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Minister to blame for Newcastle bus driver underpayment

MEDIA RELEASE – 1 September 2017

The underpayment of Newcastle’s bus drivers is another example of Transport Minister Andrew Constance’s incompetence, the Rail, Tram and Bus Union said today.

RTBU Tram and Bus Divisional Secretary, Chris Preston, said the Minister rushed through the sale of Newcastle’s bus system without bothering to check all the proper systems were in place.

“In the Minister’s hast to sell off our public transport system to a private operator, he didn’t bother to make sure the basics were in order,” Mr Preston said.

“It is absolutely disgraceful that workers are still being underpaid.

“We’re talking about hundreds of dollars in some cases. This isn’t small change – this is people’s livelihoods.

“The Minister should have ensured that issues like this were cleared up before he handed the keys to our transport system over.

“This man now wants us to trust him to sell off other bus routes in the state.

“It’s not good enough for the Minister to politely ask the company to sort it out. He should have sorted it out in the first place.

“Minister Constance doesn’t just owe it to these out-of-pocket bus drivers to get their pay sorted; he also owes them an apology.

“This is a perfect example of why the privatisation of our essential services is a terrible idea.”

You can read more about the story in the Newcastle Herald.

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