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Sydney Trains Meeting #6 – Update on bargaining

Sep 8, 2021Bulletins News

On Wednesday 8 September, your combined delegates team met with Sydney Trains to continue negotiations for a new enterprise agreement. Delegates from both Sydney Trains and NSW Trains today met with Sydney Trains management to continue pressing your log of claims. NSW Trains delegates attended on their own time in solidarity with their fellow delegates.  

NSW Trains management were invited to the meeting, but unfortunately, they did not see it fit to turn up… again!

At this meeting, there was some further discussion about Sydney Trains’ position on the 0.3% wage rise position. To date, and this is the 6th meeting we’ve asked, Sydney Trains (or NSW Trains) have not been able to produce a single document that states that the NSW Government has instructed them that they can only offer 0.3% in the first year. We put it to them squarely today that they are simply making it up. We’ll see what they say to that…

At the meeting today, Sydney Trains put forward several more claims for the new agreement. These were:

  1. Sydney Trains wants to change the Transfer and Roster Placement Policy, Drivers Rostering and Working Arrangements (DRAWA) and Guards Rostering and Working Arrangements (GRAWA) to remove the ability of members to transfer on a seniority basis between NSW Trains and Sydney Trains.
  2. Sydney Trains wants to take away the requirement to reach agreement with the union before concluding the process of changing the terms of the agreement under clause 12 of the Agreement (remember this is the clause that prevented the dangerous NIF from entering revenue service).
  3. Sydney Trains wants to change the “No Extra Claims” clause (cl. 13) to only apply until the expiry of the Agreement. After that, Sydney Trains would be free to make any changes they wished while bargaining took place. Sydney Trains also wants to alter the protected conditions of employment at clause 13.1(d) – but they wouldn’t tell us how.
  4. Sydney Trains wants the ability to change your position descriptions during the life of the next Agreement by removing provisions in clauses 7 and 14.
  5. Sydney Trains wants to delete clause 10 – Unintended Consequences, that allows for practices that may not be in the current agreement to be preserved and put in at a later date.

Your delegates put the following specific claims to Sydney Trains for them to consider and respond to for inclusion in the Agreement:

  1. Access to 26 weeks paid parental leave for any primary carer, regardless of gender.
  2. Superannuation will be paid for all time spent on parental leave.
  3. Critical Incident Leave for all employees including exposure to a traumatic incident or a near miss.
  4. Remove the requirement for shift workers to provide medical certificates for sick leave that adjoins public holidays.
  5. Carers leave clause to include access to leave for scheduled and elective surgery.
  6. Definition for carers leave and Compassionate and Bereavement leave expanded to include “significant person” in recognition of the broad range of close relationships that are important to members.
  7. 50% of sick leave balance to be paid out on resignation, retirement, or termination on termination on medical advice (compensable injury) after 10 years’ service.
  8. Sick leave days will count as shifts for the purpose of overtime payments.
  9. Carers leave for the purpose of sickness in family to be accessed without a medical certificate.
  10. Increase “special purpose” annual leave accrual from 40 days to 50 days for employees, and from 50 days to 60 days for shift workers.
  11. Annual leave loading entitlement for shift workers to include the obligation to pay 20% leave loading or normal roster with penalties, whichever is higher.
  12. The Agreement will specify that Employers pay superannuation on leave loading.
  13. 13.  All Employees will be entitled to accrue public holidays if the day falls on their rostered day off or book off day.
  14. Shift workers will accumulate up to 12 public holidays. Any holidays thereafter will be paid out.
  15. Any additional gazetted public holiday will be added to the Agreement.
  16. Increase amount of Compassionate and Bereavement leave to 5 days per occasion.
  17. Increase accrual limit to 12 ADOs in a calendar year
  18. Employers to not refuse reasonable requests to take blocks of ADOs.
  19. Recognition of service for the purpose of Long Service Leave in like-for-like occupations, for example, same trade discipline or train driver from different company.

This week our industrial action commences, and we all need to be ready to do our bit to show both Sydney Trains and NSW Trains that we’re serious about our claims, and we’re willing to fight for them.

From midnight tonight, Train Drivers will commence action in the form of blowing their whistle prior to departing every station.

From midnight on Friday, cleaners from Mortdale, Flemington, and Hornsby Maintenance Centres will refuse to clean graffiti from trains.

Then on Sunday, members will be asked to wear their union gear to work for an entire week. This can be anything, from a badge to a hat or a t-shirt.

Remember this is just the beginning. We need to take as many actions as we can in the first 30 days to ensure that we can take them again at any time during the bargaining period. Even if the action you’re taking doesn’t seem to have maximum impact, remember that by taking it, you are putting it in the arsenal for later when we can use it, at scale.