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Loco Express: Secretary’s Report

Nov 15, 2019Update

November 15, 2019

Dear members,

Following on from the resignation of the Divisions Industrial Officer Jessica Epps, the Division is in the process of seeking applicants to fill the newly created position of Divisional Legal Officer with applications closing today 15/11/19.

QUBE members have made a statement by  voting down the company’s proposed EA by a margin of 101 to 8 and shown that they are stronger than ever together. We are now looking at discussions recommencing to get the agreement that members want with a protected action ballot planned should negotiations not produce an outcome as expected by members. It’s important for members to let their delegates know about the conditions that they’re looking for and the reasons they voted down the previous agreement. Protected action can only be taken by members who have ensured they have the same home address registered with QUBE and RTBU.

Locomotive Division delegates recently attended the Changwon and Osong facilities in South Korea to assess the NIF in South Korea. It can be reported that delegates were very disappointed by what they witnessed. Although unable to see a completed train with full functionality, what delegates did see only increased the concerns we have in regards to the potential negative impacts this train will have on members’ working environment, heavy workload and job satisfaction. The RTBULD have been very vocal about our concerns since discussions commenced with the rail entities and this trip has only served to highlight that NSW Trains/TfNSW  are merely giving lip service to our concerns. They are working to an agenda that has employees’ safety, cab environment and workload as secondary to PR and spin.

NSW Trains are again attempting to dictate the consultative processes in regards the construction of diagrams, schedules and master rosters. This has resulted in multiple disputes lodged for the retention of road knowledge and a fair and equitable distribution of work.

Delegates and members continue to be affected by NSW Trains’ failure to recruit  drivers as a direct result of the ‘optimisation’ of diagrams. This is placing additional pressure on an already stretched, frustrated and increasingly fatigued workforce and as a result, reasonable requests for leave are being held to ransom due to those shortages.

Recently we have seem Pacific National advise all train crew across all business groups nationally that they will be mandating the use of the “Driver App” during work hours. As the Company has stated this will enable the Company to collate accurate data on train running which can be used to inform decisions including “how we maximise time our train crew spend on locomotives and minimising car travel”. Members are rightly concerned that this is nothing more than an attempt to track and gather data on employees to be used to attack working conditions during future EA negotiations. The RTBU National Office is coordinating the national RTBU response to this Orwellian move by the company which has united members nationally across all business groups.  

The democratic wheels are turning within Locomotive Division Sub-Divisions in Sydney Trains with some important Locomotive Division Delegate positions across the network currently being filled as a result of a number of vacancies occurring. Elections are currently running for Depot Organiser positions at both Hornsby and Leppington Sub-Divisions and the Division is thrilled to see Members keen to step up to represent their workmates by taking on leadership roles within their workplace. Members at these locations are encouraged to vote in these important elections. We have also recently seen the vacant Sydney Trains Region 4 Divisional Councillor vacancy being filled.

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

Stay safe on the tracks.

In Solidarity, 

Bob Hayden
RTBU Locomotive Division Secretary

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