For our members working at V/Line and Metro, you may not be aware that we have members at many other organisations – Probe, Transclean, Public Transport Victoria (PTV), VicTrack, Wilson Security and Bombardier to name a few.
The RTBU has been running a safety campaign which raises the profile of staff being assaulted at work. We have met with Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan to insist that a public awareness campaign be run, and penalties for those who assault public transport workers be increased in line with those for emergency workers.
Staff in the PTV call centre are frequently on the receiving end of calls from angry, desperate, lost, tired and overwhelmed passengers. Too often our members are abused by callers, who yell, swear and intimidate them. The abuse they cop every single day affects their mental health, in some cases staff go off sick during their shift as a result of the stress.
Often these members take calls from Metro and V/Line staff and unfortunately sometimes these staff are abusive to our comrades. Unfortunately, staff in the PTV call centre only have access to the limited amount of information that the companies provide them with, they do not have access to all the information necessary to succeed in their role. So please, next time you begin to get frustrated with the staff at the PTV call centre, please stop and remember that they too are a part of the RTBU family and they don’t deserve to be yelled at or spoken to wrongly.
For our members working at Probe’s Call Centre for PTV, LXRA and MTM enquiries, staff ‘hot desk’ which means that they don’t have their own desk. They move into a desk someone has just vacated, sharing headsets, keyboards, phones and…surprise…germs.
Probe was also not supplying anti-bacterial wipes for their workers who are consistently hot desking. I am pleased to report that on learning this, the RTBU started a petition to be signed by members. Because of the petition, Probe has since committed to alcohol wipes always being available to all agents and have communicated where they will be found and how to get them replenished.
Nobody goes to work to be abused and the PTV call centre workers are no exception. It is not acceptable. The RTBU salutes staff working in difficult circumstances and is working with Delegates to address these ongoing issues and basic human rights.