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RTBU slams report into footplate time as offensive, misleading

Jun 13, 2016Media releases News

Media Release, 13 June 2016: The Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) slammed accusations that its members are inefficient as ridiculous, misleading and offensive, saying it is just the latest ploy to pave the way for privatisation of our transport services.

RTBU NSW Secretary Alex Claassens said the simplistic picture presented by raw numbers dredged up from a report, which is almost a decade old and is often rehashed to support the government’s privatisation agenda, does not reflect the reality of Sydney’s rail network, or the service that rail workers provide to their customers.

“Train crew enjoy providing a vital service to NSW commuters. To suggest that we’re sitting around doing nothing is not only completely untrue, but also incredibly offensive to the state’s hard-working and dedicated crew,” Mr Claassens said.

“The comparative productivity measures for Sydney train drivers are misleading as they don’t take into account a whole range of external factors like timetables which often require drivers to wait at the end of a run before commencing another.

“Train crew have no control over their daily rostering schedules. The timetable dictates the length of time trains are turned around at stations.

“Sydney’s rail network also covers a large geographic area, so it should not be compared to smaller city metros that have shorter trips and higher frequencies.

“Every now and then the government or another party with a vested interest in privatisation trots out a report – in this case a report that is almost a decade old – that is clearly designed to pave the way for privatisation in our transport system.

“Our transport systems are the most basic of public services – they’re not a cash cow that our governments should be selling off.”

“Station staff and guards provide a fantastic service, particularly for the more vulnerable members of our community. The NSW Government’s talk about not needing these vital staff to provide customer support shows how little respect the government has for commuters in NSW.

Mr Claassens also called on the NSW Government to publicly release all of its documentation relating to the potential privatisation of NSW transport services.

“If the NSW Government is planning on privatising our vital public transport services, the people of NSW deserve to know about it.”

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