RTBU Media Release: Rail talks: Workers to look at draft offer
Sydney and NSW Trains management has finally been forced to come to the table with an offer the Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) NSW will put to its members.
RTBU Secretary, Alex Claassens said members will now be given the opportunity to look over the summary of the latest offer from management and decide whether it is good enough to warrant postponing the planned industrial action. The union is expected to know the view of the membership by lunchtime tomorrow (Wednesday 24 Jan).
An indefinite overtime ban is scheduled to begin on Thursday 25th Jan, and a 24-stoppage is planned for Monday 29 January.
“We’re talking about people’s livelihoods and working conditions here. It’s important workers are given the opportunity to look over the offer and decide for themselves whether this is good enough to warrant putting the planned industrial action on hold,” Mr Claassens said.
“Andrew Constance can stand there and try to blame the unions for this transport chaos, but the truth is the blame lays squarely at his feet.
“Rail workers have been trying to negotiate a fair package of wages and conditions for over six months now. The Transport Minister has disrespected them, ignored them, attacked them and said he’d be happy when they no longer exist because we’ll have driverless trains. Now he finds he actually needs them.
“It’s disappointing that we’re in this position. The Transport Minister has unfortunately let it get to this. Finally, we’ve got an offer that we can put to members to look at, but it’s got to be noted that the Minister has been dragged kicking and screaming to this point.
“The Transport Minister has forced us to this position. He could have averted this issue a long time ago, simply by putting forward a fair and reasonable offer for the workers.
“We’ll know by lunchtime tomorrow whether workers believe the offer is good enough to warrant suspending the planned industrial action.
“There’s no doubt that a ban on overtime work will cause disruptions on the network. The Transport Minister has allowed our services to get to the point where they’re reliant on people working their rostered days off in order to keep our trains running.
“No one wants our transport system to run smoothly more than the workers themselves do. We’ll keep commuters up-to-date with all the information we can.”