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RE: Lodgement of Step 3 Dispute – Special Leave to attend Community Event

Jan 29, 2015Bulletins

Bulletin 6 – 2015

To RTBU Members:

The RTBU has lodged a Step 3 Dispute Notification in relation to a member who had Special Leave refused on the basis that the Mardi Gras doesn’t meet Sydney Trains definition of a Community Event.

The background of the dispute is a member applied for Special Leave to participate in the Mardi Gras. The application for leave was lodged within the time required and was approved prior to the Mardi Gras.

A short period of time after the approval was granted the application was changed to an annual leave day. The member approached one of the managers who agreed that the leave for this event should be approved as Special Leave.

A dispute was lodged and escalated through to step 2 where Sydney Trains has refused to acknowledge that Special Leave be granted to participate in the Mardi Gras. The grounds given have been:

  • The Mardi Gras is not a community event
  • The member was not a volunteer and therefore not entitled to special leave.

The RTBU believes that Sydney Trains are not correct in their interpretation. The grounds for this are:

  • The Mardi Gras is a community event and thus meets the definition.
  • When referring to clause 28.8(a) pursuant to the Sydney Trains EA 2014 – Special Leave it states:

“Special leave is paid leave which enables Employees to participate in community activities, or to deal with public emergencies. It covers special situations not catered for by other forms of leave.”

There are no references to volunteering being criteria for access to the special leave.

This matter is going to Unions NSW on Wednesday the 4th February as a Step 3 Dispute Notification. The RTBU will update members on the progress of this dispute.

If you have any further questions or comments please contact your local delegate or union office.


Issued by: Authorised by:
Helen Bellette


Robert Hayden

Assistant Branch Secretary (Rail)

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