After fighting for over a year against providing a reasonable uniform allowance State Transit has tried yet again to short change drivers.
Members will be aware that after a long and tough battle with State Transit uniform allowances were recently paid into drivers’ bank accounts.
However, the RTBU was forced to intervene when it discovered the $350 allowance agreed between the union and State Transit had not been paid in full.
Despite an agreement to the contrary, the allowance was taxed before being paid to drivers.
The RTBU quickly took a complaint to State Transit on discovering the problem and demanded the remaining allowance be paid to drivers.
State Transit will be depositing a second amount to drivers shortly to bring them up to the agree $350 shortly.
If you have any questions about this or do not receive the correct payment contact the union office immediately.
The Union is pleased to advise that the long running Uniform Dispute has been resolved.
All permanent bus operators will now receive $350.00 cash payment into their bank account in October 2012, for the purchase of their work uniform.
The allowance will continue to be paid on an annual basis from here on in.
The Union would like to thank all members who supplied information to their local delegates for this case. It would also like to extend a special thank you to the two bus operators whose claims were used in the court case, one member from Kingsgrove and the other from North Sydney. Without membership involvement like this, successful outcomes such as this are rarely achieved.
The Union also thanks the Union Solicitors, Slater and Gordon for their hard work on this case.
Once again the Steel City put on a fabulous day for the second meeting of the full Executive on 21 May 2012. The meeting built on the success of last year’s meeting, addressing a number of the key issues for bus drivers.
A particular focus was the ongoing uniform allowance dispute which has seen STA deny drivers reimbursement for money spent on uniforms for over a year now. Despite STA’s stonewalling workers on this up until now the Division hopes to have a solution to put to members in the coming weeks.
The Executive also discussed the Transport Minister’s recent announcement to put metropolitan private bus contracts out to competitive tendering. Sydney Buses were not affected by the decision but it’s important that we stay on top of this issue and look at what it might mean for the future of the bus industry, particularly in outer metropolitan areas such as Newcastle.
STA is also looking to tie carers leave in with its sick leave policy. The union has expressed its strong opposition to this policy and the Executive is resolved to oppose any move to do this all the way to the Industrial Relations Commission.
All delegates who attended should be congratulated on their excellent input on the day.
The Division would also like to thank the Hamilton and Belmont institute committees for their wonderful hospitality on the day.
The Chief Industrial Magistrate has made comments in ongoing proceedings which would suggest that the uniform allowance clause in our Award which was agreed on in 2007 is completely inadequate. The magistrate stated in court that the clause was “poorly written with no amount stipulated”, he suggested that in the absence of an amount it would be very difficult for him to make orders.
The magistrate indicated that he found it disappointing that back in 2007 the STA and the Union allowed the clause in its current form to be inserted in the Award. He instructed STA to write to the Union suggesting a dollar amount of the annual uniform allowance following which both parties would appear before him again and he would try and conciliate the matter.
While the Union solicitors acknowledged the magistrates comments and the associated difficulties, they are still confident that the Award can be varied to stipulate a dollar amount for the uniform allowance.
A date has been set for conciliation on the Bus Division’s long running dispute with STA over uniform allowance.
Drivers continue to be denied the allowance they are owed for their uniforms needs by STA. This issue will now come before the Chief Industrial Magistrates Court on the 23rd of January.
The key point of the dispute is establishing exactly how much the allowance should be and how much the drivers are owed.
A statement outlining the union’s position on this matter has been submitted and we are currently waiting on a statement from STA in response.
Drivers will be kept up to date on this dispute as it progresses.
The Bus Division currently has several disputes running in the areas of sick leave and uniform issue at Willoughby depot.
Willoughby delegate Alan Burke is working with the union officials from Redfern to ensure that STA meet their obligations and treat drivers in a fairer manner.
Mr Burke said that for some reason depot management are being unusually harsh when implementing their policies when dealing with these issues.
The union finds this unacceptable and is commited to fighting for decent treatment of members every step of the way.
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