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Settlement – Absent Management Dispute

Mar 16, 2015Bulletins

Bulletin 16 – 2015 –

To RTBU Members:

Further to our Bulletin 28/2014, The RTBU and Sydney Trains have reached a settlement with regards to the absent management dispute.

Whilst waiting for an arbitration date Transport for NSW facilitated a meeting between the RTBU and Sydney Trains. The RTBU put forward their submission supporting the issues of the dispute. The outcome is as follows:

  • Calender year vs. Rolling year – This could not be pursued due to the changes in the Fair Work Act making it untenable for Sydney Trains to agree to using the calendar year for the purposes of absent management.
  • Sydney Trains agreed with the RTBU with regards to the concerns about how the implementation of Attendance Management Plans were being utilised and not complying with Clause 28.10 Attendance Management pursuant to Sydney Trains EA 2014.

A summary of the process for the absent management (As per clause 28.10 of the EA) is below:

Step 1: Increase Awareness and Monitor Absences: Assist the employee with attendance requirements. This is informal and should be a very casual discussion. The employee should not be requested to sign any documentation.

Step 2: Formal Interview: Assist the employee with attendance requirements and conversation should be about assisting the employee with attendance requirements. This can be considered an Attendance Improvement plan. Please note that if absences are determined to be unsatisfactory AND are not supported by Medical Certificates the Employer will reinforce what performance is expected of the Employee and set goals.

Step 3: Attendance Management Program: The first part of this step is still the employer assisting the employee meet the requirements of attendance. This may include an attendance management program. The employer will provide the employee a letter which outlines what is expected of them while on the Attendance Management Plan and the consequences if these expectations aren’t met.

Step 4: Unsatisfactory Attendance While on Attendance Management Program: Where the attendance standard is breached, the Employer will counsel the Employee, reinforcing expected attendance behaviour.

Sydney Trains further agreed to the following: An employee absence on an overtime shift will no longer be managed under the Attendance Management Model; If there is a reasonable time frame between the last absence and the next then the attendance improvement plan will recommence from the beginning; Sydney Trains templates will be revised and amended to meet with the requirements under this settlement and Managers will receive training on how to follow this process and utilise the amended templates. If you have any further comments or questions please contact your local delegate or the RTBU Office.

Issued by: Authorised by:
Helen Bellette


Alex Claassens

Branch Secretary