Late last year, Programmed Skilled informed their employees working in with the V/Line mobile gangs that GTE won the tender and that their employment would shift to GTE should they wish to continue in their work.
V/Line once again went for the lowest bidder showing flagrant disregard for workers’ conditions. GTE’s poor track record with working conditions forced Members to change their shifts and do the same at a lower rate leaving many almost $700 a fortnight out of pocket for performing the same role.
The RTBU questioned V/Line on their engagement of GTE, a company who did not have an RTBU enterprise agreement (EA) but our noise fell on deaf ears as it was clear that V/Line was only aiming to save money.
Pressing the issue of minimum standards and equal pay, the RTBU campaigned to force GTE to the table to bargain for an industry standard EA. Although this has been a long process, the EA will be put to a vote of Members soon.
Following this RTBU campaign, last month, we received confirmation that Programmed Skilled have won the latest tender with V/Line to perform work going forward.
RTBU Members are thrilled to have their working conditions restored, accurately being compensated for living away from home and in often difficult weather conditions.
Regardless, the RTBU will work to close out this agreement with GTE to underscore minimum standards across the industry should they wish to operate on the Victorian network in the future.
The TPA EA will also go for a vote later this month which will also firm up increased wages and better conditions for the years ahead.
More widely, I have continued to visit Members on the Gippsland Line Upgrade, the Shepperton Line Upgrade, Murray Basin, Mildura, Southern Programme Alliance, North West Programme Alliance, Western Program alliance and numerous other sites.
Projects Members are also receiving their joint RTBU/CFMEU project hoodies, that have now finally arrived.
I look forward to seeing all our Programmed Skilled and GTE Labour hire Members soon and will continue to do my rounds. If you have any issues or want to arrange a prestart or site visit, please call me.