Sydney train strike locked in after union vote

 

News article: Sydney train strike locked in after union vote

Train workers vote to go ahead with a 24-hour strike on Monday, in a move expected to have chaotic consequences for commuters in Australia's largest city.

  KRviator Moderator

Location: Up the front
Maybe s3 can confirm this but some of our driver friends have been telling me that they haven't had a pay rise in quite some time and have in fact had a freeze on their wages and have lost conditions. They have been doing 6 day weeks, 12 hour days and well over 50 hours of work a week.

So RTT whatever source you have for them getting pay rises each year I think you should check them again.
The numbers were published in the media and in mentioned in interviews. Actual number quoted is $113k including Super, I removed the later previously. There base rate is $65k or there abouts, not too bad for non-territory education training.  

42 hr a week is pretty much standard for a shirt work, so an extra 8hr is high but not a killer. 6 day a week is unacceptable if sustained. Whats the guy doing 50h a week making gross?

Their last EBA will be the last time their pay was given an annualised increment. I don't believe they got zero for years, my understanding is all govt employees get an incremental rise each year, but the rate is set during EBA's which I believe are done each 3 to 4 years?

The current inflation rate is ~1.5%, there were offered 2.5% intially, now 2.75%, plus other allowances etc equalling 3.25%. SO more than double inflation. Pay rises above inflation need to have an offset in productivity, otherwise not sustainable. Often the unions call this loss of conditions.

In comparison with Mel and BRisbane. Mel is DOO, so expect to get more as the role as an extra level of complexity. Brisbane Drivers are on a gravy train headed down the Richmond line which in the future will come to a similar stop as the train this week. In Australia, Brisbane has twin driver, lowest network passenger density, highest subsidy aper passenger km by long short and one of highest in the world and one of lowest modal shares in a relatively lower cost city to live in offering numerous lifestyle options. Others in RP in past have commented that any thoughts that Brisbane will one day move to DOO sacrificing the guard are not seeing the full picture.

I also read in a biased article that Sydney's problem also driven by losing drivers to Mel and Bris as part of its issues, I doubt the later is at least true.

Anyway common sense has prevailed and the strike is off as this was pathway to ultimate failure.
RTT_Rules
Double inflation? Sure if all you look at is averaged statistics, but people need to look deeper. And those "other allowances" are fine if you can use them. No point accepting free bus or ferry travel if all you travel on to work is a train, then trying to factor that into your "pay rise".

In NSW, electricity prices went up 16% from July 2017. At $500/quarter, that's an extra $320 a year. Private health insurance 4% from January 18. That's an extra $336 for my family premium - and the Government is spruiking that "This is one of the lowest increases in years"... So in just those two increases, we have $650, or 25% of your gross pay rise gone. After taking out 40% tax, you're down to $1400 as a net pay rise, so that's not far from half your pay rise gone, just in power and PHI. And that's at the offered 2.75% increase.

As you've said, Melbourne & Brisbane pay a lot more without the cost of living Sydney has. Why put up with this in Sydney, when you can have better equipment, roster, pay and lifestyle elsewhere?

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  michaelgm Chief Commissioner

Lots of luck getting anyone to do any overtime now.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
You can never trust the media these days. They just don't publish any facts and are only interested in sales.
simstrain
Fine, then lets see the actual published by the union
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
68k base might sound right but I don't know about the $113k including super. 68k might sound like a lot but that is only $1300 a week. Electricity bills can easily reach that in a quarter, gas about half that. fuel is $1.40 a litre, food can be easily $200 a week and so that $1300 a week can easily be gobbled up quickly.
Agree 68k base is below average.

As I guess the drivers nearly all get shift allowance of sorts each week then there is more plus other bits.

As I showed before, the pay compares very favorably against that of a nurse or teacher with a number of years experience and both require self funded university education.

these days you don't give arbitratory pay rises above inflation, HR looks at complexity of task, pre-training and on site training, bench mark against international and national equivalents, ease of replacement, productivity against past etc etc to determine what salary's should be and should there be changes against inflation. I'm going through all this crap at work now. Its painful but they do this to control costs and determine more a role is worth in monitory terms.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Double inflation? Sure if all you look at is averaged statistics, but people need to look deeper. And those "other allowances" are fine if you can use them. No point accepting free bus or ferry travel if all you travel on to work is a train, then trying to factor that into your "pay rise".

In NSW, electricity prices went up 16% from July 2017. At $500/quarter, that's an extra $320 a year. Private health insurance 4% from January 18. That's an extra $336 for my family premium - and the Government is spruiking that "This is one of the lowest increases in years"... So in just those two increases, we have $650, or 25% of your gross pay rise gone. After taking out 40% tax, you're down to $1400 as a net pay rise, so that's not far from half your pay rise gone, just in power and PHI. And that's at the offered 2.75% increase.

As you've said, Melbourne & Brisbane pay a lot more without the cost of living Sydney has. Why put up with this in Sydney, when you can have better equipment, roster, pay and lifestyle elsewhere?
KRviator
Just compare against the published data that's also reported to UN and numerous other global reporting agencies. We are all in the same boat on this.

They get free OPAL card correct?, covers all PT modes in Sydney correct? So you can use for work and weekends correct? Yes things like these do vary somewhat based on employees circumstances, but thats life. Applies to us all.

Look at the inflation stats to show why its 1.5%, there is deflation in other areas that is part of the cost of living, including salaries by many.

If enough drivers leave Sydney to go other, this will drive demand and hence increase in wages. Happens in most industries. But I doubt few at most going to Brisbane as Brisbane is still being listed as a closed shop and the short fall is small in compared to Sydney's driver population.
  DirtyBallast Chief Commissioner

Location: I was here first. You're only visiting.
If enough drivers leave Sydney to go other, this will drive demand and hence increase in wages. Happens in most industries. But I doubt few at most going to Brisbane as Brisbane is still being listed as a closed shop and the short fall is small in compared to Sydney's driver population.
RTT_Rules
There is already a huge shortage of drivers, which is proven by the absolute necessity to work overtime to run the basic published service.

It has not driven wage increases thus far.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

You can never trust the media these days. They just don't publish any facts and are only interested in sales.
Fine, then lets see the actual published by the union
RTT_Rules

Don't need numbers. When you live in Sydney you know the numbers off by heart. Sydney's pollution is going up because people are turning off electricity and gas and burning wood to get heat or warm water.

People are cancelling private health insurance because they can't afford it. Some people have disconnected the internet, phones and can't afford cars because of the price of insurance, rego, fuel, tolls etc. Houses are beyond ridiculously expensive for young persons and so there is a huge population of people still living at home with their parents because they can't afford the price of entry into the house market. I know people who have extended their mortgage to build new houses in their backyard to earn rent to pay because interest loans are the cheapest in history at the moment.

While the NSW Government is rolling in cash the people living in it are not.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

May I also add that their is now a huge homeless population throughout Sydney as well. Just go and look throughout sydney to see the homeless on the streets and in stations. People literally living in sleeping bags and tents.
  KRviator Moderator

Location: Up the front
68k base might sound right but I don't know about the $113k including super. 68k might sound like a lot but that is only $1300 a week. Electricity bills can easily reach that in a quarter, gas about half that. fuel is $1.40 a litre, food can be easily $200 a week and so that $1300 a week can easily be gobbled up quickly.
Agree 68k base is below average.

As I guess the drivers nearly all get shift allowance of sorts each week then there is more plus other bits.

As I showed before, the pay compares very favorably against that of a nurse or teacher with a number of years experience and both require self funded university education.

these days you don't give arbitratory pay rises above inflation, HR looks at complexity of task, pre-training and on site training, bench mark against international and national equivalents, ease of replacement, productivity against past etc etc to determine what salary's should be and should there be changes against inflation. I'm going through all this crap at work now. Its painful but they do this to control costs and determine more a role is worth in monitory terms.
RTT_Rules
So, according to the EBA we have the following salary & allowances:
  • $1351 Weekly salary for a newly-qualified driver.
  • $3.80 for an afternoon shift (Start before & finish after 1800)
  • $4.48 for a nightshift (1800-0359 start time)
  • $3.80 for an early shift (0400-0530 start)
  • OT Paid at 1.5 (is 1.7x with PN)

If you assume (I know, I know...) 30% are early, 30% are afternoon, 20 % night and 20% dayshift you can approximate the folowing gross salary, based on 4RDO's a fortnight (104/year, 261 ordinary shifts year):
261*.3=78.3 Early @ $3.80ea
261*.3=78.3 Arvo @ 3.80ea
261*.2=52.2 Night@ $4.48ea
261*.2=52.2 Days @ $0.00ea

So shift allowances add approximately $828 a year to your $70,252 salary for a total of $71K. Then add your 20% leave loading to bring you up to $85,200. To compare a Driver's salary with that of a teacher, nurse or other profession is meaningless, because it lacks relativity. For that argument put forward to be valid

HR looks at complexity of task, pre-training and on site training, bench mark against international and national equivalents, ease of replacement, productivity against past etc etc to determine what salary's should be and should there be changes against inflation
RTT Rules

you need to compare against other driver's, both suburban and freight, not other industries - and in all cases bar one I am aware of, Sydney Trains come out as the lowest salary for a FT-employed driver. Driver's are currently doing more with less, as evidenced by the new timetable, and feel they should be rewarded for making it work - something that is not an unreasonable argument, when you consider them alongside crew from other operators.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
You can never trust the media these days. They just don't publish any facts and are only interested in sales.
Fine, then lets see the actual published by the union

Don't need numbers. When you live in Sydney you know the numbers off by heart. Sydney's pollution is going up because people are turning off electricity and gas and burning wood to get heat or warm water.

People are cancelling private health insurance because they can't afford it. Some people have disconnected the internet, phones and can't afford cars because of the price of insurance, rego, fuel, tolls etc. Houses are beyond ridiculously expensive for young persons and so there is a huge population of people still living at home with their parents because they can't afford the price of entry into the house market. I know people who have extended their mortgage to build new houses in their backyard to earn rent to pay because interest loans are the cheapest in history at the moment.

While the NSW Government is rolling in cash the people living in it are not.
simstrain
The numbers I was referring too was driver's salary conditions that you said not to trust the media, not the living costs.

Regardless, what you said in paragraph 2 and 3 is however 100% true although much of that applies everywhere not just Sydney and the reason the govt is flush with cash is on the back of infrastructure spending and housing price rises.

Across the board pay rises doesn't solve above as the market will quickly adjust to absorb the change and trying to do so just pushes the economy into a death spiral of inflation. There is a correction coming and with it the certainty of the govt future income is very much in doubt.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-11-16/wage-price-index-graph/8029616
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
May I also add that their is now a huge homeless population throughout Sydney as well. Just go and look throughout sydney to see the homeless on the streets and in stations. People literally living in sleeping bags and tents.
simstrain
What has this got to do with train drivers unless you are telling me that's them?
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
68k base might sound right but I don't know about the $113k including super. 68k might sound like a lot but that is only $1300 a week. Electricity bills can easily reach that in a quarter, gas about half that. fuel is $1.40 a litre, food can be easily $200 a week and so that $1300 a week can easily be gobbled up quickly.
Agree 68k base is below average.

As I guess the drivers nearly all get shift allowance of sorts each week then there is more plus other bits.

As I showed before, the pay compares very favorably against that of a nurse or teacher with a number of years experience and both require self funded university education.

these days you don't give arbitratory pay rises above inflation, HR looks at complexity of task, pre-training and on site training, bench mark against international and national equivalents, ease of replacement, productivity against past etc etc to determine what salary's should be and should there be changes against inflation. I'm going through all this crap at work now. Its painful but they do this to control costs and determine more a role is worth in monitory terms.
So, according to the EBA we have the following salary & allowances:
  • $1351 Weekly salary for a newly-qualified driver.
  • $3.80 for an afternoon shift (Start before & finish after 1800)
  • $4.48 for a nightshift (1800-0359 start time)
  • $3.80 for an early shift (0400-0530 start)
  • OT Paid at 1.5 (is 1.7x with PN)

If you assume (I know, I know...) 30% are early, 30% are afternoon, 20 % night and 20% dayshift you can approximate the folowing gross salary, based on 4RDO's a fortnight (104/year, 261 ordinary shifts year):
261*.3=78.3 Early @ $3.80ea
261*.3=78.3 Arvo @ 3.80ea
261*.2=52.2 Night@ $4.48ea
261*.2=52.2 Days @ $0.00ea

So shift allowances add approximately $828 a year to your $70,252 salary for a total of $71K. Then add your 20% leave loading to bring you up to $85,200. To compare a Driver's salary with that of a teacher, nurse or other profession is meaningless, because it lacks relativity. For that argument put forward to be valid

HR looks at complexity of task, pre-training and on site training, bench mark against international and national equivalents, ease of replacement, productivity against past etc etc to determine what salary's should be and should there be changes against inflation

you need to compare against other driver's, both suburban and freight, not other industries - and in all cases bar one I am aware of, Sydney Trains come out as the lowest salary for a FT-employed driver. Driver's are currently doing more with less, as evidenced by the new timetable, and feel they should be rewarded for making it work - something that is not an unreasonable argument, when you consider them alongside crew from other operators.
KRviator
Appreciate the above.

Sydney and Brisbane should be the lower paid of all the suburban networks, as they operate 2 man crews, cut one person off the train and a payrise of around 30-50% is deserved. As I said before whats happening in Brisbane is fairy land and will ultimately one day end, so not a good yard stick.

Without knowing detail, anything that improves productivity should be shared between employer and employee, no argument there either, but 6%?  Has the new timetable gained that much?
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

May I also add that their is now a huge homeless population throughout Sydney as well. Just go and look throughout sydney to see the homeless on the streets and in stations. People literally living in sleeping bags and tents.
What has this got to do with train drivers unless you are telling me that's them?
RTT_Rules

My point was that Sydney is expensive and it has caused many many people to be homeless. The numbers are much much higher then the other states. Costs are way higher then the other states.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Why does driver only operation mean drivers should get a 30% wage increase. Just because the driver pushes a button to open and close doors instead of a guard does not mean a driver in Melbourne deserves 30% more money. The network is not setup for DOO in Sydney with mega gaps at platforms and as shown many times in Melbourne the drivers can't be trusted to leave at the appropriate time and have left passengers at stations while they are still trying to board.
  a6et Minister for Railways

68k base might sound right but I don't know about the $113k including super. 68k might sound like a lot but that is only $1300 a week. Electricity bills can easily reach that in a quarter, gas about half that. fuel is $1.40 a litre, food can be easily $200 a week and so that $1300 a week can easily be gobbled up quickly.
Agree 68k base is below average.

As I guess the drivers nearly all get shift allowance of sorts each week then there is more plus other bits.

As I showed before, the pay compares very favorably against that of a nurse or teacher with a number of years experience and both require self funded university education.

these days you don't give arbitratory pay rises above inflation, HR looks at complexity of task, pre-training and on site training, bench mark against international and national equivalents, ease of replacement, productivity against past etc etc to determine what salary's should be and should there be changes against inflation. I'm going through all this crap at work now. Its painful but they do this to control costs and determine more a role is worth in monitory terms.
So, according to the EBA we have the following salary & allowances:
  • $1351 Weekly salary for a newly-qualified driver.
  • $3.80 for an afternoon shift (Start before & finish after 1800)
  • $4.48 for a nightshift (1800-0359 start time)
  • $3.80 for an early shift (0400-0530 start)
  • OT Paid at 1.5 (is 1.7x with PN)

If you assume (I know, I know...) 30% are early, 30% are afternoon, 20 % night and 20% dayshift you can approximate the folowing gross salary, based on 4RDO's a fortnight (104/year, 261 ordinary shifts year):
261*.3=78.3 Early @ $3.80ea
261*.3=78.3 Arvo @ 3.80ea
261*.2=52.2 Night@ $4.48ea
261*.2=52.2 Days @ $0.00ea

So shift allowances add approximately $828 a year to your $70,252 salary for a total of $71K. Then add your 20% leave loading to bring you up to $85,200. To compare a Driver's salary with that of a teacher, nurse or other profession is meaningless, because it lacks relativity. For that argument put forward to be valid

HR looks at complexity of task, pre-training and on site training, bench mark against international and national equivalents, ease of replacement, productivity against past etc etc to determine what salary's should be and should there be changes against inflation

you need to compare against other driver's, both suburban and freight, not other industries - and in all cases bar one I am aware of, Sydney Trains come out as the lowest salary for a FT-employed driver. Driver's are currently doing more with less, as evidenced by the new timetable, and feel they should be rewarded for making it work - something that is not an unreasonable argument, when you consider them alongside crew from other operators.
KRviator
Thanks for those figures KV

Can you advise if the ETR drivers are working to the 19 day month based on when they were awarded the 38Hour week?

The other aspect do they still have to work a minimum set number of days/hours before they can say no to overtime?

When I was on ETR and back on the diesel side, the rostering was pushed by the AFULE to also ensure duty free days were grouped together where at all possible in single blocks throughout the roster, enginemen had to give the roster clerks one of those days as an overtime day unless they had already worked 106hrs in that fortnight, thus rather than a 10 & 9 day fortnight as per the roster, they had to work 11 and 10 days.

For those who do not know, a roster contains the names of every driver on a fortnights roster line, after that fortnight he drops one line to take up the work shown on that roster, the person on the last line then goes to the top line and so on, duty free days were spread so that they would be grouped but allow for the extra day of work and for the driver to have sufficient time off.

The other aspect of the working was a shift limit on etr of under 9.00hrs with no more than 3 hours in the one cab without a break.  For those who think that's a bit small, consider that many other work places allow an employee to go to the toilet at will, also those who smoked were allowed a 10 minute or similar break for a smoke, walk along most streets and you see many standing on the streets outside office doors.

A crib/meal break (10 minutes on diesel freight trains) 30minutes on round trip XPT workings and 25 ETR, including walking time from train to meal room.  The only other time it was possible to have a toilet break was at Central if you were on a circle or North Sydney train, as they had stand by drivers there.  You picked up your working on its return.

At Central we had several workings that included start Central and go around circle a full Bankstown Circle via Lidcombe and out to East Hills, all stations in the one cab and we got the meal break at East Hills, then took the next return service. That running some of them at night and early morning was quite draining as the only relief you had was to stand up and drive rather than just sit the whole time.

Consider also that many drivers on ETR also had at least an hour or two at each end of the shift to travel to & from work. Travel on the ETR was always free to and from work but often you had to get an earlier train and wait at Central or the depot for an hour as there were no other services to get you there on time.

The Transport minister on the news last night said that there was 125 drivers undergoing training, I wonder how many of them will still be there in 6 months time.  Money is not the be all of everything and a rail worker especially enginemen in the past and still today are virtual nomads and have one if not the worst anti social job that is around.  

When I started at Enfield in January 1964 there were somewhere around 30 Trainees at Loco Enfield and another 20 at Delec, by years end, over 80% had left and by the time we were appointed firemen in 65 less than 10 remained. The job was dirtier and had worse conditions, but it was a much more satisfying job if you were up to it.

Having had over 2 years on the ETR after knocking back one appointment for Hornsby owing to the need to drive from Seven Hills each way, I accepted Central in the next intake, at the end of 2 years I applied for a transfer back to the diesel section and thankfully only had to wait 3 months for that to come through, but had to re - sit safe working and other qualifications.

Would I go back if I had the chance?  Absolutely not. If for no other reason my health suffered the first round and was much younger then.


PS edit in.  At the time I was medically retired, my last years wage was $38k at Werris Creek and I worked one extra day a fortnight, relief on XPT round trip to Maitland and back little weekend work, especially on Sundays and that was in 19887/88. For the base salary of $68K now, its peanuts.
  speedemon08 Mary

Location: I think by now you should have figured it out
Why does driver only operation mean drivers should get a 30% wage increase. Just because the driver pushes a button to open and close doors instead of a guard does not mean a driver in Melbourne deserves 30% more money.
simstrain
If I recall reading that's what the drivers voted on in the 90's.....
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
$38k on 1987 is mid $70k today using inflation correction  calculator.

Homelessness has nothing to do with this dispute as the drivers take home pay is ar or above the median. Considering Australia has one of the more generous welfare systems in world, people homeless and without job can more to a regional city and score a roof over there head. By the way there were homeless in the 80's and Brisbane during the mining boom.

Closing the doors adds to complexity and responsibility and therefore removal of guard entitles driver to a significant pay rise. Because the network is not suitable it therefore needs two lower paid workers rather than one higher paid or charge more in fares.
Now we know we are getting a driverless metro.

Anyway my original point was stating the strike was futile and archaic way of dealing with the disagreement and this has now been rightfully stopped.
  michaelgm Chief Commissioner

$38k on 1987 is mid $70k today using inflation correction  calculator.

Homelessness has nothing to do with this dispute as the drivers take home pay is ar or above the median. Considering Australia has one of the more generous welfare systems in world, people homeless and without job can more to a regional city and score a roof over there head. By the way there were homeless in the 80's and Brisbane during the mining boom.

Closing the doors adds to complexity and responsibility and therefore removal of guard entitles driver to a significant pay rise. Because the network is not suitable it therefore needs two lower paid workers rather than one higher paid or charge more in fares.
Now we know we are getting a driverless metro.

Anyway my original point was stating the strike was futile and archaic way of dealing with the disagreement and this has now been rightfully stopped.
RTT_Rules
Closing the doors adds to complexity and responsibility and therefore removal of guard entitles driver to a significant pay rise. Because the network is not suitable it therefore needs two lower paid workers rather than one higher paid or charge more in fares.
Now we know we are getting a driverless metro

I agree with the above.

Anyway my original point was stating the strike was futile and archaic way of dealing with the disagreement and this has now been rightfully stopped.

Futile and archaic?  has now been rightfully stopped.

RTBU followed all the rules it seems, protected action, until Fair work decided otherwise. what course of action would you suggest, take the offer? these people don't have the opportunity for a 1 on 1.
having followed many of you posts, when you have a review of your UAE equivalent of an AWA, pretty confident you would bring your A game along, armed with information such as
productivity up by X
leave is down by Y
downtime is cut by Z

Now what's in it for me?

nothing wrong with that, but, walk a mile in someone else's shoes.
  a6et Minister for Railways

$38k on 1987 is mid $70k today using inflation correction  calculator.

Homelessness has nothing to do with this dispute as the drivers take home pay is ar or above the median. Considering Australia has one of the more generous welfare systems in world, people homeless and without job can more to a regional city and score a roof over there head. By the way there were homeless in the 80's and Brisbane during the mining boom.

Closing the doors adds to complexity and responsibility and therefore removal of guard entitles driver to a significant pay rise. Because the network is not suitable it therefore needs two lower paid workers rather than one higher paid or charge more in fares.
Now we know we are getting a driverless metro.

Anyway my original point was stating the strike was futile and archaic way of dealing with the disagreement and this has now been rightfully stopped.
Closing the doors adds to complexity and responsibility and therefore removal of guard entitles driver to a significant pay rise. Because the network is not suitable it therefore needs two lower paid workers rather than one higher paid or charge more in fares.
Now we know we are getting a driverless metro

I agree with the above.

Anyway my original point was stating the strike was futile and archaic way of dealing with the disagreement and this has now been rightfully stopped.

Futile and archaic?  has now been rightfully stopped.

RTBU followed all the rules it seems, protected action, until Fair work decided otherwise. what course of action would you suggest, take the offer? these people don't have the opportunity for a 1 on 1.
having followed many of you posts, when you have a review of your UAE equivalent of an AWA, pretty confident you would bring your A game along, armed with information such as
productivity up by X
leave is down by Y
downtime is cut by Z

Now what's in it for me?

nothing wrong with that, but, walk a mile in someone else's shoes.
michaelgm
In an interview with one of the newspapers Classens had said that when Gladys was Transport minister the union had no problems with her, and they had an excellent working relationship. however with Constance its never been worse as he is arrogant and not wanting to talk.

Ask the people who live in his electorate and they say the same regarding his arrogance, stand over and snubbing anyone who dares have an opinion different to him.
  Madjikthise Assistant Commissioner

So shift allowances add approximately $828 a year to your $70,252 salary for a total of $71K. Then add your 20% leave loading to bring you up to $85,200.


Leave loading only applies when you're on holidays, not your entire yearly wage.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
On Talk back yesterday, a number of drivers, the minister and Alex ??? from union. All interviewed separately and all well spoken and given a fair chance by host.  Minister quoted facts and figures all over the place apparently with no notes in front. Alex drivers steam trains on weekends.

- One driver said his base was just over $70k, but working OT as much as possible, pulled $103k last year gross
- Believes 4.5% is reasonable

- Issue with current timetable they were 40 drivers short before and the timetable has blown this out to around +100 short

- All agree increasing base rate does not solve or fix stress or deal with driver shortage although the two issues are very much muddled together in the media and often used to justify the rise request

- Union Alex ??? indicated the sms vote information should not have been made public and cost over $7000 to date in costs as he doesn't have all email addresses (why not use Whatsap?)

- Previous EBA went through offered less and approved without industrial action or threats

- Something like 190 drivers in training, 18 released next week for work. But if the numbers provided are correct (by both sides, this will just fill the hole)

- Agreed the recruitment or retired drivers to help fill holes was sensible.

- Minister said he needs to look into leakage of drivers to Mel and what can be done longterm to stop, Alex mentioned numbers, I think it was around 46 last year. No reference was made about Brisbane which I doubt is even a hand full due to close shop practice up there.

- Current offer of 3.4% Alex agreed was not a bad offer considering the rest of the work force is near 0

- Minister said some Managers that would not working for the best interest of drivers have been removed.

- Minster said the commissioning of the new junction at Hornsby took drivers out of the pool

- Minster said OT will always be part of the roster, but needs to be reduced, unfortunately there is a large lag currently due to 2 weeks notice but 12mths training (in some other industries where such significant in house training is done, the notice period would likely be a month, but this would have a minor impact)

Listening to all, overall I get the feeling that had the new timetable been delayed into 2018,  the current offer would have been passed as much of the debate or argument seems to be around driver shortage, not whether 3.4% is fair.
  michaelgm Chief Commissioner

The initial offer was 2.5% yes? Now the offer is 3.4%. And negotiation continues.

Still futile?
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
The offer before the strike is 3.4%.

The strike is not just futile but outdated of way of doing things and the history of strikes by drivers, guards and pilots has shown their in tented goal was never achieved.
  Madjikthise Assistant Commissioner

Sounds like Sydney driver are rejecting what Melbourne drivers voted yes to. A pay increase but giving away conditions. (Although many didn't get to vote but that's another story.)

Also, wtf is an "in tented goal"?
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

The offer before the strike is 3.4%.

The strike is not just futile but outdated of way of doing things and the history of strikes by drivers, guards and pilots has shown their in tented goal was never achieved.
RTT_Rules
And so your not attracted to work in Dubai by the extra money on offer. Would you really work there otherwise. I know professionals working there and tell me that except for the money life is pretty miserable there. So why shouldn't Sydney rail staff push for a higher wage. All that matters is the money. I am a retired lawyer working for NSW Trains and I take all the OT I can get and that is all that matters to me, the cash. The aim of the upper class is to make the working class feel bad asking for a decent wage.

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