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Critical Incident Leave Dispute

Feb 9, 2021NSW Trains Update

Members are advised that a Dispute has been lodged with NSW Trains owing to their refusal to offer a member Critical Incident Leave (CIL) following an incident where the members train he was operating struck a car on a private level crossing. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured however, the member was left extremely traumatised by this incident, trauma which was further exacerbated by NSW Trains management and their callous attitude towards the incident and apparent disinterest in complying with the agreed provisions of the Critical Incident Procedure and the NSW Trains EA.

At the time of the incident, the member was advised by management to just “come to work, you don’t have to drive, we’ll find you something to do”, which displays a staggering indifference to the members health and wellbeing. Following this incident, the member was booked off for three days during which he complied with the requirement to undertake counselling however, unbeknown to the member, his manager had advised the roster clerk that the member was “okay for his next shift on Monday”. Obviously the member was unaware of this and despite having advised management he wished to take CIL, he was shown as AWOL on the following Monday when he didn’t attend for work.

As members will be aware, it is mandatory for management to offer CIL following incidents of this nature with up to 5 days being available with an additional 5 days of Buddy (Peer Support) duties upon resumption of duty if required by the affected member. Management does not reserve the right to dictate to members if they can have CIL, they must offer it, it’s the members choice to accept or otherwise. Management cannot also dictate, in their opinion, whether members are entitled to CIL based on their view of the incident or dictate how much CIL they are entitled to take which can be seen as nothing less than an attempt by management to reduce their KPI’s.