Mar 11

Free Injury Advice Service for RTBU members

Since the Government changed the legislation around workers compensation claims, it has been more difficult for our members to get compensation when they are injured at work.

This has left our members at risk of being left out of pocket, sometimes by thousands of dollars.

If you are a member of the RTBU and your workers compensation claim has been rejected, we recommend you contact Matthew at the injury advice service:


This service provides expert injury lawyers at no cost, and has already assisted a number of RTBU members to achieve good outcomes against the odds.

For example, the current legislation no longer covers workers on their journey to or from work. However this advice service was recently used successfully by a person who was injured while travelling to work.

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 9

Thousands march for our rights


RTBU members at the Sydney march

On March 4, thousands of union and community members marched for our rights all across NSW – in Sydney, Lismore, Taree, Maitland, Broken Hill and Newcastle.

The marches were a protest against Abbott’s Productivity Commission “review” of work rights and Mike Baird’s privatisation push.

With an election just three weeks away it’s up to us to keep the momentum going.

You can join the Unions NSW campaign for a government that works for working people here.

Mar 9

Patients before Profits doorknocking

If you live on the Northern Beaches and are concerned that the new hospital will be built and run by a private corporation – then join nurses and midwives to door knock in Manly on Saturday 21 March.

For more information download the event flyer.

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.

Mar 4

Your chance to have your say

The RTBU is your union and we want you to have your say.survey.173619

We want to know what you think and what your priorities are so we can determine the way forward for our union.

The survey takes 5-10 minutes to complete.

Take part in the member survey now by following this link.

This is your chance to let us know the direction you want to see us take into the future.

And if that wasn’t incentive enough, one lucky person who completes the survey and offers to assist the union will win a weekend at the RTBU holiday apartments in Jervis Bay!

The survey will be online for less than a week – so make sure you don’t miss out.

We’ll use the results of the survey to help us build a stronger union which better services our members.

Please take part and make sure your voice is heard.

Feb 25

National Day of Action – March 4

Our rights at work are again under attack from the Abbott Government and employers.

Now is the time to stand up and fight back. Thousands of people will be marching on March 4 to send a clear message to the Government to stop attacking our living standards.

The Day of Action is being organised by Australian Unions and there will be marches happening all over the country.

In NSW so far events are confirmed in Sydney and in Newcastle:

SYDNEY: 12.30pm at Parliament House, Macquarie Street, Sydney

NEWCASTLE: 10am at Newcastle Town Hall


For a full list of all locations and resources visit the Australian Unions website.

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.

Feb 24

Opal card debacle

Opal Card Default Fare - Channel 9Commuters are paying millions of dollars worth of extra fares because of a glitch in the Opal card system, which means that users are often charged the maximum fare even when they tap off correctly.

According to media reports, customers were overcharged more than 1.2 million times in just three months last year.

You can watch Channel 9’s video coverage here.

This revelation comes as no surprise to Bus Operators in Sydney and Newcastle. The Opal system is unreliable at this stage, especially on buses. The reason is that if a customer taps on to the bus but the system then crashes meaning the commuter is unable to tap off when they arrive at their destination. They then end up being charged the default amount, which is the maximum fare.

However, this is not the worst part of Opal. Due to the system crashing on a regular basis, the Union believes this is costing the Government millions of dollars each week. In the 21st century and with the advancement of technologies, how can it be so hard to have this system running efficiently?

We are also starting to field complaints from the drivers over the safety aspect of the Opal system. When passengers are exiting through the rear doors of the bus, they often tap off and walk out the doors only to realise that they didn’t hear a beep from the Opal machine. The passenger then re-enters the rear doors to tap off a second time catching the drivers unaware which can lead to rear door entrapment which could result in injury.

As reported in the media, the delay in commuters tapping off the bus when the Opal system is working is adding to late running of buses, which is also causing frustration with commuters and bus operators.

The Opal system is meant to speed up the network and make travelling on transport cheaper and easier whilst going from one transport mode to another.

Unfortunately, in reality the Opal system at this point is a disappointment and the Opal contractors need a good shakeup, otherwise this Opal system will become the Tcard of 2015. That was a very costly and wasteful experience and we would have hoped that all parties involved would have learnt from that experience.

Drivers are close to the end of their patience with the Opal system.

Feb 19

Qld buses saved from privatisation

We’d like to congratulate our colleagues in Queensland who campaigned tirelessly in the lead up to their state election and saved their bus services from privatisation.

Bus drivers hit back at Campbell Newman’s plan to privatise buses in the state’s south east with their ‘Hands Off Our Buses’ campaign.

They made sure that voters knew that privatisation means less services, less often, and that ordinary people would pay more for their public transport.

Screen Shot 2015-02-19 at 3.52.56 pm

The result – huge swings away from the Coalition and a surprise victory for Labor – means Queensland’s buses stay in public hands.