you need raised.

Every week we will provide members with regular updates in relation to our COVID-19 meetings with MTS. If you have any concerns or would like something raised at these meetings, please send an email to nswho@rtbu-nsw.asn.au or contact us on (02) 9264 2511. 

For more information, specifically around COVID-19, Transport for NSW continually updates its frequently asked questions. You can access this information at:

https://www.stayinformed.com.au/novel-coronavirus-status-update/news_feed/coronavirus-qa

or

https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/alerts/Pages/coronavirus-faqs.aspx

Remember that the RTBU is here to help if the coronavirus affects you at work.

If you have any concerns about the above, please contact your organiser or call or email the office on (02) 9264 2511 or nswho@rtbu-nsw.asn.au.

Issued by: Authorised by:
Trent Hunter
Organiser
Alex Claassens
Branch Secretary

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