Report Back – Step 3 Dispute: Removal of Seats from Barriers
Bulletin 42 – 2014
To RTBU Members: Station Staff
On the 18th December the RTBU attended Unions NSW as part of the step 3 disputes settlement process that was lodged regarding Sydney Trains removing seats from barriers. Out of this procedure Sydney Trains put forward the following position:
- Sydney Trains had consulted with their staff and the RTBU;
- Sydney Trains had conducted a risk assessment;
- Sydney Trains had introduced rotation on the roster. Further, Sydney Trains had listened to staff and had made adjustments to the rotations as a result.
- Sydney Trains have also committed that they had made arrangements for Station Duty Managers to relieve staff on barriers when required;
- Sydney Trains noted that staff with medical conditions will be accommodated as required.
The RTBU’s position is that a chair would be provided at all barriers for the use of CSA’s if required and to assist Sydney Trains customers if required. Sydney Trains refused this request.
The RTBU further requested that a working party be formed to assess the impact of the chair removal and the impact of the rotation.
Sydney Trains agreed to the working party but would only accept one RTBU nominated member and they would select any other person to be part of the working group.
The RTBU have a concern that Sydney Trains are using this to create a committee full of manager’s mates and bypassing delegates who are supported by their fellow workers.
It is interesting to note that even at Guantanamo Bay the Pentagon weren’t permitted to keep prisoners standing over four (4) hours. This is due to the European Court of Human Rights viewing this as an “aggravated form of cruel, inhuman or degrading testament or punishment.” the link to this can be found on the following link: http://www2.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB127/02.12.02.pdf
Further to this, the Chief Medical Officer for Transport published a letter advising that it is preferable if people did not sit or stand for more than 30 minutes. This is also supported by numerous studies in Australia and other countries.
The RTBU advises member’s who have been forced to stand at barriers and other work locations should always fill out an incident report form if they feel any physical discomfort as a result of being forced to stand for long periods. It is further advised that when filling out an incident report form to keep a copy and forward onto their local delegate or the union office to allow for these incidents to be tracked. If you have any comments or questions please contact your local delegate the RTBU office.