As you would be aware, the RTBU has recently lodged for Protected Industrial Action (PIA) for the Metro Trains Rail Operations Enterprise Agreement (EA).
Consequently, the RTBU has planned workplace meetings at all major stations across the network. These meetings have been occurring over the last week and will continue to take place over the coming weeks.
While the meetings are scheduled at Stations, we encourage any Metro Operations Member, (Signallers, AOs, DAOs, Train Controllers etc) to attend any of the listed meetings. Further meetings to cover all locations in Rail Operations will be scheduled at a later date.
Many Members have already received their ballot paper in the mail to vote for the PIA.
We have received a number of questions over the last few days regarding how you should vote for the proposed PIA, so for clarity:
- You will receive your official ballot papers in the mail from the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC).
- You will receive information and a sample how to vote card from the RTBU Office. Vote YES to every single question on the ballot paper if you support the RTBU lodging for protected industrial action.
Anyone who has not yet received their ballot paper, it may mean that your address in the RTBU membership system was incorrect at the time of the ballots being sent out. You will therefore need to request that a new ballot paper be posted out to you. This must be done ASAP because ballots must be received by 10am on 29 July to be counted.
Any member who has not received their ballot needs to contact the Returning Officer at the AEC Ashleigh Finch on 9285 7108 or email (addressing to Ashleigh) to firstname.lastname@example.org
Should you have any further queries don’t hesitate to contact one of the Organisers, or your Delegate.
Recently it was announced that the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR), Vic Roads and Public Transport Victoria would merge under one umbrella of the Department of Transport (DOT). The RTBU has been told that this merger will assist in the running of future projects in Melbourne by liaising with rail and roads to get passengers around faster and with less hassle.
DOT members have embraced the merger, however many Members are still confused as to what that might mean to them in the future. Several Members have contacted our office with questions relating to job security, however we have been assured that there will be no loss of jobs as a result of the merger. This was the first question raised by our Branch Secretary when we were consulted.
The RTBU will always fight to protect the rights of the Members. If any Members have any questions regarding this, please don’t hesitate to call me on 0403 863 869.
With the major EA bargaining round occurring this year and the negotiations for Metro Trains progressing, Members at V/Line are probably at the point where you’re thinking, what about us?
Rest assured, we haven’t forgotten about you, however as usual with a Government owned company, there have been major delays in terms of the commencement of bargaining. Not only have we dealt with the delays that regularly occur, but the Victorian Government have thrown another curve ball to us by making the V/Line EAs “major agreements”. This therefore means that the Treasurer, Premier and Minister all need to approve the log of claims (LOC) before bargaining can commence.
The RTBU has been asking V/Line since January this year to come to the bargaining table and commence negotiations for your EA and after our continuous requests to commence bargaining kept falling on deaf ears, our lawyers have now written to V/Line giving them an ultimatum. Should they not come to the bargaining table after that letter, we would apply to the Fair Work Commission for a majority support determination.
I am pleased to report that this prompted V/Line to contact us with a date to commence negotiations. The negotiations for both the V/Line Operations EA and the V/Line Infrastructure EA are now scheduled to begin next week. At these meetings, logs of claims will be exchanged, so after Monday’s first meeting, the bargaining will be deemed to have commenced.
The last EA bargaining round in 2015 was stretched for far too long and we will not be allowing this to occur again. this time. It is frustrating that it took us to threaten legal action in order to get V/Line to the bargaining table, however now that a date is set for bargaining, we are hopeful that the EA negotiations will progress quickly and steadily.
What will the commencement of bargaining mean for our Members?
Upon the commencement of bargaining, V/Line will have to adhere to the good faith bargaining requirements, which means they will have to attend and participate in bargaining meetings.
I assure our Members that we will continue our efforts and work with Delegates and Members to negotiate a fair deal.
Unity is always key, but even more so during EA negotiations. Please ensure your details with the union are up to date so that we can continue to update you with the happenings of your EA.
Metro Trains Melbourne (MTM) want roster changes, that much is clear. Initially, MTM approached the unions and members citing that “ONSRR made us do it”. Apparently, there was a fatigue issue somewhere in the darkest dangerous depths of the 27 odd rosters that are currently utilised throughout the network which was identified in a 2016 report. They hastily engaged a fatigue specialist and got to work designing rosters that set about attempting to resolve this issue.
MTM formed a central rostering committee in the hope of establishing a common roster across all depots, where I presume the thought process was, the best way to get a new roster through is to get 40 angry members in a room and spend upward of 16hrs explaining to them that changing rosters was in their best interests. That losing 10 to 15k a year (approx) on MTMs proposed roster would be best for their shakra’s and would ultimately put MTM in a place where it could Feng Shui the crap out of their depots leading to a happier, healthier and cheerful workforce.
Apparently the response that management received, wasn’t the one they were expecting, funnily enough, the before mentioned members didn’t take kindly to a proposed pay cut, which was exacerbated by the fact that MTM couldn’t produce any real evidence that there was, in fact, a fatigue issue at all. What was brought to light, however, was that, rather than ONSRR taking issues with rosters directly, they had issues with the way MTM managed its fatigue and subsequent fatigue management plan. Some may say that the disparity of “facts” is relatively suspicious.
Suddenly other reasons for roster changes were presented by MTM, such as fleet cascade, training, Comeng retirement, timetable changes, etc etc. All of which sound seemingly plausible at least at first glance. Perhaps even more so, if MTM didn’t identify that ripping the guts out of schedule D and allowing the company to change rosters with 28 days’ notice was front and centre of their Log of Claims during the concurrent EBA negotiations.
So, where are we now?
Well, thankfully management have concluded that perhaps taking rosters to local depots and establishing local rostering committees is a good way forward. Rosters are after all local issues, changes have different effects on different members, some are financial, but many are lifestyle based, people have different responsibilities, family arrangements, commitments and consequentially availability. All these factors need to be taken into consideration and recognised and dealt with as part of this process. The union cannot stop MTM proposing a roster change, we have schedule D to deal with that, but we will do our utmost to protect our members interests during this process.
If you have any questions regarding your roster, feel free to give me a call on 0457 006 739.