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Loco Express: Secretary’s Report

Oct 25, 2019Update

October 25, 2019

Dear members,

A number of changes are occurring within the RTBU Nationally and NSW Locomotive Division with Bob Nanva – National Secretary recently stepping down and Mark Diamond being appointed by the National Executive to fill the National Secretary vacancy and our very own Jessica Epps – Locomotive Division Industrial officer resigning to take up work in a different role with another Union.

Mark has already accepted an invitation to address our December Divisional Council and we are currently in the process of seeking to fill the vacancy left by Jessica’s resignation with Executive having made a decision to take the opportunity to recruit a fully qualified/experienced Legal Officer to continue to represent the interests of members. Until a replacement is found we will be using where ever possible the NSW Branch Industrial Officer and or external legal representatives as required.

In other news, QUBE have finally put out their agreement to members after unnecessary delay. However, this new agreement doesn’t take into account the hard work of members and only offers a measly 2% pay increase per year over the life of the agreement. Locomotive Division Delegates involved in the negotiations believe that QUBE can and should do much better and are asking all Loco Division members to vote NO!

Meanwhile, over at Pacific National Coal, we’ve been trying to sort out the issue of shift limits for qualified drivers working with non-qualified drivers or second persons. The matter recently went before the FWC with the Locomotive Division successfully arguing our  case and the FWC making a recommendation supporting our position. The Company has since advised members that they have accepted the highly influential recommendation and members are now just waiting for PN to do their duty and roster accordingly. We congratulate PN Coal members and Delegates on their victory!

In RailTrain news,  members may be aware, the RTBU are running a case against RailTrain and three of its managers. RailTrain have forced the matter to be subject to a hearing to decide whether those managers can be defendants. Once the decision from the interlocutory hearing is made, we’ll be able to continue with the case. Court proceedings take their time and we will keep members up to date. We understand the frustration of members on the length of time this case has been going but members can be assured we will continue until a decision is made.

The Divisions is also preparing to have its day in court on behalf of Aurizon Coal Members and the application of a number of provisions in their Enterprise agreement with a hearing set down for 3 days next week.

NSW Trains members are facing a timetable change in 2020 and this has been causing many disputes with members dissatisfied with the new diagrams supplied to delegates. Drivers at Eveleigh have been most affected with other problems cropping up in Gosford, Newcastle and Mt Victoria. We are working to resolve disputes and await further changes from NSW Trains. We’ll make sure we give them a good fight! We’ll keep you updated.

Buses have also been dealt a blow as the government has announced the privatisation of Sydney’s remaining bus regions without acknowledging the failure of current privatised services. It’s an absolute sham that they think they can pass this off to the public as better for Sydney. This is a completely unjustified and money-hungry decision. The RTBU is doing everything we can to make sure our bus division members are protected in the fallout.

On a more exciting note, our delegates took a trip to South Korea to see the NIF train after the FWC recommended NSW Trains show us the train so that we can better evaluate how it will affect our members. After many attempts to delay the trip by NSW Trains, delegates finally went this week and are returning today. While there, delegates supported our international comrades at the Korean Railway Workers Union who have been fighting really hard against unfair work practices. They have been camped out in front of the main station for almost 2 months! It is heartening to see such solidarity and we are proud to support them in their protest.

I hope you’ll enjoy this edition of Loco Express.

Stay safe on the tracks.

In Solidarity, 

Bob Hayden
RTBU Locomotive Division Secretary