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Update – Boarding and Alighting Dispute – New Intercity Fleet

Jul 9, 2021NSW Trains Update

Since May 2021, the Locomotive Division has continued to progress our dispute regarding  NSW Trains forcing Drivers to travel ‘passenger’ on the NIF to “observe” its operation.  NSW Trains’ response did not address any of our safety concerns and this unresolved  dispute was escalated to the Fair Work Commission. 

As has been NSW Trains game plan in all things NIF, they promptly engaged high priced  lawyers to fight your Union at the taxpayers’ expense.  

NSW Trains filed against the RTBU and Fair Work Commission in the Federal Court  seeking an urgent injunction and challenging the Fair Work Commission’s ability decide  this matter. NSW Trains claimed the Commission was not empowered to arbitrate or  otherwise deal with the dispute. 

The RTBU Locomotive Division met this challenge head on but the final outcome of this  matter in the Federal Court will not be known until late July or August.  In the interim, the Court has made the attached orders, noting an undertaking by NSW Trains that:

“…any employee rostered as a passenger/observer on trains in its Mariyung Fleet  may refuse to perform such work and, in the event an employee refuses, the  employee will not suffer any adverse consequence or otherwise be the subject of  any disciplinary action.”

Members will be advised as soon the outcome of the Court proceedings is known, or if the  interim orders and undertakings change. 

In the meantime, Members are reminded that there is no obligation to travel passenger to  observe the NIF in the course of their duties. If any Members receive any unwarranted  pressure and/or outcomes for refusing to travel ‘passenger’ to ‘observe’ the NIF they  should immediately advise their local delegate or Locomotive Division Head Office. 

The Locomotive Division would like to congratulate Members for their continued support  in the fight against the introduction of an unsafe train and an unsafe operating model on  to our railway.

Download a copy of the Footplate and the Orders here.