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Train drivers billed for unnecessary drug screenings

Jan 16, 2014News

The RTBU has demanded answers after train drivers were billed for unnecessary and invasive drug screenings at Western Plains Medical Centre.

Two NSW Trains members based in Dubbo have told their local Locomotive Division Delegate they were forced to provide urine samples without privacy during periodic medical examinations performed in December. The examiner stood directly behind the drivers, and if they could not supply a sample they were told to drink water and listen to running water.

One driver was charged $83 for the screening while the other was billed $100. Drug tests are not required as part of a periodic medical examination.

The RTBU delegate raised the serious concerns with NSW Trains Chief Health Officer, who expressed his disappointment with the incident and has promised the employees won’t have to pay. “I’m still investigating exactly what occurred and why,” the Chief Health Officer wrote in an email. “I have already suggested to the practice manager that all NSW Trains referrals will probably have to be forwarded to me until further notice for double-checking the services that are required.”

“Regarding the issue of payment, these drug tests should not have ordered and even if they were required the employees still should not have been charged.”

The Loco Division welcomes the response and prompt action by the Chief Medical Officer and reminds members that drug testing is not a requirement of periodic medical examinations.