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.