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NSW Trains uniforms update

Mar 27, 2014Loco Express

The dispute over NSW Trains uniforms has now been heard at Fair Work Australia. The RTBU dispute centred around uniforms being “ not appropriate for the work being undertaken”, in particular the suit style jacket, name badge and proposed shirt.

The RTBU argued that the suit jacket was not appropriate for many of the drivers operation duties, the shirt caused reflection from the TOS screen and the name badge posed a risk to the safety of drivers involved in critical incidents.

Unfortunately, the Commissioner didn’t completely agree with all the RTBUs arguments and ruled that all items can be worn as management has the right to supply uniforms that suit their business requirements. In regard to the suit jacket, the Commissioner issued a recommendation that the RTBU and NSW Trains should identify the specific operational duties of the driver that would not require the wearing of the jacket. Additionally, the RTBU is to define the risks associated with the shirts reflection on the TOS screens and provide their response to NSW Trains safety experts along with its issues concerning the name badge.

Following this recommendation from the Commission, the RTBU met with representatives from SEQR and NSW Trains in relation to the safety of the shirt, the circumstances under which the jacket may be removed and the process for raising concerns in relation to the name badge. Wording for the Uniform Standards were discussed and it was agreed the jacket may be taken off if it is found that it “impedes the movement of individuals or affects their ability to perform operational tasks safely”. This is an individual decision, and also applies in the event that an individual feels that it is too hot or humid to wear the jacket.

In regards to the name badges, it was agreed that the name badge may be taken off if an employee is involved in a critical incident leading to a fatality or serious injury, or has immediate concerns for their safety.”

It was also agreed that, in the event that the shirt does reflect off the TOS screen, a driver may work to the conditions as per the Network Rule which refer to the process which is to be followed in the event that the speedometer is considered to be defective or inoperable.

If you have any questions or want further information, please do not hesitate to contact the Locomotive Division.