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Railtrain EA Negotiations Update – Shuttle Services

Jul 27, 2021Railtrain Update

Rail Shuttle Services, which is part of the Rail Train group, approached the Rail Tram and Bus  Union NSW to discuss, bargain and develop an Enterprise Agreement for their Rail Train Shuttle  Services back in May 2021. 

Our first meeting was held 19 May 2021 at St Mary’s where Rail Train management tabled a  proposed draft EA from which a turn page exercise was completed. It was during this exercise  that it was clear that this proposed EA was nowhere near Your Rail Industry Standards. Since  that time, Rail Train and Rail Shuttle Services have continually ignored our collective input and  persisted with their sub-standard EA. 

We have had several meetings to date with our last meeting being Thursday 22 July 2021. Late  yesterday, it was confirmed that Rail Train was going to send out their proposed draft EA for a  Vote, despite having no agreement with Members and the Locomotive Division. This was not a  surprise, as this is a known tactic of Rail Train, but it is disappointing given we’re in the middle of  a lock-down where members cannot even meet to discuss the proposed EA. The Locomotive  Division is still prepared to continue with good faith bargaining but it appears that Rail Train is not. 

This proposed EA is largely based on the minimum legal entitlements available under the National  Employment Standards and the Rail Industry Modern Award, with wages slightly above minimum  wage and the Modern Award. This EA has no rostering conditions whatsoever and is nowhere near industry standards. The Rostering conditions are what Train Crew and Terminal Operators  live and breathe in the rail industry, and you deserve better than vague master/servant company  proposals. 

This EA, if certified, will run for over 4 years. The annual increases to the Base Rate of Pay will  be calculated and applied based on the annual movement in the Wages Price Index (WPI). In the  case of a negative movement in WPI, no wage increase will be applied. It is also possible the  pay rate for a Level 1 Rail Worker would fall below the minimum wage if a WPI increase was  applied.  

Therefore, commencing 1 July 2022 and for each year of the Agreement thereafter (up until its  nominal expiry date) annual increases (non are guaranteed) will be paid in accordance with WPI.

Base rates of pay- Classification weekly rate (full-time employee) and hourly rate

ClassificationAward – lowest that can be paidProposed RSS EA
Level 1 Rail Worker$20.33$21.83
Level 2 Rail Worker$21.62$24.17
Level 3 Rail Worker$23.94$26.52
Level 4 Rail Worker$26.26$26.64
Level 5 Rail Worker$28.75$29.03
Level 6 Rail Worker$30.73$31.03

Most employees will be employed at levels 4-6 and will be paid about 30 cents an hour more than  the award – by far the lowest rates in the industry.  

On top of this low rate of pay, employees of Rail Train Services have been asked to sign  training bonds of up to $5,000 and 6 months duration for Terminal Operators, $10,000 and 12  months’ for Second Persons, and $20,000 and 24 months’ for Driver, a trend we expect to see  continue in Rail Shuttle Services. 

The Scope of this EA is also a major concern. The proposed EA covers employees when  performing any Rail Shuttle work or terminal operations for Rail Shuttle Services Pty Ltd when  engaged on work sites anywhere in New South Wales. That means that this EA is not just  confined to St Mary’s, but can be applied at any worksite across New South Wales. 

As stated earlier, there are no provisions for agreed Rostering Principles, including compiling  Master Rosters and changing Master Rosters. Rostered Days Off are also only from midnight to  midnight which will have detrimental effects on fatigue and shows no regard for your work/life  balance. 

The Voting Period will open from Tuesday 3 August 2021 at 06:00hrs AEST (6:00AM) and the  Voting will close on Thursday 5 August 2021 at 16:00hrs AEST (4:00PM). It is vital that all  Members and non-members vote in this EA and that everyone should vote NO.

YOUR NSW RTBU Locomotive Division Delegate Enterprise Agreement bargaining team  has decided that we cannot support the proposed substandard agreement. We are  therefore encouraging all members and employees to VOTE NO to the Company  proposed Enterprise Agreement so bargaining can continue for better pay and  conditions.

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