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RTBU Express Newsletter – March edition

Apr 9, 2018News

Click here to download the RTBU NSW monthly newsletter, RTBU Express.

Or read the Secretary’s message below.

“Dear members,

It’s been an incredibly busy time for many of us here at the RTBU NSW, particularly for the members and delegates at Sydney & NSW Trains.

As you would know, it was an extremely close ballot with a yes vote succeeding a no vote by 52.8% at Sydney Trains, and 50.8% at NSW Trains. You can view the breakdown of the results on RTBU Express here. Thank you to all members who made the effort to vote and have their say. I know that for many of you the outcome of the ballot wasn’t what you wanted. It’s important to remember that it wasn’t just RTBU members who participated in this ballot, but the entire Sydney & NSW Trains workforce. This includes members from other unions, and non-union employees.

The RTBU NSW is a union led by the membership. This is why at no stage in the ballot process did we endorse a yes or a no vote. It was always up to you, the membership, to decide the outcome of the vote. The Agreement was achieved with one hand tied behind our back, after the right to strike was taken from us. This is exactly why we have to stand together and fight to change the rules, which I’ll talk more about below.

There are suggestions and questions from Sydney & NSW Trains members that are prompting important discussions within our membership and leadership, which I encourage you all to do. Through all the hurdles we’ve been through over the last 9 months to negotiate these Agreements, we must remember that unity is strength. It’s important that we share our feedback so that we can become stronger and more united. But we need to ensure that these debates do not turn into division.

The goal of any management is to divide the workforce. If we allow the result of this ballot to divide us and weaken us, then we have succumbed to management’s tactics. As well as this, the transport workforce will continue to be the target of relentless attacks by this Liberal Government. The privatisation of our essential services is a constant threat and we cannot back down or become divided.

The outcome of this ballot clearly shows the NSW Government that the workforce has lost confidence in this current Minister for Transport. Andrew Constance has spent his tenure pursuing an ideological agenda to weaken, divide, and ultimately destroy our workforce with privatisation and automation. We cannot let this Liberal Government succeed. We must continue to fight against these attacks, but most importantly, we must fight together.

Since the ballot results, there has been plenty of misguided and incorrect information being spread by word of mouth and on social media. To get the correct information, it’s extremely important that you read the emails we send, which are also on the website. We’ve included a short Q&A in this newsletter to assist in answering some of the questions we’re receiving. If you have questions that you still don’t have an answer for, please speak to your local delegate, negotiating team delegate or contact the office on 02 9264 2511.

Since our last newsletter, our Pacific National members have achieved a hard earned win by securing their four-year Agreement. Congratulations to all the members at Pacific National for standing united for a fair deal.

Also over February, the NSW Government announced the private operator for region 6 buses, Transit Systems, who will take over operation from July 1. Meanwhile, Newcastle bus drivers are bearing the brunt of commuter frustration over the privatisation of their buses, which has caused absolute chaos in their community. Bus stops have been axed and services have been reduced. And with no surprise to us, the patronage in February had a staggering drop because Novocastrians simply aren’t happy. This is what the Inner West bus drivers and commuters have to look forward to in the second half of this year. This is just another reason why we all need to be a united and strong voice for the transport workforce against the Liberal Government’s attacks.

The annual May Day rally is fast approaching and this is the perfect opportunity for us to march together with one voice for workers’ rights after an enormous start to the year. We want this year’s rally to be the biggest and loudest it’s ever been. That’s because this was the year our right to strike was taken from us. Now more than ever, it’s time to march together to change the rules, and bring power back to the people. There’s more information about May Day 2018 below, and I hope to see you there.

In Solidarity,

Alex Claassens

RTBU NSW Secretary”
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