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RTBU NSW Election priorities

Mar 18, 2019News



The NSW Branch of the RTBU represents around 15,000 workers in the rail and public transport sectors, across both passenger and freight transport. Our members are highly-engaged with the political process, and deeply committed to the success of their industries. They understand that freight and public transport is crucial to the economic and social life of our State. Without RTBU members, NSW would grind to a halt.

RTBU members also have a unique perspective on transport policy issues. They are on the front line of our transport networks, and therefore they understand the practical implications of high-level policy decisions. In short, they know what works, what doesn’t work, and what needs to be done.

The following policy initiatives and issues have been raised by our members through regular consultation over the past four years. They represent a thorough and achievable agenda for the state’s passenger and freight networks.

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STOP privatising public transport. The State Government must seek to restore public operation of the Region 6 bus contract in Sydney and the Airport Rail Line.

SAVE the Bankstown line and not convert to Metro and leave it as heavy rail and publically owned.

IMPLEMENT train-to-train radio communications across the entire statewide rail network.

RETAIN Train Drivers and Train Guards on passenger trains.

ISSUE Passenger Train Drivers with Cert 4 Train Driving qualifications.

RETAIN two-person crewing on freight trains.

MAINTAIN state-legislated limits on hours of work for drivers and rail workers.

RETURN to a single-track access owner and safe working rules in NSW.

BUILD all government-operated trains, trams and buses in Australia.

COMMENCE work on an East Coast High Speed Rail network, in conjunction other States and the Federal Government.

BUY back and restore the Bathurst Workshop.

IN-SOURCE infrastructure maintenance and cleaning work on all public transport.

IMPLEMENT a labour-hire licensing scheme, and maintain a stated preference for permanent full time, reduction of contracting out of operational and support roles.

BUILD a heavy rail link to the new Western Sydney Airport.

SUPPORT the construction of Inland Rail, and seek to leverage development opportunities from this vital nation-building project.

ENSURE that the metro trains and stations are appropriately staffed, with permanent full-time jobs, and that the system is operated safely.

INTRODUCE transparency into the decision making and ownership of providers of public transport.

EXPAND negotiated travel pass arrangements for TfNSW staff that have transferred from RailCorp.

EXTEND travel pass arrangements to workers in privatised public transport operations, including the bus network’s Region 6, Sydney Metro, and Newcastle bus and light rail operations.

RESTORE apprenticeship schemes within all public transport operations and put appropriate career paths in place.

ENSURE unions have access to TfNSW and associated stakeholders when peak-level consultative process are undertaken.

BRING NSW and Sydney Trains back into one integrated public organisation.

REDUCE white collar labour hire across whole of Transport (TfNSW, Sydney Metro, Trains & Buses).

CONDUCT future re-structures through ‘co-design’ methods that deeply involve employees’ knowledge.

INCREASE redeployment opportunities from three to 12 months.

NEGOTIATE wage outcomes at State level and remove the wages cap.

RESTORE power to determine wage disputes to the NSW IRC.

RESTORE Workers Compensation rights to cover journey to and from work.

SUPPORT Safework to become a truly independent and properly funded body.

REINTRODUCE the Transport Appeals Board or equivalent to provide a transparent, genuine appeals process.

PROVIDE safe, clean, affordable, and reliable services for all commuters.

IMPROVE transport options for commuters living in outer metropolitan, intercity and regional areas of the state.

REPRIORITISE the productivity, efficiency and reliability of existing heavy rail to outer metropolitan areas before the delivery of new Metro services to inner west suburbs with multiple transport options.

REMEMBER that Public Transport needs to provide safe and accessible transport for ALL, and that includes the ability to get to platforms by way of lifts and assistance with luggage.

REOPEN disused lines such as the Blayney to Demondrille line, the Armidale to Tenterfield line, Casino to Murwillumbah line, and Rylstone to Mudgee line.

PRESERVE other disused rail corridors to ensure that future governments have the option of restoring rail services. Rail trails should be developed only as temporary measures, to ensure rail corridors (and infrastructure) are protected and used productively until such time as rail services can be restored.

Alex Claassens


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