Rail, Aviation and Transport

Rail, Aviation and Transport

Rail EBA Update - Delegates to Meet

Paul Lister - Tuesday, January 30, 2018

ETU delegates will join a Combined Rail Union meeting this Thursday where management plans to present the offer first tabled during negotiations last week and which ETU members have told the union they overwhelmingly reject.

The full delegates meeting marks a crossroads after the Fair Work Commission suspended all industrial action for six weeks. The outcome of the meeting will determine the next move in negotiations.

Rail delegates from seven unions will listen to management’s offer and provide feedback on whether the offer is considered good enough to go to a vote of almost 10,000 rail employees across Sydney and NSW Trains.

Negotiations will continue right up to Thursday’s delegate meeting, with the ETU team pushing to further improve the outcome for ETU members after there was a push last week to remove higher rates of pay for electrically qualified team leaders/work group leaders. The ETU successfully argued that electrically qualified team leaders/work group leaders should continue to receive higher rates of pay.

The key elements of management’s offer are:

  • Three-year agreement with annual pay rises of 2.75% per year
  • One-off $1,000 payment on approval of EBA
  • Current Travel Pass extended for existing employees to include metro and outer metro buses and the Sydney Metro between Rouse Hill and Bankstown
  • Improved contracting out clause negotiated by the ETU means a dedicated Consultative Committee, with union representation, will vet any future proposal to contract out electrical work
  • A review of classifications relating to infrastructure team leaders/work group leaders that may result in enhanced outcomes for electrical team leaders in the future PLUS the protection of existing pay rates for electrical trade team leaders/work group leaders
  • Redundancy to remain in Deed and not part of the agreement with notice periods to change.
  • Most other conditions rolled over from current agreement.

While our delegates consider the best way forward, two other matters need the attention of all ETU rail members…

Your voting papers for the ETU’s second Protected Action Ballot will arrive soon. Please ensure you vote ‘YES’ so that ETU members have the option of taking industrial action, if required.

Meet new rail organiser Anthony O’Sullivan and other ETU leaders at Sydney Trains depot meetings between 6-15 February. Stay tuned for confirmed schedule.

A reminder to ensure your contact details are up-to-date – call the office on (02) 9267 4844 to check. Any other questions, contact organiser Anthony O’Sullivan anthonyo@etunsw.com.au 0429 429 234

In Unity,

Rail EBA Update - Fair Work Decision

Paul Lister - Thursday, January 25, 2018

The Fair Work Commission today ordered a six-week suspension on protected industrial action by rail workers seeking improved wages and conditions.

The orders mean the RTBU and Professionals Australia must lift overtime bans and cancel plans for a strike on Monday 29 January.

The decision demonstrates the unfair restrictions placed on workers and their unions under current enterprise bargaining rules.

Unions can negotiate for months and conduct a protected action ballot and yet still be prevented from taking action to protect and improve conditions.

This lack of fairness underlines why the ETU will strongly support the ACTU’s Change the Rules campaign in 2018.

Rail negotiations continued today with the ETU team prominent is pursuing the best possible outcome for our members. Progress was made towards agreement on several non-monetary issues.

The six-week ban on industrial action places the ETU’s second Protected Action Ballot firmly on the agenda. If this ballot gets up, ETU members will be able to join any future action.

For that reason, it is essential that all our rail members attend the depot meetings scheduled for February. The full schedule will be released early next week. Secondly, we need all rail members to participate in the PAB ballot for which voting papers will arrive from around 5 February.

A reminder to ensure your contact details are up-to-date – call the office on (02) 9267 4844 to check. Any other questions, contact organiser Anthony O’Sullivan anthonyo@etunsw.com.au 0429 429 234.

In Unity,

Rail EBA Negotiation Update

Paul Lister - Thursday, January 25, 2018


We resume EBA negotiations with Sydney Trains this morning. ETU organiser Anthony O’Sullivan (Ben Lister is currently on leave) and ETU President Glen Potter continue to do a great job at the bargaining table – often under trying circumstances.

We conducted an SMS poll of our rail members on Tuesday and the message came back loud and clear: most ETU members want Sydney Trains to improve its offer from the current 2.75 per cent per year. The ETU will vigorously pursue an improved offer in all meetings.

Unfortunately the Protected Action Ballot of ETU members conducted in late-December/early January did not meet the 50 per cent participation rate required to authorise industrial action. This means unfortunately we cannot support the RTBU in their current overtime ban or in Monday’s planned stoppage. But of those ETU members who did vote in the Ballot, a big majority voted ‘YES’ to all proposed actions.

We are now re-balloting all rail members with voting scheduled from early February. Please ensure we have your current contact details so you can participate. I urge you to vote ‘YES’. ETU leaders will run depot meetings to coincide with the ballot – please attend and have your say.

Stay tuned for further updates. We will inform members of any news emerging from negotiations later today.

For further information, contact organiser Anthony O’Sullivan on 0429 429 234 or anthonyo@etunsw.com.au alternatively talk to your workplace delegate. To update your details for the Ballot please contact the ETU office on 02 9267 4844.

In Unity,

ETU rail members to vote in fresh protected action ballot

Paul Lister - Wednesday, January 17, 2018

ETU members employed by Sydney Trains will decide on protected industrial action in a second ballot, likely to open in early February, 2018, subject to Fair Work approval.

This follows a poor turnout in the first Protected Action Ballot held between 8 December 2017 and 10 January 2018. The ETU was one of several rail unions that did not achieve the 50 per cent member participation required for a valid outcome under Fair Work Commission rules.

The first ballot was disrupted by Christmas, New Year and school holidays, those members who did vote gave overwhelming support for protected industrial action, if such action is required.

The ETU supports a second Protected Action Ballot to permit industrial action if Sydney Trains fails to improve its offer in long-running enterprise agreement negotiations.

The major problems with Sydney Trains current offer are:

  • an inadequate pay offer of just 2.5 per cent per year
  • a threat to destroy relativities for electrical tradespeople who lead teams or work groups in Infrastructure Works by paying the same rates to all without recognising electrical skills and qualifications
  • job security is watered down because protection against forced redundancies is not included with the enterprise agreement.

The ETU made application to Fair Work for a second ballot and orders are expected to be issued in the coming days.

To ensure this fresh ballot produces a valid outcome and reflects rail members’ intentions, ETU members are urged to:

  • immediately update contact details by phoning the ETU office on (02) 9267 4844, or emailing etunsw@etunsw.com.au A number of members did not receive voting papers for the first ballot. This is likely because contact details held by the ETU and Sydney Trains did not match.
  • attend ETU depot meetings across the network which will be held to coincide with the ballot. Stay tuned for further details
  • make sure you vote YES by returning your completed ballot paper and encourage other ETU members to do the same.

For more information, check www.etunsw.com.au and follow us on Facebook @ETUnsw or contact organiser Anthony O’Sullivan anthonyo@etunsw.com.au  0429 429 234.