Luba Grigorovitch
Branch Secretary

After months and months of the Victorian Government delaying the decision of the MR4 contract, a decision was announced on Tuesday 12 September 2017, a mere two months before the contract expires.

The decision has not come as a shock to the RTBU with expectations set low for the Government to be bold enough to bring Melbourne’s Metropolitan Train and Tram networks back to public hands.

With the disappointing result of both Yarra Trams (KDR) and Metro Trains Melbourne (MTM) receiving a new seven-year contract, the RTBU will continue with the fight against privatisation and its impact on members.

Since 2015, the RTBU has campaigned for the Victorian Government to bring Melbourne’s public transport back to public hands.

Despite MTM and KDR being granted the franchise, the RTBU through campaigning for change, has managed to have a major impact over the franchise agreement, rectifying long outstanding issues fought for by members since privatisation.

Issues which relate to adequate staffing levels, inadequate investment in infrastructure, ensuring training and the long-term viability of our industry through skills and apprenticeships, improving the state of our trains and stations for staff and the public have all had steps taken towards addressing each issue. This is all thanks to RTBU members and your passion for our industry in which we all work.

Some of these include;

  • 600 jobs for Metro including;
    • 150 new drivers
    • 60 new customer service related staff
    • 90 in Rollingstock and Infrastructure
    • 270 in projects
    • 30 miscellaneous
  • 100 jobs for Yarra Trams focusing on Infrastructure and Rollingstock (including 70 apprentices)
  • 89.2 million dollars in refurbishments for the Comeng, Siemens and X’Trapolis fleets
  • 136 B and W class Trams to be refurbished
  • 4.4 million to upgrade East Preston Tram depot
  • 37% increase in maintenance renewals funding
  • Tougher monthly performance targets
  • Tougher penalties for short running trams, loop bypasses, station skipping and poor train presentation
  • A 10 million dollar fine if Metro is not maintaining the network properly in the first 2.5 years

I would personally like to thank the members who got involved in the campaign. Many of you attended rallies, assisted with leaflet drops, signed the petition and fully got involved in the RTBU Public Transport, Public Hands campaign.

Although the outcome is not what we intended, we can be proud of the gains that have been made.

These gains were only made because our voice collectively was so loud.

As these new contracts take hold, it is important we continue to hold the operators accountable. Staff must be respected and maintenance and services must be improved and upheld. If anyone has any information, do not hesitate to contact the Union Office on 8630 9100.