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RTBU NSW Branch and Locomotive Division to jointly appeal FWC decision that says an employer does not need union approval for new roles

Sep 2, 2020NSW Trains

A recent FWC finding has said that NSW Trains won’t have to reach in-principle agreement on new driver and guard roles for the NIF. As members may be aware, the NIF is asking drivers to be called “intercity specialist drivers” and adding on a heap of extra responsibilities which they justify by increasing pay by just 4%.

The RTBU Locomotive Division along with the NSW Branch plans to jointly appeal this decision saying that NSW Trains is introducing these extra roles outside of the enterprise bargaining period and a no extra claims clause requires the NSW Government to comply with a change facilitation clause, meaning that it should consult with the union before putting out the decision for a vote.

However, NSW Trains says that there are no changes being made to classifications in the agreement as “driver” and “train crew” will still be the titles for these new roles. NSW Trains is also saying that the customer service guard pay cut will not affect the current EA’s pay scales as it is grandfathering existing pay levels until after the EA’s expiry next year.

The FWC agreed with NSW Trains, saying that the role changes do not change the broad classification titles and that there will be no detriment to drivers and train crew currently. It also said that the process to introduce the NIF had been thoroughly consultative. However, as members know, there is a great detriment to drivers and train crew and these new roles have had limited consultation only in that they have only told you and your union what is happening rather than take the union’s opinion into account. Their sheer arrogance and “master and servant” attitude towards staff will and should never be forgotten/forgiven and Members need to clearly make it known they are not happy and make any remaining goodwill confined to the NSW Trains Management garbage bin.

The decision is setting a terrible precedent and telling employers that they can decide to change workers’ wages and classifications at whim and disregard the working rights and conditions they have fought for through the union.

The RTBU is appealing the decision and will continue its efforts to protecting its members at from employers who seek to destroy those hard-fought rights.

Read more in this article from Workplace Express (note that this is a subscription service).

Read the FWC decision here.