As most of you would know, for many years now there has been discussion around the possibility of PSOs travelling on trains.
Over the years, there has been a ‘tug-of-war” between the companies, the Government and the Union to keep PSOs off our trains. When PSOs were first introduced on the public transport network, we fought to ensure that they would not travel on trains.
However, in late August, the RTBU was informed that the plan was for PSOs to travel on trains as of Sunday 2 September 2018. We therefore sprung into full gear with ongoing negotiations happening between the RTBU, VICPOL, DOJ and PTV in relation to the RTBU allowing PSOs to travel on trains.
Although the first duty of a PSO is to man all stations from 6pm to last train, an agreement has now been reached which will see excess PSOs able to travel on trains from Sunday 2 September. This change has come about thanks to the job security provided via negotiations that took place over the past weeks.
AO Delegates from across the network have been involved in the entire process. With many AO Delegates spending hours at the Union Office ironing out the nuts and bolts of the proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
Through the assistance of our hardworking Delegates, the RTBU was able to sign off on a memorandum of understanding between the RTBU, Victoria Police, The Police Association and Public Transport Victoria that the members of the RTBU were happy with.
Through these negotiations, we also received confirmation from PTV that the establishment numbers for AOs will be maintained for the life of the operators’ contracts with the State. This means that the current number of 620 AOs across V/Line, Metro, PTV, Yarra Trams and Ventura will be maintained.
Following a Delegates meeting that took place last week, the RTBU has confirmed with VICPOL that Members look forward to working even more collaboratively with the PSOs from 2 September.
Further, we have secured a commitment from VICPOL that PSOs will be instructed to more actively assist all Rail workers with any issues or incidents that may occur on the network, rather than referring them to 000.
Below is the motion which was passed at the Delegates meeting:
That this meeting of Authorised Officer (AO) Delegates commends the work done by the RTBU, VICPOL, DOJ and PTV.
Job Security and ensuring AOs play an ongoing role in the future of the Public Transport network is paramount.
- The guarantee of establishment numbers.
- The proposed amendment to the regulations.
- The risk assessment that took place.
- and, the good faith shown by the Government with the guarantee to employ additional AOs for the future, demonstrates to us that AOs are valued by both the Government and PTV.
Having seen these documents, we instruct the Branch Secretary to sign the proposed Memorandum of Understanding, which ultimately sets out a clear demarcation of duties along with the boundaries for work between Authorised Officers and Transit Protective Service Officers (PSO).
Because of the above negotiations we are satisfied that there is no threat to the job security of AOs.
Further we look forward to working collaboratively with PSOs from Sunday 2 September.
We look forward to these negotiations creating an even stronger working relationship with PSOs and we call on the RTBU, TPA, VICPOL and PTV to arrange a workshop with AOs and PSOs to ensure we share ideas and also have the best working relationship possible for the betterment of the travelling public.
Meetings at all AO depots have taken place over the last few weeks to ensure all Members are aware of this change.
Without the strength and unity of RTBU members, this great win would not have been possible. I thank each and everyone one of you who were involved in the negotiations for this, our unity shone through in a time where we needed to stand together to get the best deal possible for RTBU members.