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Apr 26

Egyptian feast for Harmony Day

Emad Moussa

It was RTBU member Emad Moussa’s day off on Harmony Day this year. But instead of spending the day relaxing he decided he would treat his colleagues at Kingsgrove depot.

Emad prepared trays and trays of traditional Egyptian food and brought it in to the depot for everyone to enjoy. He fed around one hundred people and everyone agreed – the food was delicious!

“Emad is the sort of person who loves to make everyone happy,” said one of his colleagues at Kingsgrove depot.

The staff supervisors were impressed too, and they commended him on his great spirit and effort.

Harmony Day is held in March every year and celebrates Australia’s cultural diversity.

Do you know someone who has done something outstanding at your depot or on the roads? Dob in a great bus or tram driver by emailing


Apr 24

Brookvale driver takes on the Anzac Day Challenge

Brookvale driver Sally Hill likes to channel her fitness into raising money for great causes.

The past few years she has done the Big Red Run to raise money for juvenile diabetes and this Anzac day she is taking on the Anzac Day Challenge.

The Anzac Day Challenge is a 100 kilometre run or walk through both the Ku-ring-ai and Garigal National Parks, finishing at Manly Dam. Sally is raising funds to support charities Soldier On and Mates 4 Mates for the care of those who have served our country and require ongoing support.

AnzacHere’s what Sally has to say about the challenge:

“Funds raised go to support the families of those affected by war. I will be competing in honour of my grandfather Thomas Hutchings who fought in New Guinea during the 2nd World War and is someone I was very close to growing up. My journey on Anzac Day will be very small compared to what our heroes endure during battle.”

You can help Sally raise much needed funds for the families of those affected by war by visiting her sponsorship page here.

Apr 23

Still no information on bus routes during light rail construction

Screen Shot 2015-04-23 at 4.06.52 pmWhen construction of the South East Light Rail Link ramps up in September or October this year there will be major changes to bus routes especially affecting George Street.

Transport for NSW was in the media today announcing that it has set up a new stand alone office to deliver the project. But they have not yet explained how buses which currently travel up and down George street will be re-routed.

Read more in the Sydney Morning Herald 

Apr 21

A busy month for delegates and reliefs

April has been a busy month for RTBU Tram and Bus Division delegates and deputy delegates.

Delegates from all depots got together for a two-day executive meeting covering all the important issues and around twenty relief delegates joined together for a full day of training. Here’s what participants had to say:

“I found the training session extremely helpful and I found out much information that was either unknown or unclear to me. The opportunity to question guest speakers and seek the opinions of the other attendees was invaluable. I feel much better equipped to perform my role as a relief delegate.”

“A fantastic and informative work day! I learnt so much about our union today and I have so much new information for my own benefit and that I can take back to my members at the depot. Thanks for the great day!”

Can you spot delegates from your depot in the pictures below?

Bus Exec april 2015 Relief training 200415 5 Relief training 200415 3 Relief training 200415 2

For more pictures make sure you check out our very own Bus Express photo gallery here.

Apr 16

How to beat the Opal system

IMG_2322_2 - Version 2Smart commuters have figured Opal out.

For just $15 you can get a week’s worth of unlimited travel on all forms of transport using your Opal card – and get your weekly exercise at the same time.

So how are they doing it?

The most popular way seems to be the light rail stops at Pyrmont, where cash strapped commuters walk back and forth between The Star and Pyrmont Bay stops about 27 times.

That’s just under 6 kilometres, apparently – so its good exercise, too.

It’s the Opal card’s strange fare structure that allows commuters to beat the system and it’s perfectly legal.

Find out exactly how it works by reading this article in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Apr 13

Meet your local delegate – Ed Robinson

Ed Robinson


Why did you become involved in the union?
 I’ve always been a unionist – I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t part of a union. I always thought that the working man should be treated more fairly than how he generally is treated. And as the industrial relations environment is getting more and more draconian every day, I want to stand by the guys I work with.

What are your hobbies and interests?
 Fishing! I’ve just bought a boat with my son in law so that’s a great opportunity to go out fishing with my four grandkids. I also follow Manchester United – I was born in Manchester.

Where do you live and why do you like it? I live in Freshwater. It’s 10 minutes from the beach and I can put my boat on the back and be at a boat ramp in 20 min. The Northern beaches is a fantastic place. I’ve never looked back.

Who would you like to have dinner with (dead or alive) and why?
 I love having dinner with my four grandkids, two daughters and their spouses. It’s great fun. I’d also have Manchester United’s George Best come along. He’s a famous footballer from Northern Ireland who played in the late 60s, early 70s. He used to be nicknamed El Beatle because he used to dress like the Beatles and had girls hanging off his arms. He was a great bloke. I’d love to sit down and talk to him.


Mar 31

Women in the union – Narelle Sinclair

 Narelle Sinclair 2Meet Narelle Sinclair, RTBU Affirmative Action Delegate

Narelle Sinclair has a long history of standing up for workers rights. She was the union delegate at Brookvale depot for more than seven years before being recently elected to branch council.

Narelle is now one of the RTBU’s Affirmative Action Delegates and is on the Women’s Campaign Committee.

Here’s what Narelle says about her new role:

“The transport industry is very male-dominated and it’s important that women support each other both in the workplace and through the union. 

That’s why we need Affirmative Action Delegates and the Women’s Campaign Committee – to stand up for women in the workplace.

We want to see women in our industry empowered so they understand their rights, feel they can ask when they need assistance, and are confident to apply for positions in their organisations and in the union.

Employers also are obliged to ensure that women are given equal opportunity in the workplace, and we aim to hold them to account.

The Women’s Campaign Committee has already had a big win for women and that was getting the domestic violence clause in the Bus Operators award which gives victims five days of paid leave. This has since been included in the Salaried Officers award for State Transit.”

- Narelle Sinclair, RTBU Affirmative Action Delegate

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.