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Resumption of Drivers Consultative Forums

Apr 17, 2014News

Members are advised that Sydney and NSW Trains have recommenced the above forums to align with the requirements of the 2010 EA.

Sydney Trains allocated a day with delegates to discuss various upcoming items including My Time and Pay, higher speed running on H,M & A sets and potential E Learning training initiatives. Delegates were then afforded the opportunity to hold discussions with the new GM, Mr. Peter Allaway about issues affecting them in the workplace. NSW Trains however took a different approach by attempting to only allow certain delegates from different regions with only 4hrs allocated to discuss their agenda. Train Crew were initially allocated only 10mins for feedback. The RTBU challenged this process which eventually led to it being called a “delegates briefing” only. No CountryLink delegates were released to attend and not all InterCity depots were represented.

It is worthwhile to note the contradictory attitudes between the businesses which may highlight which one is more genuine!

It is also worthwhile to note how the re- establishment of the Consultative Forum came about and to understand this, we need to review recent history. In 2004, members found themselves in a position not unlike that experienced in today’s working environment. At that time, members felt that they were continually being harassed by management for the slightest incident or indiscretion, no one listened or cared about the ongoing degeneration of meal rooms, rolling stock standards, roster and diagram construction. The ill feeling and anger felt by members during this time eventually led to individual members taking matters into their own hands and they refused to work overtime on rostered days off by claiming their book off days. Once these actions became known, large numbers of likeminded members followed suit until and at the commencement of a specific fortnight, train operations ground to a virtual standstill from lack of drivers to operate all services.

This then forced the management and government of the day to sit down with the Union and actually attempt to address the issues/concerns of the members and the Consultative Forum process was re-instituted as a vehicle to achieve this in an ongoing fashion. This process has been continually recognised by successive Enterprise Agreements however, in some cases, management have attempted to hijack the process for their own ends. It is hoped that, under the new business banners, management will also take the time to reflect on the past “loss of goodwill” and sit down in a true consultative fashion and make serious efforts to resolve the issues of the day.