Last Thursday 1 February the Combined Rail Union delegates met to hear from management and consider an EBA offer, tabled on 17 January, that had already been rejected by the negotiating committee. At this meeting, more than 200 rail delegates from seven unions, including the ETU, unanimously rejected the offer, which included annual pay increases of 2.75%, a one-off $1,000 payment and an extended travel pass.
In a sign of good faith, the combined rail delegates agreed to reduce the pay claim from 6% to 4% per year and have advised management to go away and come back with an improved wages offer. The combined unions negotiating committee is meeting again today to resolve claims around domestic violence leave, redundancy deed, master roster issues and the facilitation clause.
A further EBA meeting with Sydney Trains management on Wednesday will continue to work around agreement wording.
MANAGEMENT BLOCKS ETU DEPOT MEETINGS
In a further development, Sydney Trains management has blocked ETU depot meetings that were planned to commence this week. Sydney Trains management has advised the ETU that they will not facilitate paid meetings at this stage in negotiations.
As a result the ETU is considering before and after-hours depot meetings and a telephone townhall to discuss the EBA and Protected Action Ballot and to gather feedback from members.
PROTECTED ACTION BALLOT
ETU members should now be receiving their ballot papers for the Protected Action Ballot – IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT THAT ALL ETU MEMBERS TAKE THE TIME TO VOTE AND RETURN YOUR BALLOT PAPER. We are asking members to VOTE YES to all questions. This will allow ETU members to join industrial action with other union members, should it be needed, in the future. Industrial action may not be required but the threat of industrial action will increase pressure on management to improve any future offer.
We will keep members informed of any developments. Please stay tuned for details of the out-of-hours depot meetings and telephone townhall which are likely to occur over the coming week.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 0429 429 234.