Enterprise agreements are a major opportunity for unions to deliver for members. Working together we create a formidable force against otherwise multinational employers to get the job done.
Mid-year, the enterprise agreements covering the major public transport operators will be up for negotiation. This is always our chance to control the quality of our jobs, the benefits for members and their families, as well as the future of our network and our union for the next 4 years and generations to come.
It is currently raining money in rail, with scores of grade separations completed, underway, or being planned, the Metro Tunnel, Airport Link, Suburban Rail Loop, Inland Rail, new freight terminals and the Outer Metro Ring, reviving the future of rail freight. We have new fleets, such as HCMT, NGT and Xtrap 2.0 as well as a new ticketing system on the horizon.
The opportunities for the RTBU’s members are endless, however with major change comes the risk of significant consequences. To ensure members are not walked over by multi-national corporations we must leverage our industry knowledge and stand together. If changes must occur, they must happen on our terms and for the benefit of all members.
The Infrastructure and Workshops Divisions stand on the forefront of these projects, getting a front row seat to these new technologies that will impact our network. These technologies are not on some distant horizon or foreign shore, they are just over the next hill.
This is not the first time we have stood on the forefront of technological change and historically the RTBU has proved that when we stand united, we achieve the best outcomes for members. We set the standard for our industry. Unity must be our approach over the coming months as we look towards the commencement of bargaining for Metro, V/Line and Yarra EAs across Operations, Infrastructure and Workshops.
Members of the RTBU have achieved enviable wages and conditions by working together and fighting together.
Disunity provides nothing but an opportunity for the bosses to sit by the sidelines presumably gorging on copious amounts of fine wine and caviar as they rub their hands together at the thought of filling their own coffers as a product of our division.
These upcoming negotiations must be our focus. Our claims must be refined and precise. And while we cannot stop change, by standing together and using our knowledge as an industry union we can dictate what change looks like on our terms.
Let’s be focused and get on with the job. This is Our Network, Our Agreement and Our Union.