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After months of negotiations for the Metro Operations Enterprise Agreement (EA), the RTBU has officially lodged a Protected Industrial Action (PIA) Ballot application with the Fair Work Commission.
At a meeting of all Metro Rail Division Delegates on Tuesday 18 June, Delegates voted unanimously in favour of a ballot for union members to engage in protected industrial action.
With management at odds with the bargaining team on many key claims, Delegates are frustrated by Metro’s posturing and want to see progress towards a new agreement.
Members have made it very clear that their priority is to retain current conditions and achieve a wage increase that recognises cost of living and value of their labour contribution. Taking PIA will be the RTBUs last resort, however if a fair deal does not look like being reached in a timely manner, then we will proceed.
The proposed protected industrial action will potentially cover the full gamut of Metro’s frontline services, including:
– 4 hour, 24 hour and 48 hour work stoppage
– Refusal to check metropolitan train tickets
– Uniform ban
– Refusal to make some announcements
– Refusal to alter timetabled services
– Ban on all overtime
Operational safety and a refusal to take shortcuts that help Metro accrue lucrative bonus payments will be key actions that we are pursuing in order to get a fair outcome.
Metro have continued to pocket generous profits for shareholders since winning the new franchise contract (MR4). In this EA, we are asking for reasonable working conditions and a fair wage increase.
We will continue to negotiate in pursuit of a resolution that is acceptable to members, but at this point in time it has been made very clear to the bargaining team that Metro have a way to go if they are interested in finding a resolution.
As part of the Protected Industrial Action Ballot, members covered by the Metro Rail Operations Enterprise Agreement will get a vote on whether they want to take industrial action.
With the potential of Industrial Action looming, it is important that all members of Metro Trains covered by the Rail Operations EA are financial and up to date with their membership fees. I must stress that if you are not a financial member of the RTBU, you cannot take part in any legal industrial action. If you are unsure whether you are financial, I urge you to call the RTBU on 8630 9100.
Organisers and union officials will be conducting workplace meetings across the network to further update members over the coming weeks.
In the meantime, your bargaining team will continue to negotiate in good faith with the company in an effort to reach a fair agreement.
If you have any queries or questions about the EA, please contact your Organiser or the Union Office on 8630 9100.
This article first appeared on www.rtbuvic.com.au
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