Loco Express: Secretary’s Report
May 29, 2020
We start off this week with the NSW Government’s announcement on Public Transport COVID limitations. They have proposed limiting the number of commuters, avoiding public transport during peak periods and introducing “no dot, no spot” distinctive green dots on transport to show passengers the safest places to sit and stand.
Whilst it is understandable that the Government must be seen to be doing something, the need for a good media grab seems to have become more important than substance. The announcement does raise a number of operational issues for members around enforceability and staff working requirements.
What has been put in place and or communicated to staff who are required to catch public transport to and from their place of work and find there are no “green dots” left for them to use? If they are still expected to get to work on time, green dot or not, is their safety not as important as commuters? Will they be penalised for having to wait for an available green dot?
We cannot accept that Government requirements are only aspirational when it comes to staff but enforceable for the traveling public. They have tried to show that they care and are doing something but at the same time, they aren’t applying their reasoning to their employees.
We have written to both NSW Trains and Sydney Trains asking the above question and will advise members once / if responses are received.
Their strategy leaves much to be desired with members not having been consulted on this whatsoever.
All members should continue to make sure their workplace is abiding by the proper health advice and prioritising your health and safety.
In NIF News we recently had a 1-hour “video meeting” with NSW Trains in which they presented a brief overview of THEIR proposed use of in-cab cameras to spy on members in their work environment and increase workplace stress!
Disappointingly, there appears to be no consideration given to the security or wellbeing of Members as NSW Trains proposes to have this footage accessible by non-operational managers and third parties.
As Members know, NSW Trains has a history of using words that give an impression that detailed consultation has occurred in efforts to undermine the RTBU and Members. Members should not fall for their propaganda.
To be clear, the RTBU remains opposed to in-cab cameras in-line with the RTBU National Position.
The National campaign is still ongoing and you can find out more here.
In some much needed good news, we had our first PN HSR Conference last week and it was a complete and utter success! This was a great chance for HSRs to talk to each other and discuss workplace issues they couldn’t before. We hope that this conference was a great way to fill in the gaps in training and support felt by PN HSRs and that the continued communication and events will help. Thanks to everyone who attended and we hope to see you again in June.
Stay safe on the tracks.
RTBU Locomotive Division Secretary