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Mar 9

What happens when bus drivers have to slam on the breaks?

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 1.48.45 pmAs all bus operators know, it takes much longer to stop a heavy vehicle than it does to stop a light one.

But it’s clear that many pedestrians, cyclists, and people driving cars don’t get it. We see many accidents caused when other vehicles cut in front of buses and assume the bus will be able to stop in time. 

Channel 7 recently tested a bus and a car to measure the difference in distance it took to stop. They found that a full seven metres extra distance was needed for the bus.

You can watch the video here

Mar 6

Meet your local delegate – David Grant

David Grant


Why did you become involved in the union?
 Well, in the first place I was just asked to help out, so I did. But then I found I enjoyed it and really liked helping my workmates and standing up for our rights in the workplace.

What are your hobbies and interests?
 I play a fair bit of golf and I like all sorts of sports. I also like travelling and next year I have 15 weeks off so I am planning to travel around Australia in a caravan.

Where do you live and why do you like it? I live in Lake Macquarie and I enjoy the country lifestyle – not the hustle and bustle. It’s laid back and it’s not too far from the wineries.

Who would you like to have dinner with (dead or alive) and why?
 I’d have dinner with Greg Norman. He’s a boyhood idol and I’d like to ask him what made him get so far in all those tournaments.

Feb 24

No changes to bus routes until September

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.IMG_2329

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.

Jan 30

Meet your local delegate – William Lekkas

William Lekkas


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.

Jan 27

Patients before profits

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.


Jan 7

Bad planning leads to bus chaos in Sydney

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.

Dec 10

You don’t have to drive when bus air conditioning is faulty

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.

Oct 2

Bus Express TV – Sept 30

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.

Sep 5

Bus Express TV – Sept 5


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.