WHEN DEMAND IS HIGH

Luba Grigorovitch
Branch Secretary

It is no secret that our industry is currently booming with rail projects. These projects have created an unprecedented demand for Signals & Communications (S&C) qualifications in Victoria and placed huge strain on regional S&C resources as members consider work on projects with higher wages.

As more projects have been announced in Victoria and pressures have increased on the workforce doing the heavy lifting, the RTBU approached V/Line to negotiate a deal that would work better for our industry and our members.

For the past several months the RTBU has been negotiating on behalf of V/Line S&C members for a parity deal with Metro. The objective of these negotiations was to ensure RTBU S&C members did not chase high earning project work at the expense of high quality, critical and secure, long term work with V/Line.

The final proposal endorsed by RTBU members delivers skills, security, stability and future capability for the industry, our members and V/Line’s operations.

The key points include:

  • Equal pay for equal work. V/Line S&C members to be paid the same pay rate as their counterparts on the same classification at Metro Trains.
  • All overtime double time
  • Annual leave paid as per roster
  • Off roster public holidays
  • 12 new apprentices
  • 8 days on, 6 days off roster – as in MTM Track

Organiser Bryan Evans recently completed a roadshow of S&C depots where these issues have been widely discussed. Members have spoken loud and clear, voting unanimously to endorse the RTBU’s proposal.

Despite initially agreeing to the intent of the RTBU’s claims, V/Line’s version has fallen short of what is required. As V/Line’s proposal removes several conditions from the package endorsed by RTBU members, V/Line must reconsider the value of their highly skilled and experienced workforce.

RTBU members are determined to secure an outcome that ensures the long term capability of our network. Without this important reform V/Line stands to lose their capacity to effectively perform S&C work into the future.

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