Railtrain EA Negotiations Update – Shuttle Services
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
|Classification||Award – lowest that can be paid||Proposed 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.