As soon as STA announced that our members at Mona Vale were losing a relief point staff bus, RTBU Delegate Matthew Compton arranged rank-and-file depot meetings and the proposal was rejected unanimously.
Under the new arrangements, drivers would be required to walk to the Darley Road relief point instead of using staff buses.
Members quickly pointed out that, the reason staff buses were introduced initially was because it was unsafe to walk from the relief point back to the depot with very large amounts of money (usually from route L90) and various old incidents were quoted. Members said the actual walking isn’t a problem but the well documented security problems in the area means it is simply “unsafe”.
Matt Compton asked WorkCover for assistance and the WorkCover Inspector has issued a provisional improvement notice (P.I.N) banning the walk to the relief point.
This was a huge blow to Mona Vale management and great news for Union members.
STA can appeal the WorkCover decision, but to knowingly put employees in danger would be a foolish move and the Union would make sure that STA is held accountable.
In a week when drivers faced concerning changes to rosters and new routes, some good news surfaced from the Randwick depot.
When news broke that the M.A.N. fleet was being removed from Randwick, “emotions overflowed”.
Apparently there was tears and shouts of joy at the news. The bus operator most vocal about the poor quality of the M.A.N. fleet even suggested contacting the Sydney mayor to arrange a ticket tape parade.
“The very thought of driving a M.A.N. was one that would effect the very mood of the the driver for the duration of the shift, such was the effect of the buses peformance,” they said to Bus Express.
“It is rumored that the ride on the M.A.N. fleet was so rough heavily pregnant women could be induced into labour. People fell from seats, staggered down the aisles and fell into the laps of other suffering passengers on the the infamous M.A.N. rodeo ride. Managers lived in fear they would be forced to travel on the bus that fleet maintance couldn’t tame.”
Of course the traveling public deserve a better quality of ride than what they were subjected to on their daily commute to and from the city.
But spare a thought about the poor drivers who over the years complained, documented and avoided these thunderboxes. Driver’s doctors even wrote medical certificates demanding drivers not drive them due to ongoing back injuries from the poor ride quality.
Passengers even avoided the brand and complained constantly but in true STA fashion the blame was directed back to the driver.
So Randwick bids a farewell to the M.A.N. thunderboxes, saying: “We and the public are happy to see the back of them!”
The increase in Union Fees that was due on 1st January, 2013 will be implemented on 1st July, 2013 in line with current RTBU NSW Branch policy.
New fees will be as follows:
Bus Operators $18.90
PPT/30 Hour Drivers $16.65
Casual Drivers $15.10
RTBU union members are showing solidarity this week with Sydney Bus Drivers operating on routes they have never driven before with little or no training.
The Tram & Bus Division has called for patience from the travelling public after a restructure within Sydney Transit Authority has forced hundreds of drivers across the network to drive new routes today with at best token familiarisation training.
Tram and Bus Division Secretary Chis Preston said STA put in a token effort to address the issue at the last minute and we now have a situation where many drivers behind the wheel today will be learning where to go on the job with a bus full of passengers.
“Negotiating a 15 tonne bus through Sydney traffic with up to 100 passengers on board requires a high level of skill which our drivers exhibit each and every day,” Mr Preston said.
“However being thrown into an unfamiliar route with multiple new pick up and set down points on complex back road routes means many drivers skills will be tested to the limit.
“This restructure has been on the table for some time and the union has consistently argued for measures to be put in place to ensure all drivers were properly trained and confident to start their new routes this week.”
Tram and Bus Division President Gary Way said drivers were asking for commuters to be patient while they learnt the new routes.
“If there are problems out there today and into this week, it certainly won’t be the drivers fault.
“Bus drivers will be doing the best they can under the circumstances and we are asking that passengers exercise patience and direct any complaints directly to STA management.”
Amar said the woman had run for the bus and was breathing heavily when she got on, but after a while on the bus she didn’t look very well and suddenly collapsed.
“Her face started changing colour,” he said, “and you only have a few seconds in that situation to choose to do something or not. I just jumped in.”
Amar got his first aid certificate when he worked as a personal trainer before becoming a bus driver. “I have just kept renewing it every three years. It’s a short day of training but you can really help people if you keep it up to date,” he said.
Despite having his first aid certificate for a long time, he had never put it to use in a serious situation. He had looked after small burns and cuts, but had never performed CPR.
“After she collapsed I checked her airways, and there was nothing, so I just started the CPR. And those 12 or 15 minutes before the ambulance arrived were the longest in my life.”
Amar has been a driver for about two years now and says he doesn’t have much spare time between work and looking after his young family. “I like driving buses, it’s a good job. We work hard and we do our best to look out for the wellbeing of passengers, but it can also be long hours in heavy traffic, I just hope people recognise that.”
The Daily Telegraph has published the first glimpses of Sydney’s future light rail plans. It wrote today:
“This is your first glimpse of a western Sydney light rail network which will overhaul Parramatta’s Church St Mall, fix public transport black holes and generate $5 billion in construction and 2500 jobs.
Parramatta City Council, which will today unveil its first report into a $1.7 billion light rail link, has found the network would generate $242 million in economic activity each year, employ 170 people in the long-term and increase the income of the west by $3 billion.
The report recommends a 24km light rail network with up to 25 stations which would take more than 5000 passengers per rail corridor during peak-hour periods.”
Read the full story here.
The BBQ trailer turned up at Leichhardt Depot recently, where members took the opportunity to have an informal chat to Tram and Bus Division Officials.
Divisional Secretary is picture here turning the meal whilst Assistant Branch Secretary and Divisional Organiser David Woollams catches up with well known Leichhardt Union identities Austin Harrison and Leon Barnard (Acting Delegate).
Divisional Secretary Chris Preston and Divisional President Gary Way discuss the latest union news on Bus Express TV.
This edition the major topics include: overturning unwanted roster changes for part-timers, STA writing out Bonnyrigg depot members out of a Region 3 contract, bus drivers as everyday heroes, changing of the guard in the delegates ranks and the recent election results.
To better cater for member communications, the Tram & Bus Division is pleased to announce the launch of Bus Express TV.
The monthly broadcast of news from the division will filmed, uploaded to the Bus Express website ready for members to watch.
During the broadcasts Divisional Secretary Chris Preston and Divisional President Gary Way will answer questions and update members on the latest happenings in union wins, disputes and changes that affect them.
The broadcasts are filmed in a studio beneath Sydney’s Trades Hall and are then uploaded to the internet.
Stay tuned to the Bus Express website for the latest TV broadcast.
If you have a question that you would like to see asked on Bus Express TV, feel free to ask us here: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Tram & Bus Division says STA has cruelly shafted 55 members at the Bonnyrigg depot out of full-time work.
The union says Bonnyrigg members are furious after learning that the Government has written a contract that specifically writes those 55 members out of any offer of employment with the new contractor.
Bonnyrigg depot was formed just over 10 years ago when the Government wanted to introduce the T-way service and STA started the operation with around 50 members.
The bus operators who went to the new depot went with the belief they were being offered a job with any new contract operator for Region Three.
After almost a decade the Government has finally announced a new successfully contractor, Transit Systems – Perth.
The union has been in discussions with STA, Transport for NSW and have written correspondence with the Transport Director General about what offer our members were to be offered but we’ve received no clear answers.
It has become very apparent that our members at Bonnyrigg have been played and some of them for the last ten years for the duration of the T-way operation.
Divisional Secretary Chris Preston said that this was done by saying that the new contractor only has to offer the current private operators a job in Region Three.
“This is solely designed to eliminate our members’ rights to be offered a job,” Chris said.
“This is a disgrace and if this is how the private contract operators are going to treat the state’s bus workers then the union says, ‘shame on you, Gladys’.
“It has now become a hostile workplace and the only solution would be for the Government to step in and demand that the 55 loyal bus operators who have operated the T-way be offered full time employment at Bonnyrigg.”
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Divisional Secretary Chris Preston & Divisional President Gary Way
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Dollars and sense at STA
Tell us what is REALLY going to make STA more efficient.
All members will be aware that STA CEO Peter Rowley has done a tour of depots trying to convince drivers to accept changes to the Enterprise Agreement he negotiated with drivers not one year ago - all in the name of "efficiency"....
- Mona Vale safety dispute – members dig in 20 May, 2013
- Randwick depot happy to see back of M.A.N. buses 16 May, 2013
- Union fee increase 16 May, 2013
- Solidarity for bus drivers today forced to learn new routes on the job 13 May, 2013
- Meet the driver who saved a life 10 May, 2013