In January many Bus Operators had to bear the brunt of the NSW government’s bad planning.
When George Street closed to prepare for construction of the South East Light Rail Network, the lack of preparation by the NSW Government meant that many bus drivers were forced to wait for hours in chaotic traffic, stressed and dealing with the frustration of commuters.
The RTBU Bus Division raised the issue in the media and it now appears that the Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian has taken note of our concerns. In an announcement about the light rail yesterday the Minister stressed that as construction continued, “detailed changes to traffic and bus routes will be communicated well in advance.”
The Transport Minister also confirmed that major construction on George Street is not set to start until September or October and that there will be no changes to bus routes during this time.
Construction on other parts of the line is due to start after Anzac Day.
We can only hope that the Minister keeps her word and that our Bus Operators know well in advance about any traffic disturbances or route changes.
Why did you become involved in the union? I’ve got a passion for people’s rights. I come from a Greek background and big greek families debate and argue about everything!
What are your hobbies and interests? I used to have hobbies – now I have two boys and the hobbies are gone! But I really love being a dad. They are very sporty boys and I enjoy taking them to their football, wrestling, cricket and austag. I always seem to be picking them up or dropping them off somewhere.
Where do you live and why do you like it? I moved to Punchbowl when I got married and I love the area. I enjoy the multicultural feel, the food, the people – it’s just about God’s country! Everyone is welcome there. You can leave your car unlocked while you have dinner, people are really friendly.
Who would you like to have dinner with (dead or alive) and why? My wife. We don’t get much time together. But I’d have the kids there too. And I’d also invite Kahlil Gibran, the Lebanese poet who wrote ‘The Prophet’. His work is a hundred years old but still so relevant. It’s very spiritual, and he talks about the beauty of life and our relationships.
Members are invited to join the NSW Nurses and Midwives Association at a meeting on Saturday the 29th in Narrabeen to discuss the 2015 NSW election campaign.
Click here for more details.
Bus drivers and passengers alike were extremely frustrated during peak hour on Monday morning with delays of almost two hours in some areas. For many commuters returning to work after the Christmas break it was a terrible start to the working year.
Roads were closed because of work on the new light rail line and bad planning meant that chaos ensued.
The delays caused a huge amount of stress for many of our members who bore the brunt of the bad planning and had to deal with the traffic chaos and upset passengers.
On Monday, Roads Minister Duncan Gay said that it had been “a pretty crappy morning”. But the NSW government today confirmed there is no plan in place yet to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
This is a huge concern for our members. What will happen when the next stage of work on the light rail begins?
How will the government manage the massive disruptions that will take place in the coming 2-3 years as light rail construction continues?
Will the frustration and stress continue for drivers and passengers?
Bus and Tram Division Secretary Chris Preston raised these concerns in the media:
- Read the Sydney Morning Herald article here
- Listen to Chris Preston’s interview on 2GB here.
Union Delegates are getting complaints from members claiming that they feel intimidated by Radio Room Officials insisting that they continue to operate buses when the air conditioning has failed. THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE.
Members should note:
- No Supervisor, including Radio Room can force you to drive a bus in service where the air conditioning has failed.
- You should be polite but firm and insist on a changeover
- Unlike the old buses, our passengers cannot open windows on new buses
- opening roof hatches is entirely inadequate and unenforceable.
- You cannot be disciplined for insisting on a changeover when bus air conditioning has failed. The interests of the health and wellbeing of you and your passengers are paramount
Please note the following extract from a STA Safety Committee Report:-
“Air Conditioning Function – The bus is not to operate c/o to be sent out if air conditioning is not working STA/Radio Room advised bus not to be used if malfunctioning, directive sent to STA from OH&S Angela Bateman”.
Workmates must stand together on this issue and say NO or the intimidation will continue.
In this edition of Bus Express, we hear from Gary Way and David Woollams about the concluded bus Enterprise Agreement, the union’s recent wins on travel time payments, sick leave, and the part-time/broken dispute.
In this edition of Bus Express, Chris Preston and David Woollams give an update on the proposed new Enterprise Agreement. They also explain that union representatives will be giving a briefing in all depots in the coming weeks to discuss this further, and confirm that they plan to go to a ballot in September 26 at each location.
1. Why did you become involved in the union?
I enjoy communicating with other people and teams to solve problems. The union is constantly challenged to maintain and improve our working conditions. Via communication and unity we are stronger, hence my favouritye slogan is “Let’s work together to make it better!”.
2. What are your hobbies and interests?
In my spare time I like to try new foods (extra chilli please!) with friends and watch and partcipate in some sports.
3. Where do you live and why do you like it? I live in the Hills District of Sydney it is close to restaurants and parks.
4. Who would you like to have dinner with (dead or alive) and why?
Candlelight dinner with my lovelly wife. I would go to dinner with my wife
daughter before anyone else dead or alive.
Police and Inspectors from Roads and Maritime have ramped up their blitz on buses and bus drivers expanding their net to the STA fleet after earlier swoops on private bus services. On Friday 11th July, 2014 inspectors and Police descended on the Port Botany and Hamilton depots, finding a considerable number of what they described as minor defects.
The STA fleet seemed to be in much better condition than the privates that were hit, thus delivering another blow to the pathetic argument for privatisation. Obviously RTBU members have been booking up faults, and although some annoying issues take too long to be addressed (over 30 faults were found), our vigilance has paid off.
Two swab drug tests, which initially showed positive, were later deemed negative, with confirmation to come from final urine tests. Well done to all RTBU members involved. In particular David Sousa – Relief Delegate Port Botany Depot and Glen Saunders – Relief Delegate Hamilton, who spent the day protecting members interests.
Welcome to Bus Express!
Divisional Secretary Chris Preston & Divisional President Gary Way