Major enterprise bargaining is now under way across Metro with V/Line imminently commencing.
Operations, Infrastructure and Rolling Stock agreements are all in the mix for both companies at a critical moment where we have the opportunity to determine how we approach the future of rail on our terms.
With cost of living pressures at economic centre stage, we must also not miss the opportunity to empower members with the industrial power and EA clauses to best combat an unpredictable future that serve to ensure rail can remain a job for life.
Over the life of the new EAs we will see the opening of the Metro Tunnel, new rolling stock, additional services, new technologies, changes to franchising, new depots, fleet retirements, new ticketing systems and the impacts of automation.
We’ve heard from members across the industry and as such, our bargaining teams and delegates remain focused on claims that give members job security, access to fair processes, better work life balance and genuine career opportunities. Classification structures, career progression, training qualifications, job security and consistency for part timers are all critical in this respect.
Now is our chance to set the agenda across the industry and we must get it right. The RTBU will not take a backwards step – this is not a matter of what we are going to give up to achieve these claims, it’s a matter of what we must fight for to achieve these gains.
Building and cementing the power, wages will follow. It is the claims that empower members to control change, have a seat at the table and raise relevant dispute that will be the ones worth fighting for.
And if the companies don’t recognise the importance of the RTBU’s core claims, they will be front and centre of industrial action taken we will make no hesitation to take.
We are one industry, one network and one union. We are RTBU.