Workers have already started digging up sections of the road, but the STA and NSW Government are staying tight lipped – even despite the fact any changes will have a significant impact on RTBU members and the travelling public.
The new Transport Minister, Andrew Constance, told journalists yesterday that a detailed construction schedule, which will apparently include traffic and public transport changes, is due out “shortly”.
The Bus Division will continue to push for answers, and for a role in determining what the re-routing plans will look like.
Members are advised that they should wait until next year before they pay the $80 to do their next working with children check. Unions NSW still has this matter before the IRC where they are continuing the fight to win this dispute.
“Statutory Declarations can be used for 5 days of Carer’s Leave per year, unless you are on the Absence Management Program”.
With the current Bus Operators Award expiring in December, negotiations between the Union and the State Transit Authority for a new Award have commenced. Following very large rank and file depot meetings where members voted overwhelmingly (unanimous at most locations) to demand that all existing Award conditions remain included in the new Agreement, State Transit has advised the Union Negotiating Committee that they will maintain all existing conditions.
STA has written to the RTBU, once again suggesting the “Rowley Reforms”. The Negotiating Committee has written back to STA reminding them that these reforms have already been rejected by members in their entirety. Negotiations are continuing and members are advised to check busxpress.com.au and talk to their Local Delegate for updates.
The appeal lodged by STA against Justice Staff’s original decision, handed down on 6 December 2013, has now been concluded.
The Union is now waiting on a decision from the Full Bench of the Industrial Relations Commission. This could take several months and members will be notified as soon as it is handed down.
Members are advised that the appeal being heard by the full bench of the NSW Industrial Relations Commission, in relation to STA’s desire to make Part Time Broken shifts and use Casuals to cover absences in the first instance, is ongoing.
The scheduled one-day appeal hearing that took place on 30 April 2014 was insufficient time to complete proceedings, and the matter has been set down to continue on 18 June 2014.
Drivers crowded the court at the Industrial Relations Commission on Thursday last week to hear the opening address from the Bus and Tram Division defending their working conditions from STA attack.
Members will be vary aware of STA’s attempts to introduce casuals to work vacant shifts and part time, broken shifts to reduce overtime payments that drivers rely on to support themselves and their families.
Justice Staff heard from the RTBU barrister that STA’s attempts to vary rosters were in direct conflict with the good faith drivers’ brought to EBA negotiations with management in 2011 and with the no extra claims clause included in the final agreement. No extra claims, he explained, means just that both sides, and STA must respect the agreement reached for its duration.
He went on further to explain how the changes would adversely affect drivers, reducing their pay and access to full time positions – expanding further those touched by the insidious nature of insecure work. He said these changes are “fundamentally unfair” and come with no other justification than STA wanting to save money at drivers’ expense. Read more »
Dollars and sense at STA
Tell us what is REALLY going to make STA more efficient.
All members will be aware that STA CEO Peter Rowley has done a tour of depots trying to convince drivers to accept changes to the Enterprise Agreement he negotiated with drivers not one year ago – all in the name of “efficiency”.
Mr Rowley says drivers must accept cuts to wages and conditions to stop the future privatisation of State Transit. But some drivers have their own ideas about what would actually make STA more efficient.
At one of the depot meeting a member asked what Mr Rowley would be doing to stop the huge amount of money lost to STA through fare evasion every day. The member wanted to know why drivers were being asked to take a hit while this continued to happen. All Mr Rowley could say was it shouldn’t be drivers’ concern.
It’s true, it shouldn’t be drivers’ concern, but when they are being asked to accept cuts to hard fought wages and conditions to “save” themselves from privatisation it becomes their concern.
We know slashing wages and conditions is no way to make bus services better or more efficient. This is just short term thinking.
Drivers know the bus network better than anyone. And we know how it could be improved. Actually improved.
So give us your ideas! We have already received information from a member on how much could be saved if STA dealt with fare evasion on buses, but what else could be done?
Comment below to have your say.
A Christmas message from Chris and Gary
We can hardly believe it but here we are at the final edition of Bus Express for 2012.
This year has proved that we have to be ever vigilant when it comes to protecting our rights at work.
We have seen the Government enact wholesale cuts and outsourcing of services across the board.
After fighting hard last year to secure a fair Agreement with State Transit, drivers were outraged by attempts by STA CEO Peter Rowley to vary the Agreement not one year after it was made.
Drivers responded to this by sending a message, loud and clear, to STA and to the NSW Government that an Agreement is an Agreement and they will not be held to ransom by threats of privatisation. Read more »
State Transit management has agreed to implement a program of testing members employed at the organisation during the 80s and 90s for asbestos related diseases after learning about asbestos brakes used in this period.
The union questioned State Transit about its planned response to the discovery, saying that it had to take responsibility for the impact this could have on its employees now and into the future.
The program is a good news from State Transit, but should only be the first step. The union will continue to advocate for the organisation to take appropriate actions take responsibility for work practices that put employees at risk all those years ago. Read more »
Welcome to Bus Express!
Divisional Secretary Chris Preston & Divisional President Gary Way
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