Unfortunately, in the Public Transport Industry, and especially in front-line roles, our members face serious safety risks on a daily basis.
As I’m sure many members are aware, the RTBU has long been campaigning for two-up on all Barriers across the network, and for Conductors on all V/Line Services. While the calls for two-up have continued to go unanswered, the RTBU searched for another way forward to help protect our front-line workers.
The RTBU is currently lobbying the Victorian State Government to introduce harsher penalties for assaulting a Public Transport worker.
Currently there are penalties that exist for assaulting emergency workers such as police officers, protective service officers, operational staff within the meaning of the Ambulance Services Act 1986, a fire-fighter, and other emergency workers listed in section 10AA(8) of the Sentencing Act 1991 (Vic). The minimum penalty is a 6 month term of imprisonment for a person who intentionally or recklessly causes injury to an emergency worker on duty.
Following the introduction of this legislation, along with effective state funded publicity, many of these workers have reported improvements in their experience at work. Public Transport workers are no different and deserve this same respect that Emergency workers do.
The South Australian Government has introduced penalties for assaulting Public Transport workers which sees perpetrators facing up to 25 years imprisonment. The time is now for the Victorian State Government to leap into the 21st century and protect the workers who keep our transport system moving each day.
The RTBU urges the Victorian Government to firmly consider adopting such legislation to ensure safety, certainty and security to front line public transport workers.
It is time for our State Government to come to the table and do what is necessary to protect Public Transport workers. The time is now.
We will continue to update members on the campaign and with any progress in this space.
If you have been assaulted at work or are experiencing violence related issues (verbal and non-verbal) in your workplace, please contact the RTBU on 8630 9100 or at firstname.lastname@example.org to log an incident report.