VOLUME 103 No. 4 December 2011
THE MAGAZINE OF THE NSW BRANCH OF THE RAIL, TRAM & BUS UNION
Merry Christmas &
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From the Branch Secretary
As members wind down from another secure a 3.25% wage increase for bus delayed North West Rail link, which is
hectic year, the RTBU can proudly boast a operators, and a three year agreement, after estimated to cost between $6 and $10
number of major outcomes over the course negotiating cost-saving above the 2.5% billion over the next 5 or 6 years. This
of the year. This year has seen a change of threshold. There were also major wins in project is one of the major rail investments
government in NSW, with the O’Farrell improving safety measures on buses after that the RTBU identified through its Lets
Government having a huge election win, our union drew public attention to a bus Fix It campaign, as essential to addressing
with mixed blessings for our members fire earlier in the year. the urban development and transport
and industry. The new government has The RTBU has also been at the forefront requirements of the North West of Sydney.
made some very encouraging gestures and of campaigns such as ‘Better Services for While the new year will see these heavy
announcements in relation to transport a Better State’ to gain community support rail projects underway, the options for light
projects and capital investment, while at for a range of public services, as well as rail in the city have been identified by a
the same time taking a strong stand on being well represented in the major rallies NSW Government feasibility study, with
public service employment numbers and opposing the O’Farrell government attacks tram routes on George Street as one of the
wage increases, and laying the foundation on the public sector. We have continued favoured options. The RTBU is supportive
for its industrial relations platform. This our close involvement with building broad of any transport planning that identifies
has seen major rail and other transport community relationships and support integrated transport systems, including
projects announced at the same time as through our participation in the founding
light rail, that can reduce congestion in the
our union and others have been protesting of the Sydney Alliance and the successful
city. The government is also considering
about the industrial relations changes and Transport Assembly held in Penrith in
other tram routes for the eastern suburbs,
attacks on the public sector. November.
We applaud some of the public As we go to press, a number of major such as a light rail link to Moore Park
commitments to public transport and industry announcements are worth sporting precinct, the University of NSW
infrastructure projects, while we deplore a mention. The intergovernmental and Prince of Wales Hospital.
the moves against the public sector that agreement between the Federal and NSW I would like to pause at this time of the
include capping public sector wage Governments, will see work commence in year and acknowledge that we have
increases to 2.5%, cutting public sector the new year on projects worth more than another busy year ahead in 2012. The
employment and the loss of essential $1 billion, to improve the North Sydney continued success of our union relies
public services. Our union has been Freight Corridor between Strathfield on the commitment and activism of our
closely monitoring and involved in the and Hexham. After more than 3 years of members and delegates across the industry.
developments around Transport for NSW, planning, the announcement is welcomed I would like to thank our members,
changes to transport legislation, and the as a means of easing congestion on the delegates and officers for their fine efforts,
proposed new award for Transport for corridor, and have the capability of lifting and wish them and their families a restful
NSW. the corridor’s freight capacity by 50%. and peaceful festive season. We all look
The Tram and Bus Division was one of This announcement was closely followed forwards to a new year with new energy
the first unions to negotiate under the new by a formal undertaking to commence and passion for protecting and improving
public sector wages policy, managing to work on the much awaited and much the working lives of all RTBU members.
In this Issue
Industrial News On the campaign Trail
countryLink Drivers Dispute Training and Assessment . . . 5 Sydney Alliance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
STA Organisation restructure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Womens campaign committee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
Pacific National Enterprise Agreements in Progress . . . . . 7 Better Services for a Better State . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Industrial Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Talking Union
General News Portable Long Service Leave . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Super to Increase to 12% . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Why Social Justice is Union Business . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
rTBU Supports railway Film Festival . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Safety Matters
Prime Minister commits to Equal Pay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 New rTBU Safety resource . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
rTBU 9th National conference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Transport Minister Gets the Message on rail Safety . . . . 30
Paid Parental Amendment Bill Delayed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Gas Bus Action Vindicated . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
rTBU Year in review . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Patricks Fined Over Griffith Shunting Incident . . . . . . . . . 31
Whistlestop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
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CountryLink Drivers Dispute Training
CountryLink Drivers are fed up with being ignored RTBU members and delegates have consistently
and frustrated around issues and concerns relating to attempted to address and reconcile this issues through
their training and assessment developments, raised with collaboration in a series of meetings over time, and
RailCorp over several years. The RTBU is awaiting through compiling detailed information and submissions
a response from our latest request to fix these issues, identifying problems and solutions.
before formally placing the matters in dispute in an Accordingly, the RTBU advises members that unless
attempt to arrive at a resolution and improve these a satisfactory response is forthcoming, all competency
processes. based training and assessment developments and issues
The RTBU has consistently advised RailCorp that we are will be placed in dispute subject to agreement being
in Dispute regarding non-compliance with the provisions reached on the implementation of Clause 133.1 of the
of Clause 133.1 of the RailCorp EA (2010). RailCorp EA 2010 and all associated matters.
This dispute raises a number of broader questions around
why RailCorp as a Registered Training Organisation
Clause 133.1 of the RailCorp EA clearly states as accredited under the Australian Skills Quality Authority
follows: (ASQA) and a member of the National Transport and
“Competency based training and assessment for Logistics Industry Skills Council, implementing the
CountryLink Drivers will be developed and introduced Australian Qualifications and Training Framework
by agreement with the applicable Union.” (AQTF) continues to place itself outside of the
compliance requirements of these and other legal
As at November 2011 there has been no competency obligations. The Rail Safety Act, for example, similarly
based training or assessment developed and introduced requires Rail safety Workers to be competent within the
for CountryLink Drivers that has been agreed to by standards of the AQTF.
the RTBU. In fact, RailCorp has continually tried
RailCorp seems to suffer the same arrogance of a number
to implement measures that fall well short of those
of major rail operators, who feel that somehow the
required, and has tried to do so with the exclusion of
laws of Australia do not apply to them. Further, rather
the RTBU and by continually ignoring objections raised
than setting the benchmarks and being the exemplars
by the RTBU. The RTBU can demonstrate a history of
of best practice in these areas, they persist with more
correspondence on this and related matters where our
limited self-serving approaches. The national training
concerns have been ignored or rejected, and can show and qualifications systems and standards developed
minutes of meetings where RailCorp has ruled the over more than a decade, have been aimed at consistent
discussion of Competence Standards, the QTMS and national industry standards and qualifications, allowing
the Rail Safety Act “out of scope” in an effort to limit recognition and portability for workers. The approach
the development of appropriate and legally compliant taken by RailCorp defies these national developments,
processes. and deliberately restricts the mobility of its workforce
The RTBU’s attempts to have this EA clause complied by refusing to issue qualifications that are recognised
with have been continually met with resistance and elsewhere. This form of endentured labour needs to be
frustration from RailCorp, with the result that we are replaced by a more contemporary management approach
still no closer to implementing a fair and equitable that values and rewards the skills and experience of its
competency based training and assessment system workforce, while providing working conditions and
for CountryLink Drivers, and that meet recognized work cultures that induce employees to remain with the
standards. employer, rather than tempted to seek employment with
competitor or rival operators.
rAIL & rOAD December 2011 Page 5
STA Organisation Restructure in Dispute
After several months of lack of consultation, confusion and poor information around State Transit’s
Organisational Restructure affecting Salaried and Administrative functions, the RTBU has issued Dispute
Notices relating to the process and the relationship of the restructure to the current Award negotiations.
Salaried Officers have been frustrated as the uncertainty requirement for STA to identify budget savings, before
around the restructure and what this means for their any employee-related costs savings could be negotiated
future working conditions, as many found themselves in compliance of the Government Public Sector Wages
‘expressing an interest’ and being interviewed Policy, makes a mockery of the policy, and exposes it as
for what were effectively the position that many a cheap cost-cutting exercise.
currently occupied. Others are being asked to take on In addition to the circular arguments and vaguary of
additional duties without proper negotiations around these processes, STA further justified how a loss of
re-classification or remuneration. The RTBU and ASU positions would not impact on working conditions, by
held depot meetings with members and conveyed the reinforcing that it is merely a cynical populist exercise
concerns raised at these meetings with management. that the Government can use to demonstrate that it is
The union also formally notified STA management that ‘getting tough’ with the public sector. We challenge STA
it wished any cost-savings flowing from the restructure management and the Government to make the claim of
to be accounted for in the Award negotiations. STA reductions in service and functions publicly.
responded by claiming that the restructure would not The unions are disputing the restructure processes as
be included as part of the negotiations because it did breaches of the consultation and related provisions of
not ‘involve direct changes to a relevant industrial the Senior and Salaried Officers Award, and the refusal
instrument, work practices or other conditions of to discuss the impact of the restructure as part of the EA
employment’. This response beggars the question of negotiations. While STA can carry out the process of
what the actual intent of the restructure might be if not to organisational restructure, we will dispute any decisions
introduce ‘efficiencies’ to work practices , which would made as an outcome of the restructure, any proposed
impact upon working conditions and classifications and changes to work flowing from the restructure, and
responsibilities under the agreement. attempts to implement these changes until these matters
The timing of this organisational restructure immediately have been resolved.
ahead of bargaining negotiations, coupled with a treasury
Get on the
Tram and Bus members have a new web site and newsletter to keep up-to-date
with the latest news and views from life in the bus lane.
Bus Express will be constantly updated with new information from around the
depots – including workplace disputes, industry updates and news about RTBU
Members. Most importantly, the Bus Express web site will contain regular updates
on progress with STA Award negotiations.
Members who subscribe to the web site will get a fortnightly email with links to all
the latest scoops. Printed newsletters will also be distributed around depots.
Page 6 rAIL & rOAD December 2011
Pacific National Enterprise Agreements in Progress
The RTBU National Office and Branch officers have commenced preparations for new Enterprise
Agreements across the three business groups (Coal, Intermodal and Bulk Products) of Pacific National.
While the current EAs in Pacific National do not expire unlike the long drawn out processes that have occurred
until mid-2012, delegates from around the country have previously.
been drafting the union claim, and reviewing different
It will be essential to the success of the union
aspects that have been raised as concerns by members.
negotiations that members across Pacific National
Delegates met in Sydney for two days recently to workplaces actively discuss any issues or concerns with
finalise a draft union document for presentation to the the way that current agreements are implemented with
company. The RTBU has also held preliminary meetings co-workers, union delegates and officers, to ensure
with senior management of the business groups within that all areas have been comprehensively addressed.
Pacific national to discuss the approach to be agreed in Members are also asked to keep an eye for news flashes
the negotiations. There will be negotiations for three and bulletins about the EAs, and to distribute these
separate agreements covering each of the business within their workplace so that all members are kept up-
groups, however the union has insisted that all have to-date with developments in the negotiations.
common core conditions and that they have the same
The union will be seeking agreements that address and
commencement and expiry dates.
improve on the wages and conditions for all employees,
It is anticipated that regular negotiations with the locomotive drivers, terminal operators, salaried and
company will commence in the new year with the administrative members, and maintainers in Pacific
objective of finalising by the expiry date of July 1, National.
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Waratah Project Update Changes To The
Members will be aware that Waratah
Sets 3 and 4 are now operational
for limited passenger runs. Sets 5
and 6 have been handed over to Register
RailCorp and passed for Practical RailCorp has agreed to changes to
Completion with the Set handover the CSA transfer register that will
rate is proposed to escalate prior to give more opportunities for part-time
Xmas with Sets arriving at the AMF CSA’s to gain full time employment
every 15 days. and relief staff to gain fixed
As we move closer to rectifying the many issues associated with the train positions. Previously, positions that
and identified by the RTBU over a lengthy process, we can report that were not nominated for in the ten
the following issues have been resolved: nominations that were allowed were
• Windscreen: the company is now supplying and installing new given to external appointees. Part-
windscreens to its existing fleet. time CSA’s can now still nominate
• Detrainment Ramp Issues: Close to finalisation with RailCorp and for ten positions on the transfer
EDI now discussing plans to have the offending equipment partially register and also nominate for full-
concealed within the cab roof cavity or removed entirely. . time positions on the CSA transfer
map. Relief staff can also nominate
• Crew Cab Doors: problems associated with the door being alarmed for fixed positions on the transfer
on opening and closing, and other restrictions have been rectified map also.
• Training: The Millennium Conversion course has been agreed and Vacant full time positions that
initially implemented at Campbelltown Depot. Tangara Baseline Course have not been selected will then be
has been piloted, while the AMF Induction course remains outstanding advertised internally and filled using
The only other issues that remain unresolved relate to the the merit selection process.
• Etis System & Screens and Alarms and Alerts
New Blue Mountains Timetable = Loss of Jobs
Customer Services Attendants (CSAs) from Katoomba Station performed the duties of “on board repeaters” to Train
Guards for all 6 & 8 car sets. In the new timetable all services consist of 4 car sets, for weekends and public holidays,
which will enable RailCorp to provide additional train services to be Blue Mountains community.
The changes affected 13 CSA’s at Katoomba Station, with 2 of those positions being abolished. Furthermore, the
remaining 11 positions will no longer be required to work 7 days per week and RTBU members have lost their weekend
Transport for NSW Staff Win ‘Right to Return’
More than 300 transport workers transferred from the federal to state industrial relations system to work for the new
amalgamated transport authority, have won the right to return to their original authority if they are not happy with the
final Transport for NSW Award currently being negotiated.
Previously this ‘right to return’ was only available to state award covered employees. It was not available to employees
covered under a federal award (that is, most) or those going through an ‘expression of interest process’. The RTBU
objected to this restriction and argued that it was unacceptable for anyone to be forced to decide on their future
employment before their wages and working conditions had even been finalised.
Transport for NSW agreed to allow RailCorp and other employees covered by federal agreements, whether they had
gone through ‘expressions of interest’ or not, the same right of return as state award employees.
rAIL & rOAD December 2011 Page 9
Automatic Train Protection:
The ATP project is moving ahead at a constant rate with the Crew
Consultative Committee receiving a presentation concerning the broad scope
of the project, its proposed timeline and issue specific information.
2010/2011 will see the project move forward with;
• Call for Tenders, Initial Works Package.
• TOS Consolidation (Oscar / Millennium).
• Development of DMI Screen into the driving cab.
• Ergonomic redesign of the Tangara cab desk (to be able to insert a DMI
• ATP Simulator Research During recent track work, the long
1. Analyze the system to develop initial best configuration.
standing agreement to operate the
2. Trial this in a simulator – usability testing.
3. Repeated with rules and procedures – procedural testing. SP35/32 Canberra service with 2
4. Compare ATP fitted to non ATP fitted. drivers [owing to the shift length]
5. Put onto track for further verification. was breached under the guise of a
• Specifications and development to describe the capabilities of the product. “local agreement” enabling 1 driver
It is planned that the InterCity lines – North, West and Illawarra and the only as the train did not complete a
InterCity trains, V&H sets, some G&K sets and the diesel fleet will be fitted round trip. Drivers rostered for this
with ETCS equipment. service were being re-rostered onto
other working which was actually in
breach of the Stable Rostering Code
Mentor Driver Proposal as well as the MOU. The RTBU
strongly opposed these actions to the
This original proposal was the concept of the Loco Division as part of its point of Dispute before gaining the
drivers training progression scheme which was hijacked by RailCorp and full adherence to the original MOU.
incorporated into the recent EA. RailCorp are now seeking to move ahead The RTBU has attended additional
with implementation of this position and have proposed the Mentor will meetings in regards to this issue and
operate as follows;
can agree on this changed working
• In Cab observation stage
provided it does not breach the
• Build up of driving time (experience) after the successful completion of SRC and now require any proposed
3rd pro driving stage and the accumulation of 200hrs driving time.
amendments to the MOU to be
• Minimum 3 years experience for this position
formalised in writing. CountryLink
• Mentor to receive “Workplace Coach” competency unit as training
are yet to respond with the RTBU
• Mentor will not be required to come off roster
holding the line on this and not
• Allowance to be paid for performance of the role only allowing any change to the current
The RTBU has had several further meetings in regards to this proposal working until CountryLink sign the
with discussions centering on the payable allowance rate and the terms of
new MOU. This has resulted in train
when payment is to be made for the amount of days worked in this role. At
this stage, the RTBU has received a formal response to these issues from cancellations owing to drivers being
RailCorp and, pending the receipt of depots numbers for this position, this unavailable due to illness and depot
proposal is all but agreed. shortage.
Page 10 rAIL & rOAD December 2011
Appeal Rights Refused to
CSA’s on an Eligibility List
In 2010 Railcorp advertised fulltime CSA positions without locations. The applicants went through a culling and an
assessment centre process. The unsuccessful applicants were then advised they had missed out and were told they had
appeal rights against the successful applicants. Unfortunately, the successful applicants did not have jobs and were only
on an eligibility list.
After the appeals process the successful members contacted the RTBU and advised they were successful in their
appeals but were told by RailCorp there were no jobs for them. It was RailCorp’s view that the successful applicants
in the job offer were put on a recommended list and not an eligibility list and the unsuccessful applicants had appeal
rights. The NSW Appeals Board “TAB” now comes under the NSW Industrial Relations Commission and allowed
the appeals. Previously the “TAB” would not allow an appeal if a person was not appointed to a job with a position
The RTBU wrote to Railcorp advising that all successful applicants must be paid the CSA pay rate and if they had been
part time CSA’s they must be paid 76 hours per fortnight.
RailCorp refused to agree to the RTBU’s proposal and instead advised they would place the successful applicants into
vacant CSA positions when they became available ahead of the CSA’s on the transfer register. RailCorp have advised it
will be March 2012 before all applicants will be placed into CSA positions.
Bus Drivers Vote Overwhelmingly
for a Better Deal
Bus drivers have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a 3.25% per cent annual pay rise from State Transit Authority
(STA) after a ballot of drivers across all fourteen depots.
The offer was put to drivers on 17th November, 2011, and over 75% of members voted to accept it – a barnstorming
The three-year deal, which comes into force from 15th Apri1, 2012 is a better outcome for drivers after the O’Farrell
Government capped wages at 2.5% earlier this year.
The RTBU is now the only union that has been able to negotiate a deal above this cap without trading off any award
The efforts of the Bus Division in these negotiations was acknowledged and applauded by Unions NSW at a recent
meeting of all Union Leaders.
Drivers were determined to be treated with respect and paid appropriately, and this offer has seen their determination
STA buses are a critical part of Sydney and Newcastle’s transport network.
Drivers are proud of the role they play in moving people around the city and they deserve to be rewarded for the
important work they do.
rAIL & rOAD December 2011 Page 11
The Superannuation Guarantee Rate
to go to 12%
The Federal Labor Government has announced staged increases to the current 9% compulsory employer
superannuation contribution to bring the contribution to 12% of wages.
This measure will significantly increase future retirement an additional $108,000 in retirement savings.
incomes for Australian workers through the gradual
• The measure builds on measures to strengthen the Age
increase in the superannuation guarantee (SG) rate to 12
Pension which were announced in the 2009-10 Budget.
To ensure all workers can live comfortably and
The SG rate will be increased gradually with initial
have financial security in retirement unions have
increments of 0.25 percentage points on 1 July 2013 and
been campaigning to increase super contributions.
on 1 July 2014. Further increments of 0.5 percentage
Unions were the key force in establishing Australia’s
points will apply annually up to 2019-20, when the rate
superannuation system that achieved the guaranteed
will be set at 12 per cent.
9% super contribution. Despite this achievement, many
The Government’s approach to superannuation will workers have inadequate savings to retire comfortably.
achieve two main outcomes — greater adequacy and Of workers currently over 65, women only have enough
greater equity. savings to last 3 years, men 4 years. Overall, women
have half the super of men. To ensure all workers can
The measure directly addresses issues raised by our
retire in dignity unions have been campaigning to
ageing population and boosts private and national
increase super contributions for all workers to 12%,
savings, bringing broader benefits to the community and
with a final goal of 15%.Unions have already won extra
super contributions over the 9% for 1.8 million workers
• It will significantly increase the future retirement through collective bargaining. Now under changes
incomes for many Australian workers. For example, a announced by the Labor Government, super will increase
30 year old earning average full-time wages will have nationally to a guaranteed minimum of 12%.
Page 12 rAIL & rOAD December 2011
RTBU Supports Railway Film Festival
The NSW Branch has contributed to the sponsorship of the Eveleigh and International Film Festival to be held
in February 2012.
The Eveleigh and International similar lines to international organisation. Most of the cost for
Railway Film Festival will be run film festival in Paris conducted venue and film equipment has been
as part of an open day program at by the International Union of covered by sponsorship associated
the Australian Technology Park on Railways (UIC) in Paris each year. with the Australian Technology Park
the 25th of February next year. This That railway film festival draws open day and several film makers.
is the site of the former Eveligh films from many railway related The RTBU is proud to sponsor the
Workshops, an icon or railways and organisations like the trade Unions, event, and applaud the organisers for
rail union history. the railway industry and the general their passion and abiding interest in
The idea of an international Railway public. This plays an entertaining not only the working history of the
Film Festival was first raised in and educational role of keeps up site, union history, but also efforts
a paper given to the International with not only relevant railway to focus public attention onb the site
Railway Heritage Conference held heritage issues but the developments and preservation of its heritage.
in Queensland in 2009. This paper in the railway industry in this new
We also encourage RTBU members
drew heavily on the value played by technical age.
and their families to attend and
railway related arts and the union The program at Eveleigh, next participate in the various activities
experience of bringing together the year is an Inaugural event to get on the Open Day on February 25,
Trains Of Treasure Exhibition and started with. A small working and support this project. For more
Railway Voices in 1984 with the committee of people associated information on the Open Day and
assistance of the combined railway with the rail industry, film industry, Railway Film Festival, contact Brian
unions committee of the Labour railway heritage and the arts has Dunnett on email: bdunnett@aapt.
Council . been formed, and have registered net.au or telephone Tom Cowan on
The proposal for a railway film a film society with the NSW Film 0415 500 634 or go to
festival has been modelled along Societies association as a non profit eveleigh-railway-film-fest.com
the Loco theatre
The Eveleigh and International
Railway Film Festival Society
‘Railways: Yesterday - today - the future’
Inaugural International Railway Film Festival - 25th February 2012.
Australian Technology Park Open Day (Eveleigh Heritage Railway Workshops Redfern)
Short Film Competition
The International Railway Film Festival calls for short films to be screened in competition within the
Festival. We are calling for short films on the idea of ‘My Train’ with an emphasis on provocative,
entertaining and informative shorts about rail subjects. For example, films might satirize road gridlock in
cities and promote a return to community through a balance of rail services. We also call for films about
our rail heritage. The competition is open to all Film Maker Groups, Students, Organisations, Businesses,
Unions and Enthusiasts. Films are limited to 5mins on a DVD. The first 40 DVDs will be accepted and
screened on the day of the Festival. A $500 Prize will be awarded. The winner will be determined by
audience vote on the day of the screening.
• The competition provides an opportunity for a railway organisation to work with a local video-maker to
highlight their particular rail activity, eg: railway museum.
• The submitted films will be available for screening at other rail heritage events.
rAIL & rOAD December 2011 Page 13
Commits to Equal
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has recently made a
historic commitment to equal pay for women by
coming to an agreement with the Australian Services
Union (ASU) on appropriate pay increases for low-
paid community workers represented by the Union.
The Federal Lbor Government has pay rises awarded to Queensland to 33% in some cases for social
made a commitment to contribute community workers in 2009 in their and community sector workers is
more than $2 billion to deliver pay Equal Pay Case. an historic milestone on the road
rises to social and community sector “We are now calling on all other towards true equal pay,” Ms Kearney
workers across Australia. parties in this historic case to also said.
ASU Assistant National Secretary support these pay rates. We call on “It is a win for those workers
Linda White said community workers all community sector employers and and their unions who have been
applauded the leading role the Prime all State and Territory Governments determined to gain wage justice in
Minister had taken in seeking to to stop their opposition and come on the SACS industry.
deliver pay increases sought by the board.” “We are talking about workers who
sector in the Equal Pay test case ASU members provide homeless are mostly women and who look after
before Fair Work Australia. people with a place to stay, they the homeless, the disabled, refugees,
“Today the Prime Minister recognises provide support to those with domestic violence victims, children at
community workers’ long struggle disabilities, they give families in risk and other vulnerable people in
to have their work given the value it crisis a place to turn and they play our society.
deserves and their right to be paid a vital role in the child protection “This is difficult and demanding
fair and reasonable wages. system. work, yet this female-dominated
“Prime Minister Gillard has shown The success of the equal pay decision industry is one of the lowest paid
she doesn’t just talk about supporting will depend on a strong commitment in Australia because it has been
equal pay for women, she acts on it.” and contribution from State historically viewed as ‘women’s
The Australian Services Union and Governments to match that of the work’.
the Commonwealth Government Federal Government. “And now that the Federal
made a joint submission to Fair The support announced by Prime Government has committed to
Work Australia on the pay rates they Minister Gillard in November funding equal pay it is time for those
believe are appropriate to address received enthusiastic support from state and territory governments who
the gender-based undervaluation the ACTU have not already done so to follow.
of community workers. The Equal ACTU President Ged Kearney “The $2 billion commitment
Pay test case was scheduled for final said the announcement by Prime from the Government is carefully
hearings on 28th November 2011, 7th Minister Julia Gillard, to fund structured over a six year period,
and 8th December 2011. pay rises for 150,000 social and after negotiations with the Australian
Based on the joint submission, SACS community sector workers, was a Services Union and other unions.
workers should receive pay increases landmark day for the thousands of “It is not okay to pay one group of
ranging from between 20% and 50%, social and community sector (SACS) workers less than another doing work
in line with the 2009 Queensland workers, who do important but of comparable value simply because
Equal Remuneration case, phased in traditionally undervalued work for one group of workers is women.
over six years. the community’s benefit.
“It is time all governments
“The pay rates we will put forward “Today’s commitment from the acknowledged that and commit to
provide on average a 20 per cent government to fund its share of funding their share.”
increase which will align with the pay rises averaging 20% and up
Page 14 rAIL & rOAD December 2011
Delegate & Activist
Training and Development
Next year we will roll out additional Stage 2 Training for Delegates and further work on Workplace Committee
structures. We are currently, compiling a training schedule for 2012.
For more information contact your Union Organiser or Maryanne Stuart firstname.lastname@example.org or 9264 2511
Delegates and activists who have participated
in some of the RTBU training courses
throughout the year
RTBU Health and Safety Training
The union has commenced Health and Safety training for workplace representatives, with a course for Locomotive
Division members on December 7 at the union training rooms in Pitt Street. The second course was held in Newcastle
on 21 December, and attended by members across a number of union Divisions, and private and public workplaces.
These courses will continue throughout 2012, with details of locations, dates and registration information posted on the
Home Page of the RTBU website under the Health and Safety Training link. For additional information, contact Peter
O’Connor on 0430 188 116 or email email@example.com
rAIL & rOAD December 2011 Page 15
know Roles and Functions of Health
rights and Safety Representatives
Part 5 of the Work health and Safety Act 2011 a HSR can exercise their powers and perform their functions.
provides for representation of workers by health This includes providing adequate resources, facilities and
and Safety representatives (hSr). opportunity for these functions to be performed in paid time.
The WHS Act allows for workers within a business or undertaking If a Health and Safety Committee (HSC) is established at a
to be grouped into work groups for the purpose of electing a workplace for which there is a HSR, the HSR is entitled to be a
member of that group to represent them. member of the HSC if they wish to be.
The number of work groups and the workers who are to form Electing and hSr
part of the work group are to be determined by negotiation and Any worker may ask a person conducting the business or
agreement between the person conducting the business or undertaking for whom they carry out work to facilitate elections
undertaking and the workers. Therefore, there can be more than for one or more HSRs.
one Health and Safety representative in a workplace HSRs represent work groups, therefore work groups must be
The major difference between the previous OHS Representative determined before a HSR can be elected.
and Health and Safety Representatives under the new Act, Within 14 days of receiving a request from a worker, the
involves an HSR undertaking a five-day HSR training course, person conducting a business or undertaking must commence
which allows them to: negotiations with workers about the number and composition
• direct a worker to cease work, if they have reasonable grounds of work groups that should be formed. If a worker requests that
to believe that the worker could be exposed to a serious risk to their representative, for example a union official, be involved in
their health or safety by continuing that work these negotiations, they must be included in the negotiations.
• issue a provisional improvement notice (PIN) to someone, if The workers within each work group can determine the
they have reasonable grounds to believe that the person is procedure by which a HSR will be elected, but must comply with
contravening the work health and safety (WHS) legislation. any requirements set out in the regulations.
Other functions of a Health and Safety Representative HSR holds office for three years, and can be re-elected
The primary power and function of an HSR is to represent hSr Training
workers in their work group in relation to health and safety As an HSR, you are entitled to attend an HSR training course,
matters at work. An HSR may also: provided the course is approved by WorkCover. You can attend a
• monitor the compliance of the person conducting a business or five-day training course in the first year and one-day refresher
undertaking courses each year of the remaining two years of your term – and
• investigate complaints from work group members about work any other training agreed between you and the PCBU. The PCBU
health and safety matters must allow you paid time off work within three months of your
• inquire into anything arising from the conduct of the business request, and pay the course fees.
or undertaking that appears to be a risk to the health or safety Protection From Discrimination or coercion
of work group members The model Work Health and Safety (WHS) Act protects
• inspect the workplace or any part of the workplace at which people engaged in work health and safety activities from
work group members work, after giving reasonable notice to being discriminated against. The model WHS Act prohibits
the person conducting the business or undertaking. A HSR can discriminatory, coercive and misleading conduct in relation to
inspect the workplace without giving notice, in the event of an work health and safety matters. The purpose of these protections
incident or a situation involving a serious risk to the health or is to encourage engagement in work health and safety activities
safety of a person emanating from an immediate or imminent and to stop action that may deter people exercising their rights
exposure to a hazard under the model WHS Act.
• accompany an inspector during an inspection of the workplace It is an offence under the model WHS Act to engage in
or part of the workplace at which a work group member discriminatory conduct, or to request, instruct, induce,
works, and encourage, authorise or assist a person to engage in such
Under the Work Health and Safety Act, the person conducting a conduct, if the dominant reason for the discriminatory conduct is
business or undertaking has identified obligations to ensure that a prohibited reason.
Page 16 rAIL & rOAD December 2011
Join the RTBU Retired
Many retired members continue to receive copies of the journal Rail & Road, and take an interest in the life
of the union. Many have also said that they would like to maintain a closer connection and involvement with
the work of the union. The RTBU Retired Members Association was established to provide a forum for
former members to meet, work on campaigns, address issues of particular relevance for retirees and to
identify ways of assisting, supporting and contributing to the work of the union.
It is expected that the Retired Members Association will function independently and pursue issues that it
identifies as priorities.
If you are a retired member of our union, we would like you to consider joining the Retired Members
Association. Membership forms are available from the RTBU Head Office, Level 4, 321 Pitt Street, Sydney
or on the union website: www.rtbu-nsw.asn.au
For more information, contact Peter O’Connor at the union office on (02) 9264 2511
For more information, contact Don McKechnie on 0409 813 643
or the union office on (02) 9264 2511
Page 14 raIL & rOaD June 2010
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rAIL & rOAD December 2011 Page 17
Busy Year on the Buses
Its been a busy year for the Tram and Bus Division with the new Liberal Government launching a savage attack
on the rights of public sector workers and in the process making us the only workforce in Australia with no
access to Independent Arbitration of pay claims.
Bus Drivers across Sydney and Newcastle can hold their • Welcome Sydney Tram Drivers back to their rightful
heads up high with the knowledge that our Union was position in the Tram and Bus Division
one of the first to get on the front foot and take the fight • Increased participation by Tram & Bus members in the
up to Government. Sydney Alliance and other Branch activities
• Well advanced pay negotiations for Tram Drivers
Other things keeping the Union busy include:-
• Timely finalisation of State Transit Enterprise
• Setting Up and Maintaining Bus Express Website Agreement, Achieving a higher payrise than the last
• Commencement of our Uniform Allowance Claim agreement over an extra year – without trading any
in the Chief Industrial Magistrates Court, Which is Award conditions.
creeping closer to a ruling To list all the Union Activities is not practical, but there
• Fortnightly Bus Express Newsletter has certainly been constant progress in most areas
• Vastly improved fire safety measures in Gas Buses Nothing is ever achieved without the support and
• Specialised Delegate Training participation of rank and file union members. The
Officials and all Depot Delegates wish to extend a huge
• Increased participation by the Division in the Better
thanks to members for their rock solid support and
solidarity throughout 2011.
• Strong, Articulate and Positive Representation in the
We wish everyone a Happy and Safe Christmas and a
new year filled with prosperity and good health.
Page 18 rAIL & rOAD December 2011
RTBU 9th National Council – A Big Success
The RTBU biennial National
Council met from Monday 31st
of October to Thursday 3rd of
November at the Old Parliament
House in Canberra.
National Council is the highest
deliberative body in the union and
is represented by National Officers,
all National Divisions and all State
Branches of the union. NSW was
represented by a strong delegation
across all Divisions.
Our new National Secretary, Bob
Nanva, outlined a new direction for RTBU National Secretary, Bob Nanva addressing the National Conference Dinner
the RTBU in his program - Better
Engagement and this program was
adopted by Council. more in terms of investment in vital research agenda and work plan for
infrastructure, rolling stock and the National Office.
Council broke on Wednesday
skills development for the rail, tram • Continuing the RTBU’s tradition
morning and all Delegates went to
and bus sectors in order to promote of advocating progressive social
Parliament House to watch Deputy
mass public transport and rail issues for working people by
Treasurer Bill Shorten move the
freight. creating a new Chifley Progressive
new Superannuation Bill which will
increase “super” from 9% to 12%. The reforms endorsed by the Endowment Fund. The fund will
This will make a huge difference to National Council make amendments provide $2,000 to support a young
the quality of retirement for millions to the National Office’s structure activist or delegate that is involved
of Australian workers. and work plans to ensure the RTBU in community campaigning.
has more influence nationally over • The endorsement, for the first
On the Wednesday night the
key industrial matters, industry time in our union’s history, of
National Council dinner was held
issues - and over key decision a rule change that creates a
at the Old Parliament House which
makers. National Women’s Committee
was attended by 23 Federal Labor
members of Parliament including 5 Reforms include: and recognises the important role
Ministers. • The creation of key annual events of women in our industry. The
that break down the barriers to National Women’s Committee will
Speakers included Industry Minister
sharing information and strategies campaign on issues that mobilise
Kim Carr, Deputy Treasurer Bill
across state borders, including an women politically and industrially,
Shorten and Transport Minister
‘organisers development course’ identify workplace grievances that
Anthony Albanese. A number of
and ‘industrial officers conference’ particularly affect women, and
National Secretaries from other
designed to knowledge and develop clauses for insertion into
unions were also present.
experience across all parts of our agreements that will benefit RTBU
National Secretary Bob Nanva women.
spoke about the strength of the
• Establishing a ‘National Policy The National Council’s reforms
RTBU and about the union’s belief
Committee’ which will have are designed to allow us to adapt
that Government needs to do a lot
responsibility for developing a to the challenges facing our union
nationally, rather than remaining
passive actors in our environment.
Overall, National Council, including
the dinner, was a great showcase
for the RTBU and a credit to our
The National Office now has a new
direction and purpose which will
benefit all Branches and Divisions
of the RTBU.
National Council delegates outside Parliament House Canberra
rAIL & rOAD December 2011 Page 19
Domestic Violence Clauses
Domestic Violence can affect your job
dramatically. The RTBU Tram & Bus
Division has recently won the right
to have the recognition of workplace
rights in the Sydney Transit Authority
Policy, for workers experiencing
domestic violence. The goal is to
reduce the impact of family violence
on workers (predominantly women)
by achieving better workplace rights
that support them to stay safely in their
jobs and in their homes.
This is a huge win for members of the
Tram and Bus Division. The RTBU
will continue to pursue rights for our
members on the Domestic Violence
issue and remind Government’s and
employers that they must be at the
forefront of domestic violence reform in this country.
We have Factsheets and resources available to Delegates and members. Placing them on the Union notice board is a
great way of letting members know of the support available.
For more information click on:
www.austdvclearinghouse.unsw.edu.au or, contact Maryanne Stuart email@example.com or 9264 2511.
Secure Jobs for a Better Future
The last two decades have seen a dramatic decline in permanent work and a shift toward deregulating the labour
market in Australia. There has been growth in insecure employment, such as:
• Contract work and,
• Labour hire.
The Australian union movement has commissioned an independent inquiry to examine the extent of insecure work
and its impact on workers, their families and the community.
The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) is committed to consulting with the community and union members
and invites us to make written submissions. Public hearings will be held around Australia during February and
As unionists we know that insecure employment can lead to:
• Unpredictable, fluctuating pay
• Inferior rights and entitlements
• Irregular and unpredictable working hours
• Lack of job security and,
• Lack of voice at work on wages, conditions and work organization.
The RTBU is requesting members who have stories (your own or from family and friends) to forward them to our
union office or to lodge them online at: www.securejobs.org.au
Page 20 rAIL & rOAD December 2011
Paid Parental Amendment Bill Delayed to 2012
The recent resignation of the Speaker governing debt recovery, notice, the birth. This will allow sufficient
of the House of Representatives, and the delegation of the Secretary’s time after the birth for the mother to
Mr Harry Jenkins, and continued powers. recover physically and will enable an
carry on by the Federal Opposition It also amends the Fair Work Act uninterrupted six-week period for the
led by Tony ‘Dr No’ Abbott, may to extend to employees on unpaid parent who is the carer to bond with
delay the introduction of the Paid parental leave under the NES access the child.
Parental Leave and Other Legislation to 10 paid “keeping in touch” days. Shadow Small Business Minister
Amendment (consolidation) Bill Employees who take additional Bruce Billson, meanwhile, says the
2011 until next year. unpaid leave (for a second 12 Coalition plans to move amendments
The legislation is intended to months) can also access 10 additional to the government’s amending
make a number of refinements to keeping in touch days. Employees legislation along the lines of his
the Paid Parental leave Scheme, and employers can agree to unpaid private member’s bill that was voted
primarily around ‘keeping in touch parental leave commencing earlier down in February.
days’. However the Opposition than six weeks prior to the expected That bill sought to make permanent
has indicated that it will again seek birth date, and parents will gain the the interim arrangements the
to remove what it describes as the right to return to their employment Government initially put in place
“paymaster” role employers play in the event of a stillbirth or infant under which Centrelink paid the
in the federal paid parental leave death. benefit to the recipients.
scheme when the Lower House deals According to the bill’s explanatory From July 1 this year, the
with a government bill to refine the memorandum, it amends the keeping Government began paying the benefit
PPL legislation. in touch provisions to extend (in directly to employers, who then pay
The bill, amends the Paid Parental paragraph 50C) from 14 to 42 days the recipients, and Billson said the
Leave Act to refine the “keeping in the period that has to elapse after the Coalition this time around would
touch days” provisions (which deal child’s birth before such a day can move to “release” employers from
with when employees perform work be taken. The exception to this is the “pay clerk burden” imposed on
on what would otherwise have been where the employee has suggested them by the Government, unless they
a day within their leave period) and or requested that they perform the opted-in to it.
clarify the operation of a number of paid work, which in that case has
others provisions, including those to be more than a fortnight from
Exclusive RTBU Corporate Offer
RTBU NSW Branch members now have the chance to join Fit n Fast, a new chain of health clubs, at reduced
rates. Catering to those who ‘just don’t have time to exercise’, the clubs offer what they call ‘The Quickie’, a
range of 30-minute classes including cycle, circuit, cardio and resistance, and small group training. In a non-
intimidating environment where people of all shapes, sizes and fitness levels are welcome, the Quickie classes
are designed to cut down the amount of time you need to spend at the gym, but still ensure you’ll get all the
fitness and health benefits from your workout.
Prices for RTBU members:
Orange Membership provides unlimited access to your home club.
Orange Membership starts at just $7.95 a week, no start up fees – a saving of $99
Black Membership provides unlimited access to all Fit n Fast clubs Australia wide; 25% discount off any
merchandise food and beverages; unlimited access for a friend to train for free in your home club every time
you workout. This means you can share a membership card amongst family, friends and work colleagues.
Black Membership starts at $10.95 a week, no start up fees – a saving of $99
Paid In-full Prices:
$449 for the Orange Membership $549 for the Black Membership
All memberships will include the first 30 days free and if the member decides not to continue they can cancel
with no fees.
For more information on Fit n Fast, go to www.fitnfast.com.au or call 1300 44 66 88
Offer To Be Reviewed 31st May 2012
The RTBU Year in Review
The following is a visual summary of some of the main developments and events in the
NSW Branch over the past twelve months, and reflects some of the main objectives of the
NSW Branch Plan.
Page 22 rAIL & rOAD December 2011
rAIL & rOAD December 2011 Page 23
On the Campaign Trail
At the ‘Founding Assembly’ of the Sydney Alliance at the Sydney Town Hall on 15 September, 45
Alliance partner organizations with in excess of 500,000 members achieved commitments from
Members of Parliament - to work with the Alliance for a better Sydney. Arising from the resounding
success, we have had a further 2 events with enormous support and attendance.
The first of the most recent events
was held on the 9th November
at Parliament House, hosted by
Victor Dominello MP, Member
for Ryde, Minister for Citizenship
and Communities, and Minister
for Aboriginal Affairs. Those
in attendance heard stories from
Sydney residents struggling with
health, transport and social issues.
This event gave the politicians the
opportunity to meet leaders from the
partner organisations - community,
union and religious – who want
to advance the common good and
Participants shared stories and February. If you wish to attend,
achieve a fair, just and sustainable
ideas with people from all over please contact Maryanne Stuart on
Sydney who committed to a shared firstname.lastname@example.org or
Parliamentarians from both side of vision of bringing about a world 9264 2511.
politics, and from across Sydney class, sensible transport system for Further, there are a number of
were in attendance our communities. 6 members of committees at a local regional level
Parliament attended and committed (District Groups) which you can
Penrith Transport Assembly to working on fixing transport in join and, there are the Research
The second important event was Sydney in their local area in 2012. Action Teams. These Teams are
held at Penrith on 17th November. Congratulations to James Buckley concentrating on particular key
410 participants from over (Infrastructure Delegate) and items. They explore the 3 key items
30 Sydney Alliance member Bob Schroeder (RTBU member raised by partner organization’s
organisations attended a Transport – Retired Member’s Association) members. The objective of the
Assembly forum to hear the launch that represented the RTBU on the RAT’s is to try to find solutions by
of the Public Transport Campaign: evening. We had many rank and file conducting research and by speaking
members attend the evening. Thank to workers and ‘experts’. They
400:15:1 + SCA2
you to all who continue to support also strategise and organise public
This campaign is based on the and work on the Sydney Alliance’s actions.
principle of: agenda for the common good. The key areas of discussion which
Transport should be within 400 you can join, are:
What’s coming up! • Transport
It should come every 15 minutes
In 2012, the RTBU is again hosting • Community Health & Support
It should only require 1 ticket another Sydney Alliance 2 day • Social Inclusion.
It is Safe, Clean, Accessible and training at Redfern on the 28 & 29
Page 24 rAIL & rOAD December 2011
Women’s Campaign Committee
Our last meeting of the year was held on the 24th
November. We had 25 members attend, representing
the Divisions of the RTBU. We covered lots of subject
• National Council – rule change for the establishment of
a National Women’s Campaign Committee.
• National Council – adoption of resolutions on Drug &
Alcohol Testing (requesting testing be saliva based)
and Fatigue Management.
• Workplace based child care for 24 hour shift workers.
- White Ribbon Day
- Secure Jobs for a Better Future
- Better Services for a Better State.
In addition, we were invited by Sophie Cotsis MLC,
Opposition spokesperson for Industrial Relations
and Women and, Penny Sharpe MLC, Opposition
spokesperson for Transport, to attend a lunch on the
day. This gave the members an opportunity to meet the
members of parliament, as workers and as constituents
of NSW. The Hon. Mick Veitch MLC attended with
John Robertson, Member for Blacktown and Opposition
Leader, Linda Burney, Member for Canterbury and
Opposition Deputy Leader, Tania Mihailuk, Member for
Bankstown and, Anna Watson, Member for Shellharbour.
One of our very special members June De Lorenzo,
attended. June is a retired Bus Driver. Her son is a
Police Officer and, has been shot in the line of his duty.
June took the opportunity to discuss Stephen’s case. As
a result, John Robertson then spoke in parliament about
June and her son. It is attached for your information:
Mr John Robertson: Yesterday I had the pleasure of
meeting with Stephen de Lorenzo’s mother here in
Parliament House. Stephen De Lorenzo was shot in June De Lorenzo with the Opposition Leader,
circumstances where people were being held hostage. He John Robertson
went in, did not know where they were and was shot. Two
and a half years later he wants to come back to work, but assisting in the communication between the RTBU and
he cannot. Under the Government’s scheme he is going the members to solve workplace issues.”
to find himself left hanging in limbo, much worse off.
“I attended my first RTBU WCC and to say the least I
Some of our newly elected members onto the WCC, was extremely impressed. The commitment and drive of
attended for the first time. They all enjoyed themselves these ladies is something that is rarely seen – they have
and saw the opportunity for support, encouragement a common goal and I feel privileged to be part of the
and education - which will enhance their knowledge and committee. I look forward to the coming years to stand
individual development to help others. Here are some of shoulder to shoulder with these inspirational women to
their comments: fight the injustice in our workplaces.”
“Had a great time last Thursday, full day, very The RTBU Women’s Campaign Committee meets twice
informative, the speeches were great and Parliament per year. If you wish to attend or go on the “supporters”
House was a bonus, really enjoyed the day. Thanks.” network, please contact:
“It’s a committee of women from diverse backgrounds Maryanne Stuart email@example.com or 9264 2511.
rAIL & rOAD December 2011 Page 25
Portable Long Service Leave
Part of a Fair, Secure, Employment Safety Net for all Workers
It is time to re-examine the nature of long service before reaching a 10 year service milestone.
leave (“LSL”). The implications of this data is amplified when it is
The principles underpinning LSL have remained largely considered that a significant proportion of workers in
unchanged since its introduction for public servants the Australia at Work study changed employers between
nearly 150 years ago. LSL is generally an entitlement for being interviewed one year and the time they were
permanent employees that have been employed by the interviewed again twelve months later.
same employer for a qualifying period. It is a reward for The workforce is also increasingly made up of casuals,
continuity of service and it is meant to provide a respite fixed term employees, labour hire workers, independent
from continuous employment. contractors and other forms of insecure employment.
However, the Australian workforce has changed over the Many workers are also constrained from accessing
decades. Work is less secure. People work longer hours. LSL due to enforced career breaks, being employed in
Work intrudes into so-called “leisure time”. Businesses industries where employment engagements are of limited
fail. As a result, fewer and fewer
workers are getting access to
this valuable period of respite
from work. LSL is a period of paid leave granted to employees after a period of
continuous employment with the one employer. Part payment can be made
Portable LSL for all workers is where employment ends and an employee has served a certain proportion
the solution. of the time (commonly after 5, 7 or 10 years).
In Australia LSL has existed as a legislated public service entitlement
Why portable LSL for all? since the 1860s. By the 1940s LSL had crept into some awards and in the
1950s LSL legislation was passed in all States to provide a minimum safety
The Australian workforce today net for non-award employees. In 1964 the Commonwealth Conciliation
is less likely to remain with the and Arbitration Commission arbitrated the first long service leave award
one employer, occupation or providing 13 weeks’ leave after 15 years. For many years this was the
industry for enough time to be
eligible for LSL. Now LSL forms one of the National Employment Standards (NES)
established by the Fair Work Act. There are a number of differences in the
The Australia at Work study
LSL safety net between the jurisdictions.
conducted by the Workplace
Research Centre at the Qualifying
University of Sydney shows period
that although 23% of the All public sector (except WA) 10 years 13 weeks
labour force in 2010 was Public sector in WA 7 years 13 weeks
entitled to LSL, over half of Private sector in Tas, & Vic 15 years 13 weeks
those employed in 2010 had Private sector in NSW, Qld & WA 10 years 2 months
insufficient length of service Private sector in NT & SA 10 years 13 weeks
(i.e. less than 5 years) to qualify Private sector in ACT 7 years 6 weeks
for LSL at that point in time. These legislative minima are implied into all agreements, awards and
A further 25% stood to lose contracts of employment unless the contract of employment or a relevant
their accrued LSL, should they award or agreement provides a more generous entitlement.
have left their current employer
Page 26 rAIL & rOAD December 2011
duration and being employed in small enterprises with very long hours, sometimes in multiple jobs and with
limited opportunity for career progression. unpaid overtime. High costs of living and changed
With these changes in the nature of work, there needs to social roles mean there are more households where
be consideration of whether LSL should be extended to both partners work, increasing the pressure on daily
all workers to allow them some parity with permanent lives. Unsociable working arrangements have also
employees. expanded and electronic advances have blurred the lines
between work and home. In this context, LSL becomes
LSL is already being enjoyed by some categories of non-
increasingly relevant for its original purpose, as a form of
standard workers such as:
respite leave. A portable LSL scheme would also prevent
• part-time employees who meet the qualifying period;
the practice of cashing out LSL, thereby preserving its
• casual employees if they are able to show continuous rationale as respite leave.
• The financial benefit of LSL should be available
• outworkers in NSW, Victoria and Queensland; to all
• construction workers in all States; LSL is an important financial asset for those that are
• mining workers in NSW; eligible. There are sound economic grounds to extend
• cleaners in NSW, Queensland and the ACT; and this benefit to as many workers as possible. A portable
• persons paid completely or partly by commission in LSL scheme would ensure LSL entitlements are not
the ACT. lost when a business goes into liquidation, with the
consequential financial burden on employees.
In addition, there are also proposals to extend portable
LSL to the community services sector in the ACT and Unions NSW proposes that a portable LSL scheme
Victoria. be introduced for all workers. There are a number of
existing schemes that could be investigated as a model
The question is: should LSL be extended beyond the
for such a scheme. A portable LSL scheme for all
permanent employee (and the few exceptions noted
workers would have the added benefit of unifying the
above) to give all workers respite from the world of
LSL entitlement across jurisdictions, with employers
being able to retain better entitlements where they exist.
• Unions NSW believes it should and that a
portable LSL scheme should be introduced for Industry Schemes
all workers. All States have introduced portable LSL schemes
Such a scheme would have a number of advantages. to cover construction workers. This is because
the construction industry involves high labour
Portable LSL would remove some discrimination against turnover, sub-contracting and projects of a
those in less secure forms of employment. limited duration such that it would be rare for a
construction industry worker to accrue LSL.
Portable LSL has been recognised as legitimate in some
industries where the nature of production means that Under these schemes all workers – irrespective
long-term employment continuity is not possible. Given of whether they are employees or contractors,
permanents or casuals – accrue LSL entitlements
the prevalence of less secure forms of employment on the basis of hours worked in the industry. A
across all industries, portable LSL should be extended levy is paid by the head contractor developer of
to all workers. This would also address the fact that in a site into a trust fund managed by a tripartite
small enterprises the opportunities for progression and board. The schemes have statutory underpinnings
and are audited by State governments. On
job movement are constrained. This creates a LSL bias completion of 10 years service construction
against part-time and women workers who are more workers can take their LSL, even though they
heavily represented in small business and therefore have may have worked for a variety of employers, in a
a higher level of labour mobility in order to progress. variety of different roles, on a variety of sites.
This is a practical and effective solution to an
otherwise difficult problem.
• The need for respite is even greater in the
modern world. There are similar portable LSL schemes for NSW
mining workers and Queensland, NSW and ACT
Full-time employees are working longer hours on cleaning industry workers.
average with an increasing number of workers working
rAIL & rOAD December 2011 Page 27
Why Social Justice is Union Business
Editor’s Opinion. The following article is written by the Editor, Peter O’Connor as a contribution to the
wide ranging discussions and debates that we should be having within our union. The views expressed do
not necessarily represent the official views of the RTBU
As we approach the festive season, and many have their thoughts on relaxation, gifts, personal
indulgence and recreation, it is timely that we spend a moment of that time reflecting on issues of social
justice and how unions can continue to fight for and defend a range of humanitarian issues.
It is common in the public media and even within the forums and campaigns aimed at improving the overall
union movement, to hear tales of decline of union economic well-being of all working people, ideological
principles, or even disquiet about whether the union and cultural forums, where unions attempt to influence
should be involved in a range of social issues. The and win the hearts and minds of their members and the
narrowest, and most short-sighted view of unions and broader community.
their role in society is as protectors of specific working In Australia, the union movement has been at the
conditions and defending day to day workplace issues. forefront of some of the most important social and
This band-aid and dependency approach to union work political movements in our history. There are many
does very little to alleviate oppressive conditions of celebrated examples of the lead role of unions in
working people, and in many respects serves to reinforce environmental campaigns, women’s suffrage, or urban
that very oppression. development during the Green Ban movement, anti
While most in unions would probably agree that the role war campaigns, indigenous land rights movements,
of unions is to unite around protection and promotion of refugees and asylum seeker issues, through to economic
the needs and interests of workers, we may not always and planning, to the recent campaign to achieve a Paid
agree on the extent or scope of those interests. Parental leave scheme. None of these are daily work
Forms of trade unionism which concentrates almost complaints or conditions, but all have a massive impact
exclusively on workplace issues; or ‘populist’ unions, on and extend those conditions, and serve to secure a
or primarily ‘economic’ unions ; fail to link production suite of rights and entitlements into the future.
or workplace issues to wider social and political issues; Earlier this year the ACTU announced that Unions were
and often without necessarily engaging itself in the to form new partnership to advance economic and social
wider political arena, believing that this is best left justice for Indigenous Australians, through decent jobs
to other organizations more suited to the task. The and sustainable economic development.
political content of such unionism varies widely, but The stated objects of the RTBU, though not changing for
in each instance, what is common to these orientations some time, include broad social justice objectives:
is a compliant absorption into the industrial relations
• to improve the social and economic position of its
systems and dominant political system, which not only
institutionalize conflict, but also serve to reinforce
the division between economic and political forms • to formulate and carry into operation schemes for the
of struggle so essential to the maintenance of current industrial, social, recreational, intellectual and general
relations in production, in the community and in the state. advancement of members…and
Alternative approaches to unionism that have been • to promoting such legislative reforms as will ensure
developed around the world view unions as essential social justice to workers
voices and advocates for a wide range of social issues, Increasingly, progressive unions are putting social justice
which ultimately are aimed at improving the overall at the centre of their thinking and organising. There are
living standards and quality of life of all working people. unions in the US, for example , that employ Social Justice
Many progressive unions around the world acknowledge Organisers to promote and carry out the unions social
and actively pursue this core role of unions. justice agenda. Unions such as the Canadian British
The forums for union engagement are not limited Columbia Teachers Federation proudly identify themselves
to disputes with employers or protection of workers as ‘Social Justice Unions’, and have developed a range of
at an enterprise or industry level. The forums for resources and education tools for teachers to develop social
union engagement extend to mass social movements, justice issues in their classrooms, as well as resources for
community campaigns and alliances, electoral and developments within the union. Their member newsletter
parliamentary arenas, economic and social development is titled ‘Social Justice’
Page 28 rAIL & rOAD December 2011
Responding to conditions faced in their respective countries,
workers in countries as different as Brazil, the Philippines,
South Africa and South Korea have created what are “Better Services for a
arguably the most dynamic and powerful labor movements
in the world today. Solidly based in the production- Better State”
distribution-exchange processes of their respective societies,
the importance of these new labour movements goes beyond You will remember last year that we
the “mere” organizing of workers: these labour movements, commenced our campaign for Better (Public)
along with a range of social movements in each of these Services for NSW. We rolled out a 5 point plan
countries, are major actors in the struggle for democracy, for Better Transport and Public Services. This
human rights and social justice in each of these countries. campaign is continuing. Since the election
These developments have been under the banner of ‘social of the new NSW Government, we have seen
movement unionism’. the following amendments for Public Service
Workers and Services:
Social movement unionism is a strategy directed at
recognising, organising and mobilising all types of workers • A new NSW Public Sector Wages Policy,
and unions for engagements in different arenas of struggle. June 2011 – 2.5% wage increase (CPI, 3.6%)
This evolving form of unionism seeks to protect the rights of and the abolition of the Independent Umpire
all workers, not just the wage earners. It is “social” because – the NSW Industrial Relations Commission.
it does not deal only with economic rights and political Workers HAD the right to access an
rights that trade unions usually deal with. Rather, social independent umpire if there was a dispute.
movement unionism seeks to also address the “social costs”
of oppressive economic and political systems. It recognizes • The new Government’s proposal to strip the
the broadness of workers’ interests and the diversity and entitlements of sick and injured NSW Police
complexity of work arrangements. As such, it is geared Officers. The Minister and the Government
toward the struggle for workers’ rights in all aspects — have unilaterally introduced a Bill into the
economic, political and socio-cultural — and at all levels — parliament to rescind the Death & Disability
local, national, and global. Award from our NSW Police Officer’s.
Our union activity should be informed by these
developments and strategies, as we seek out new and better • Announcement on the closure of NSW
ways of doing our union work. There are increasingly voids Fisheries Department in Cronulla, South
and silences in the public forums where strong and informed of Sydney. Without any consultation the
advocates argue for social justice issues. There is a gaping Government has decided to close the
oppositional space in much of the political debate in this Research & Scientific Centre which has been
country (for example, the depleted Opposition in the NSW in the Sutherland Shire of Sydney since
Parliament will need to rely on the labour movement, not the 1905. There are 150 employees who work
reverse) This is the space that unions must occupy, continue there.
to participate in and constructively contribute their voices
• Electricity Privatisation - even though the
and those of their members. There are times when a union
must speak out on issues and lead and guide its members,
where there may be hesitation or reluctance among the “We have absolutely no plans to privatise
membership. It is the responsibility of unions to engage either the generators or the poles and wires”.
the issues of the community, social, economic and political (Lithgow Mercury, 29.1.2011 – Barry O’Farrell.
environment in which their members live.
A strong future exists for unions that orient themselves to 2012 will see local community based “Better
the broader needs and interests of their members, as these Services” groups established. Training will
unions build community, political and social alliances that be conducted to support and encourage
strengthen their position and devolve power throughout the RTBU members to participate in community
union membership. The union that educates and critically organizing - to ensure we maintain our public
engages its members and in turn is led by the expressions of assets, plan for the long term, back the
its members, ultimately grows and builds an active and vital workers who provide the public services,
membership, and power across the depth of its membership ensure governments govern for all and invest
and wider networks, and more democratic control and use in our services.
of union resources. When we use terms like the ‘labour
movement’, we must understand and define it better, and For more information: please contact
give it more meaning than merely a collection of trade Maryanne Stuart firstname.lastname@example.org or
unions. 9264 2511.
rAIL & rOAD December 2011 Page 29
New Safety Resource for RTBU Representatives
The union has completed a new version of its Safety Matters kit.
The Safety Matters II: A Guide for Workplace Representatives,
which has been developed with funding assistance from the
WorkCover Assist Program, provides detailed information on the
new Work Health and Safety Laws and Regulations to take effect in
The Safety Matters II comprises a print resource as well as a
CD containing a range of additional information, factsheets and
checklists. The print resource consists of five main sections dealing
with the legal requirements and duties under the Work Health and
Safety Act 2011, Rail Safety Law developments and issues, the
roles and powers of union and health and safety representatives and
systematic management of workplace health and safety.
In the first instance, the Safety Matters II will be distributed to
delegates and representatives attending the RTBU Health and
Safety Training Program, and remaining copies will be distributed
across workplaces. The full resource will also be available for download on the RTBU website at www.rtbu-nsw.asn.au
Transport Minister gets the message on rail safety,
but there’s more to be done
Thanks all the members who took requesting additional evidence on The RTBU will continue the
the time to send a message to the the proposed fatigue management campaign to ensure that the new
State Transport Minister Gladys system to satisfy herself that the new laws do not dismantle the strong
Berejiklian voicing their concerns national regulator based in Adelaide fatigue and safety protections,
about the watering down of existing would not reduce NSW rail safety negotiated by the RTBU, that are
NSW fatigue protections under the standards. currently in place in NSW.
proposed National Rail Safety laws. The Minister said she’d push for the The National Rail Safety Regulator
We had a fantastic response to new national fatigue requirements to will replace the seven existing
the campaign with more than 219 have comparable safety outcomes to state and territory authorities and
union members sending letters and the current Rail Safety Act 2008 and will have oversight of operational
Ms Berejiklian responding twice Regulations that operate in NSW. policies and process, planning
positively and personally to each The draft Rail Safety National Law and reporting, training, education,
letter. was approved by Transport and research and safety promotion. From
In her reply she acknowledged that, Infrastructure Chief Executives on 2013, Rail Safety Investigation will
while the aim of new national safety September 23 and was considered be undertaken by the Australian
regulator was to cut red tape and by state and territory ministers at a Transport Safety Board working in
improve productivity for industry, November 4 meeting. The RTBU a partnership agreement with the
this should not be done at the lobbied for a number of changes NSW accident investigator.
expense of safety. to the legislation and due to this Currently NSW is the only state that
Ms Berejiklian also said that at a lobbying and the failure of the has a confidential reporting system
meeting of Transport Ministers national regulator’s Project Office for rail workers and this will be
in May this year she moved to satisfy NSW fatigue concerns expanded into a national scheme
an amendment to a resolution a decision on fatigue has been under the new arrangements.
deferred to May 2012.
Page 30 rAIL & rOAD December 2011
Gas Bus Action Vindicated
In recent weeks bus drivers took a strong stand for workplace safety, after video footage came to light
showing a dangerous explosion on a gas-powered STA bus in July.
Because of drivers actions, STA was forced to finally
start taking the issue seriously – after months of assuring
drivers that everything was fine.
Drivers were publically vindicated when STA advised the
Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) that it had agreed
to the RTBU demands to implement the four safety
initiatives they had asked for, which is listed below
1 Specifications for an engine bay fire suppression
system for the OC 0500 LE CNG are well advanced
as is the funding provisions required to fit the fire
2 The fire suppression system going in to the OC 0500
LE CNG buses will also incorporate a fire detection 4 The bus operator’s handbook is in the process of being
warning system to alert the driver. rewritten and more detailed information about fires
3 The bus operator safety/skills maintenance training on buses and emergency shutdown procedures are
undertaken bi-annually included the emergency being included. The Network Control Centre training
shutdown requirements for gas buses in the 2009 manual is being altered to include the segment from
training. The training manual is now being updated to the bus operator’s handbook regarding gas buses and
include a segment on emergency shutdown procedures the emergency shutdown procedures. In the meantime,
for all gas buses, including the OC 0500 LE and this a safety alert will be issued to all Bus Operators and
new training regime will commence in 2012. Network Control Centre personnel.
Court imposes $137,000 in fines over Griffith shunting incident
Patrick Port Link Pty Ltd and Patrick Container Ports Patrick Container Ports, who was carrying out railway
Pty Ltd have been fined a total of $137,000 and ordered operations on behalf of Patrick Port Link, had pleaded
to pay legal costs and moiety in relation to a shunting guilty to failing to comply with Patrick Port Link’s safety
incident at the Riverina Freight Terminal in Griffith in management system under s. 23 of the Rail Safety Act
2009. 2008, and the Industrial Court imposed a penalty of
The two defendants pleaded guilty to breaches of the $47,000 plus legal costs and moiety.
Rail Safety Act 2008 in proceedings brought by the The Court found that the both defendants’ breaches
Independent Transport Safety Regulator (ITSR) in the were serious, but imposed a higher penalty on Patrick
Industrial Court of New South Wales. Port Link because as the accredited operator it “had the
The prosecutions were commenced following an incident greater responsibility to ensure safe railway operations”.
on 28 May 2009 in which four wagons were shunted past As the first case heard by the Industrial Court under
a stop block on a goods siding, with one wagon shunted the Rail Safety Act 2008, Justice Haylen noted that “it
out of the Terminal, across Wakaden Street and onto the is appropriate the attention of rail operators be drawn
front lawn of a private dwelling. to their extensive obligations under the Act and how
In his judgment, his Honour Justice Haylen said: “the well established systems may, nevertheless, fail to be
circumstances surrounding this very dangerous incident observed in practice”.
involved not only a failure to enforce existing safety ITSR Chief Executive, Len Neist said: “Since 2009,
policies as required by the Rail Safety Act but there were Patrick Port Link has implemented a number of changes
in fact defects in the safety system”. at the Riverina Freight Terminal to improve safety
Patrick Port Link, as the accredited rail transport management at the site.”
operator, pleaded guilty to breaching its general duty to “This prosecution should serve as a reminder to the rail
ensure safety under s. 8(1) of the Rail Safety Act 2008, industry as a whole about the importance of treating
and the Industrial Court imposed a penalty of $90,000 safety as a critical part of business management and
plus legal costs and moiety. leadership.”
rAIL & rOAD December 2011 Page 31
Don Williams – Life Membership
On the 27th October, 2012 retired member Donald
Williams was presented with a Life Membership
of the RTBU.
The ceremony was held at the RTBU Offices in Newcastle.
Don was an active and important member of the Union.
He was an Executive officer at both Belmont and Hamilton
Bus Depots and was the chairman at Hamilton Depot and
also relief organiser, he also held Branch and National
positions under the ATMOEA prior to amalgamation.
Don Williams being presented with his Life Membership by
Don began his career as a conductor in 17th March, 1969
Assistant Branch Secretary David Woollams
then accepted an active drivers position at Belmont Depot
4th August, 1971 then progressed to a driver at Hamilton
Depot 21st November, 1976. being privatised by the Greiner Government, to address the
local media when the ground started to shake.
He was a relief shed driver before being appointed to a shed
drivers position on 31st March, 2002. Don retired on the Don’s image was sent around the world as one of the
2nd November, 2007. biggest news story of the day.
Don will be most famously remembered as the face of the Don was always prepared to to give advice to members.
Newcastle Earthquake which occurred in 1989.
He had just came out of a stop work meeting at Hamilton We all hope you are enjoying your retirement, and
Depot (which he had chaired), about the Newcastle buses your new status as a life member of the RTBU.
Full time whistle for drivers
The train has come into its final destination for two long term City Rail employees, Ian Casey and Ian Butch Collins.
With their retirement City Rail will Lithgow ever since. Butch finished his working life on
lose just on 100 years of experience Butch started his life on the railway at Wednesday, while Ian’s time on the
with Ian Casey amassing 52 years the age of 17 years at Bathurst, also as railway finishes today.
service and Butch 47½ years. a trainee engineman. They have no plans on what they will
Both are drivers and very popular with He returned to Lithgow after 10 be doing in their retirement, but say
their workmates over the years. months and worked here until called there are few things around the house
It would be mind boggling just how up for National Service in the army in which need fixing.
many kilometres the two drivers have 1967. But you can bet when they hear or see
notched up over their careers. After completing army life in 1969 a train passing by the nostalgia of life
“We would do five or six trips to he too spent the rest of his career in on the steel highway will return.
Sydney a week and in the early days, Lithgow.
they would ask you to work 14 days Both have enjoyed their time on the
straight month after month.” railway with the two Ians agreeing the
He started as a trainee engineman as steam era was the best.
an 18 year old back in 1959 and had “The camaraderie was great among
a three year absence from Lithgow in your fellow workers.
1969 when he worked at Enfield.
“We all worked for each other and it
He returned and has been working in was like a big family,” they said.
Page 32 rAIL & rOAD December 2011
Moment in Time
Construction of Coal Stage, Port War E10 Class No 10 - Toronto
F351 Class Loco 301 - Teralba Greta Colliery 1890
J. Hayes and E10-Z20 Class Loco Trackwork near Lambtom
rAIL & rOAD December 2011 Page 33
Steve Harris Retires
On the 5th October 1968 a Rail Recruitment vehicle was at Gosford on a
recruitment drive when Steve asked his Mum and Dad if he could join the
Railways, they gave him an entrance exam there on the spot.
On the 8th November Steve went to 509 Pitt St and enrolled and was sent
to Eveleigh Workshops as a shop boy in the office, where he would deliver
paperwork to Central, Town Hall and Wynyard.
He stayed there 3 years and attended the Rail Institute doing typing amongst
other jobs which amounted to nothing.
After discussions with family and Supervisors he switched to stations, where
he did parcels, cleaning, Barrier Attendant and Call Boy work.
From 1971 to 1975 Steve worked at Gosford Station as a phone boy were he
learned Safeworking and Signal box duties.
Steve then was a Safeworking Station Assistant at Gosford, Tuggerah and
Honeysuckle Dockyards at Newcastle and then progressed to a 5th Grade
Signaller at Valley Heights.
Steve started at Valley Heights 12th September 1975 at the Loco Depot where
he repaired Wagons and the now defunct 46 Class Engines. The School trains
and 10 car Chips service were stabled there overnight. Valley Heights Signal
Box had some 45 Levers back in those days.
Steve worked with Drivers, Guards, Shunters, Fitters and Electricians SM’s,
ASM’s, Perway during his 22 years at Valley Heights Loco Depot until it
closed down in 1988 followed by the Signal Box in 1995.
He was then posted as a Signaller at Springwood were he was introduced to
the world of Computer Signalling, going from Levers to a Push Button Panel
was a completely new experience.
He stayed at Spingwood for 16 years before finally deciding to retire after 43
years Service as a Railway employee and a Union member.
We would like to thank Steve for all his faithful years on the job, and wish him
Steve Harris being presented with his
and his family a long and happy retirement. RTBU plaque by Dan Leece, Loco rep,
Vale Ed Sullivan
Ed Sullivan was very active in his trade union - the Australian Federated Union of Locomotive Enginemen
(AFULE). Ed served as Branch Secretary of the AFULE for a 17 year period from the mid 1960’s to the early
1980’s, representing the Locomotive Crews based at Werris Creek. During this time Ed’s tenacity, his oratory skills
and (some would say) stubbornness allowed him to achieve a level of representation that won him the respect of
both his workmates and managers alike. Many an Engineman facing disciplinary action, or worse, was grateful that
Ed’s representation on their behalf often resulted in a far more equitable outcome. During that time Ed also served
as a Divisional Councillor on the AFULE’s peak governing body, representing all of the depots in North Western
NSW. Such was the esteem that Ed was held in by his workmates, and the level of gratitude for the work that he
had done in representing them over such a long period of time, a request was made to the AFULE to bestow Life
Membership on Ed at the end of his tenure. This was granted and this privilege, which is normally only bestowed
upon a member’s retirement from the industry and trade union, was awarded to Ed whilst he was still working as
a Locomotive Driver - a very rare honour indeed. Prior to retirement in the mid 1990’s, Ed once again stepped up
to the plate on behalf of his union and the men at Werris Creek, and represented them as their Branch Secretary
- a fitting end to a long and proud career as an Engineman and a Trade Unionist. On behalf of the Locomotive
Division a wreath was sent to Ed’s Funeral and our Condolences passed onto Ed’s Wife Merle and Family.
Current Werris Creek Divisional Vice President and CountryLink Driver Bob Proctor stated “I always had the
utmost respect for Ed’s work as a trade unionist and am so glad for the work that Ed and his generation did for
those of us that came after”.
Page 34 rAIL & rOAD December 2011
Another Century Gone from Enfield
On 15 October more than 150 workmates, family and friends turned out to Carlingford Bowling Club to
see off former DELEC / Enfield ‘lifers’ Allan Belgrove (46 years); Mamerto (Mick) Bolonia (35 years); and
Bernie Linklater (27 years) – a combined industry experience of almost a century.
As with any Enfield function, there grades before becoming a qualified He remained at Delec till it closed and
are tales that cannot reproduced in Loco driver. He remained at Delec till it then was moved to Enfield Yard.
print. Suffice it to say that a good time closed and then was moved to Enfield He made his retirement on the 1
was had by all as they reminisced and Yard. October 2011.
shared a yarn and a laugh. The guys He was going to make his retirement On his retirement – he is planning a trip
also reflect a diversity on the job. last year but due to the GFC he delayed to Philippines, Hong Kong and China.
Allan Belgrove – started at Goulburn it to March 2011
After that trip he will be home for
in 1965 as shop boy. On his retirement – his first idea was to around 6 months before jet setting off
He was then a fireman at Goulburn have a nice holiday and so he thought to Europe and the Middle East.
before transferring to Delec as an acting Africa would be ideal
So of the things that he will be doing
driver in 1971. He was appointed driver Now that he has returned home he is on his retirement include fishing and
in 1978 at Delec and transferred back to trying to keep fit with cycling, going to gardening.
Goulburn. He stayed in Goulburn until the gym and keeping the veggie garden
he transferred to Newcastle InterCity He loves being a Grandparent and now
in abundant produce.
in 1994. He said the reason he moved has plenty of time to look after his
He also likes to pack the car up and go 2 grandkids without worrying about
North was because he woke up one
camping. There is nothing better than going to work.
morning and his fire had gone out and
setting up a tent in the National Park
it was -8 degrees and he decided there He is still adapting to the normal
camping under the stars.
must be a warmer place and found lifestyle, but is happy to have a normal
Newcastle Intercity. Mamerto (Mick) Bolonia – started his family life with his family.
career as a trainee engineman at Delec
He retired from there in 2011 which We all wish Allan, Mamerto and
on March 16 1976. He made his way
was 46 years in the industry. Over his Bernie all the very best for a long and
up through the grades before becoming
time he drove all forms of traction and enjoyable retirement.
a qualified Loco driver
was good for all roads.
He will miss the camaraderie of his
workmates and is looking forward to
taking it easy.
Allen will be travelling around
Australia in a van with his wife for a 6
He thanked the loco division for the
recognition plaque and pointed out he
only got a certificate from RailCorp.
Bernie Linklater – started working on
the buses in January 1985 at Waverly
Bus Depot. He then decided to change
his career and become a trainee
engineman at Delec in July 1990 From left to right - Mamerto (Mick) Bolonia 35 years membership,
He made his way up through the Kevin Pryor – RTBU Freight Organiser, Allan Belgrove 46 years membership,
Bernie Linklater 27 years membership
The RTBU Executive, Officers and Staff wish all Members a
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
rAIL & rOAD December 2011 Page 35
A Good Innings - Dallass Kriss
Mr Dallas Kriss retires as a long term RTBU Branch Councillor for
Northern Operations Division.
Dallas has called time on his Railway Career, after 48 years commencing as a
Junior Station Assistant at Coopernook on the North Coast.
Dallas has decided that it’s now appropriate to spend time with his family and
friends, put his feet up and slow down.
Dallas has been the Northern Branch Councillor since 1992, representing
concerns of RTBU members from Newcastle to the Queensland Border and out
to Moree, Tamworth & Armidale.
He has been very active in the Countrylink area becoming one of the original
Passenger Service Supervisors when Countrylink was introduced.
He has been successful over many years by participating in working parties,
negotiating teams and staff reviews that have introduced better working
conditions and saved many jobs for on board services and station staff.
Dallas has given his time freely and has kept management honest in the important areas of Occupational Health &
Safety and Safe working.
On 23rd July 2011, Taree’s Manning Hotel became the venue for workmates, former workmates, friends and Family to
farewell Dallas and celebrate his career.
He was joined by long time friend and workmate Lenny Stuart with 40 years plus service also celebrating his
Northern Organiser Mick Schmitzer spoke on behalf of the RTBU, thanking Lenny for his support and Dallas, who
Mick had worked very closely with for many years, thanking him for his assistance and recognising that without RTBU
members like Dallas, a union official’s job would be impossible.
Mick wished Dallas and Lenny all the very best in their retirement and for a job well Done!!!!
Taree Farewells Six of the Best
RTBU Branch Secretary Alex backing up from earlier function held in times and happiness in their retirement,
Claassens joined in the celebrations their honour in Newcastle earlier in the and thank them for their combined
at the Taree and District Railway year. They were joined by Gary Curtis tally of 264 years of railway service, as
Retirement Club Function. He, three (48 years service), Don Ward (41 years well as loyalty to the union and their
Life Members and other assembled service) and Les Bax (with 40 years workmates.
guests, paid tribute to six long-serving service). Wayne Morris ( who has 48
railway men, all with more than 40 years of service) was unable to attend.
years of service each. As with all such functions, and the
Taree get together is an annual social
The guys (three guards and three event, there was no shortage of yarns
drivers – and they say they don’t mix !) and tales tall and true. When you put
from around the region were presented more than 100 railway people in a
with gifts by Committee Member room, and lubricate the conversation,
Lenny Smith, to commemorate their there is never a shortage of
status within the industry and the entertainment and stories of the ‘good /
union, and to wish them well in their bad old days’.
retirement. The union joins the many other
Dallas Kriss (with 48 years service) members and colleagues of the six
and Len Stuart (44 years service) were retirees, in wishing them only good
Page 36 rAIL & rOAD December 2011
Lawyers helping Rail, Tram & Bus
workers across NSW
Slater & Gordon is proud to be the preferred legal service provider for the RTBU NSW Branch,
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APPLICATION FOR MEMBERSHIP
Australian Rail, Tram and Bus
Industry Union (RTBU)
Page 38 rAIL & rOAD December 2011
ReTURN yOUR COMPleTeD FORM TO:
email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Post: RTBU level 4, 321 Pitt Street SyDNey NSW 2000
Fax: (02) 9261 1342
The RTBU Executive, Officers
and Staff wish all Members a
Christmas and a