May 1

RTBU members unite to stay off unsafe roads in wild weather


An STA bus during the storm

As Newcastle and the Hunter area battled cyclonic conditions last week, strong union leadership kept our members off unsafe roads.

The storm brought some of the wildest weather in years to the city of Newcastle and surrounds. There were winds of up to 130km an hour, trees were down, as were power lines, houses were destroyed, people went missing, and there was flooding and general devastation in the community. The storm was described as a category 2 cyclone and later declared a natural disaster area.

As those drivers who were able to made their way to work that Tuesday morning they weren’t sure about the extent of the danger they would face on the roads.

As the winds grew stronger, so too did the fear amongst the workers, who gathered together at work, ready for duty, but concerned for their safety. In response union meetings were called at both Hamilton and Belmont depots to decipher which course of action would be taken.

 No one wanted to risk their lives and those of the travelling public out in the wild and dangerous conditions and with strong leadership from the union embers wholeheartedly voted for the safest option: for the buses to remain off the roads until the conditions were proven to be safe.

Screen Shot 2015-04-30 at 12.49.50 pm

A Hunter Valley bus during the storm

As the day progressed members agreed that certain services could operate safely, which is then what happened.

The RTBU Newcastle membership were particularly united on that day and the strength and support they showed each other was quite remarkable. It was because of this unity that they managed to get through the day and night without too many concerns. 

Apr 30

Notice to members: STA Grow Perform Succeed Programme

STA have advised the Union of their intention to commence the ‘State Transit Grow Perform Succeed Program’ (GPS) with Bus Operators. As a result you will be asked to sign an individual “Performance Agreement.”

The RTBU advises all members NOT to sign any documentation relating to the GPS program or any other document that resembles an individual performance agreement. 

Members should note:

- STA Bus Operators are covered by a “Collective Agreement”

- Nobody can force you to sign your name

- Always take union representation into meetings with supervisors or management.

Download this notice here

Apr 30

Burwood members clean war memorial after 30+ years

It took three RTBU members three days to get it perfect, but Burwood’s war memorial has now had its first proper clean in more than 30 years, just in time for Anzac Day.

RTBU delegate for Burwood depot Mark Delohery, bus operator Sandra Carroll and Institute Secretary Robert Boudan gave up their own time and worked in some pretty stormy conditions to clean the war memorial site. Robert cut back the overgrown hedges, Mark gave the footpath and the sandstone memorial a good clean with his pressure cleaner and Sandra brightened the area with flowers. 

Sandra Carroll, Mark Delohery, Robert Boudan

Mark Delohery cleaning the siteThe memorial was sparkling clean and looking great for the Burwood depot’s Anzac Day Ceremony, where the flag was lowered to half mast and Staff supervisor Andrew Bryson read the speech of a digger who died at Gallipoli for Australia.

Andrew Bryson right & Robert Jacksic read the ode

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 20

International Day of Mourning memorial service

What if you went to work one day and never came home?

Sadly that is the reality for more than 40 Australians who have been killed in workplace accidents this year alone.

To honour those who have lost their lives due to workplace illness or injury there will be a special memorial service on 28 April at Reflection Park, Sydney  

Please, Show your respect this International Workers Memorial Day by mourning the dead while fighting for the living.


Reflection Park

Did you know that International Labour Organisation (ILO) world-wide statistics show:

  • Each year, more than two million men and women die as a result of work-related accidents and disease.
  • Workers suffer approximately 270 million accidents each year, and fall victim to some 160 million incidents of related illnesses.
  • Hazardous substances kill 440,000 workers annually and asbestos claims 100,000 lives.
  • One worker dies every 15 seconds worldwide. 6,000 workers die every day. More people die while at work than those fighting wars.

Join with those who have lost loved ones through workplace illness or injury.

The ceremony will be held at 11:45am for 12:00 noon start on Tuesday 28 April 2015 at Reflection Park, corner Little Pier Street and Harbour Street, Sydney (between the Novotel Rockford Hotel on Darling Harbour and the Sydney Entertainment Centre).

As part of the event, family and friends of loved ones will place memory cards and flowers on the “Memory Lines” sculpture, which was designed as a permanent memorial to men and women killed as a result of work-related accidents and disease.

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.