Rail workers pause industrial action as Transport finally agrees to bargain
Rail workers have postponed several planned industrial actions after Transport for NSW, NSW Trains and Sydney Trains agreed late Friday evening to have senior management attend a period of intensive bargaining negotiations with the workforce, the Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) NSW says.
RTBU NSW Secretary Alex Claassens says it’s the first meaningful engagement in the bargaining process since the enterprise agreement expired in May, and workers hope these first signs of respect and good faith bargaining will continue.
“After weeks of industrial action, it looks like senior management and the NSW Government are finally committed to talking to their employees and sorting out a new enterprise agreement,” says Mr Claassens.
“It’s disappointing that it took rail workers taking industrial action to force management to the table, but this is a significant step in the right direction.
“Rail workers have no wish to inconvenience the public. It’s regretful that it took serious network disruptions to get to this point, but the truth is industrial action the only reason senior management are now talking to us.”
As a result of industrial action, the insulting repetition of the pay offer of 0.3%, which workers overwhelmingly voted down months ago, is finally off the table.
“Transport workers, just like other public sector workers such as our nurses, emergency workers, aged care staff, and police officers, have carried us in these difficult times. At a bare minimum, our public sector workers should be paid fairly and respected for the work they do.”
While good faith bargaining continues, rail workers have agreed to postpone several industrial actions that would have caused major disruption to the transport network.
Planned industrial actions that have been postponed include:
- A two-week ban on overtime
- A two-week ban on foreign depot working
- A series of one hour stop works, scheduled to take place today
There are still several other industrial actions workers have given notice of that will go ahead as planned. These include a ‘go slow’ on Friday 29 October and an indefinite ban on working with the dangerous and unsafe New InterCity Fleet.