Following several mass meetings held on Monday the 12 August, the RTBU is pleased to announce that members have endorsed an in-principle agreement for the Metro Infrastructure EA 2019. In a departure from tradition, the infrastructure agreement has been completed relatively on time and is scheduled to proceed to a formal vote over the coming weeks.
For this EA, the RTBU set out to continue our work creating secure employment in the rail industry, to close loopholes exploited by Metro over the life of current agreement and deliver a fair pay rise.
This has largely been accomplished by placing further restrictions as to when a member can be stood down, greater control over the implementation of new rosters, greater control over the use of supplementary labour, a solid commitment to insourcing over the life of the agreement, the establishment of a safe working committee, an additional 36 full-time jobs and a 14% pay rise with a 2% sign on bonus.
I thank the hard work of the Delegates and the bargaining team in delivering the proposed agreement.
Metro Rolling Stock
Rolling Stock negotiations have largely been bogged down in exactly how best to deal with what will ultimately be an upcoming period of vast change across rolling stock maintenance. With the company pushing for network wide roster changes, the impacts of HCMT, the Comeng retirement and the need to modernise skill sets to deal with modern fleets, this EA is one of the more complex negotiations in this major EA round.
The RTBU firmly holds the view that any solution to these issues designed and endorsed by the members is going to be vastly superior to any the company intends to jam down our throat, and this EA is the time to deal with it.
To date, there have been two bargaining meetings for the V/Line Infrastructure 2019 EA, so in the grand scheme of things, its very early days. V/Line’s main focus this agreement appears to be its claims relating to rostering flexibility.
V/Line’s explanation would indicate this claim is designed for the transition of work from days to nights on what we assume is the busier corridors of the regional network which has seen, and will continue to see increased services.
The RTBU has requested further information regarding this claim and expect to have more information after the next bargaining meeting on Friday 30 August.