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					                                           VOLUME 103 No. 4 December 2011


Merry Christmas &

Happy New Year

      to all of our members

Print Post Approved 25500003-01148
                                                                                       NSW BraNch
                                                                                       NSW BrANch
                                                                                       head Office
                                                                                       head Office
                                                                                       Level4, 321 Pitt Street,
                                                                                       Level 4, 321 2000
                                                                                       Sydney NSWPitt Street,
                                                                                       Sydney 92642511
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                                                                                       Bus and Tram Division
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                       RTBU Holiday Park
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               Vacancies for School Holiday Period
                 Vacancies for School Holiday Period                                   Locomotive Division
                                                                                       Locomotive Division
     The RTBU Holiday Park situated in Jervis Bay on the South Coast.
   The RTBU Holiday Park is is situated in Jervis Bay on the South Coast.              Level 4, 321 Pitt Street
                                                                                       Level 4, 321 Pitt Street
       Modern self-contained units with colour TV, microwave ovens and                 Sydney NSW 2000
          Modern self-contained units with colour TV, microwave ovens and              Sydney NSW 2000
                                                                                       Tel (02) 92643400
     accommodate families of to to 6 persons. The Holiday Park is situated a
   accomodate families of up up 6 persons. The Holiday Park is situated in in a        Tel (02) 92643400
                                                                                       Fax (02) 92647679
   National Park and Members can enjoy a holiday by the sea and relax with
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               fishing, tennis, boating, swimming oror bushwalking.                    Email
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                                                                                       Branch Executive
                                                                                       Branch Executive

                                                                                       Secretary             Alex claassens
                                                                                       Secretary             alex claassens
                                                                                       President             Tony clear
                                                                                       Assistant Secretary
                                                                                       assistant Secretary
                                                                                                             Phil Kessey
                                                                                                             David Woollams
                                                                                                             Mick Schmitzer
   Selective advertising is available RAIL & ROAD at competitive individual issue
Selective advertising is available in in RAIL & ROAD at competitive individual issue   Organisers
   rates or a discounted annual rate. design service is also available to have your
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   RAIL & ROAD is the official journal of the NSW Branch of the Rail, Tram and
RAIL & ROAD is the official journal of the NSW Branch of the Rail, Tram and            Passenger Organiser Bob Newham
                                                                                       Branch Organisers Brendan Edghill
   Bus Union and is produced as part of the union’s communication strategy             Branch Organisers Lizanne Bennett
Bus Union and is produced as part of the union’s communication strategy                                   Paul Douglas
   to inform and report on matters of interest to members.                                                   Mick cartwright
to inform and report on matters of interest to members.                                                   Bob hayden
                                                                                                             Paul Douglas
                                                                                       Lead Organisers
   All editorial and advertising inquiries should be addressed to Peter                                      Brendan Edghill
All editorial and advertising inquiries should be addressed to Peter                                      Phillip Kessey
                                                                                                             Michael Farhat
   O’Connor Telephone: (02) 9264 2511 e-mail:                                    Doug Klineberg
O’Connor Telephone: (02) 9264 2511 e-mail:                                          Doug Klineberg
                                                                                       Education Officer Lizanne Bennett
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Printing - Brightset, Banksmeadow, (02) 9316 4800 Phone 0402 032 949                   Industrial Officer    Peter O’connor
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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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Industrial News

CountryLink Drivers Dispute Training
and Assessment
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
                       BUS ExPRESS!
     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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          rAIL & rOAD December 2011                                                                                    Page 7
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Industrial Notes

Waratah Project Update                                                             Changes To The
Members will be aware that Waratah
Sets 3 and 4 are now operational
                                                                                   CSA Transfer
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
Industrial Notes

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
Industrial Notes

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
pay off.
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
General News

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.
per cent.
                                                             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%.

                                                                                                    AM AND


                                                                                        R AI

                                                                L iv
                                                                 D line

                                                                  on                                                                     UN

 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         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   

           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
Prime Minister
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 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

         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
 Members Association
 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:

    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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  responsible or liable for any advice provided to you by FSS Financial Planning.

          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
  Services Campaign
                                                               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
                                                                                  National Secretary.
                                                                                  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: or, contact Maryanne Stuart 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:
• Casual
• 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
March 2012.
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:

 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
                                                                            Get moving!
    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 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

Sydney Alliance
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.

Parliament House
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 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.
• Campaigns
  - 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 or 9264 2511.

          rAIL & rOAD December 2011                                                                         Page 25
Talking Union

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
                                        standard entitlement.
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
                                                      Sector                               Entitlement
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
                                                                   Premier stated:
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 or
unions.                                                          9264 2511.

          rAIL & rOAD December 2011                                                                      Page 29
 Safety Matters
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

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
  suppression system.
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,
                                                                                              Mount Victoria

  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
month period.
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
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Page 38                     rAIL & rOAD December 2011
          ReTURN yOUR COMPleTeD FORM TO:
email: or
    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

New Year

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