Yesterday Sydney Trains met with the CRU for the 4th time.
The CRU again put a request to Sydney Trains to seriously consider our claim for a single EA covering both Sydney Trains and NSW Trains employees. Sydney Trains has rejected the compromise we put forward of meeting together and negotiating 2 agreements. As a result, we are pursuing our original claim for a single enterprise agreement for both organisations.
Despite Sydney Trains’ refusal to take the opportunity to hear from us on our log of claims on many occasions, PA and the CRU have continued to negotiate in good faith, presenting our joint log of claims many weeks ago, and even amending our log and submitting it to Sydney Trains in a format that is more appropriate for their scope claim for a single agreement. Our claim for a single agreement remains!
Sydney Trains presents no position on any of CRU log claims, but costs key items
To date, Sydney Trains have refused to indicate if it can support, even in principle, a single item of the CRU claim; however, they have costed a number of items in our log at 1.6 billion dollars. We would like to see how they arrived at these numbers!
Sydney Trains’ 1.6 billion costing of claims includes anti-privatization items
Among the surprises put out by ST today, was a costing of just 3 of our log claims at 1.6 billion, our anti privatization measures alone were at $1.2 Billion dollars. This is absolutely ridiculous! The cost is only realised if Sydney Trains goes ahead and privatises the organisation. It would appear that this costing will then be placed against wages policy as an employee related cost, and therefore need to come off your pay rise.
Sydney Trains comms today confirm that the unions proposals for improvements to the EA including this 1.6 billion costing is proposed to come out of your wage rises.
The only reason your reps can identify for Sydney Trains to cost this proposal in such a way is if they actually are planning to, or seriously considering privatizing all or part of Sydney Trains, thereby triggering the clause. In any other context the costing makes no sense.
PA has requested that Sydney Trains provide these costings to the CRU so we can understand the basis for these figures.
What happened at the meeting: Gaslighting or serious proposals?
What Sydney Trains put to us at the meeting:
- They could only offer 0.3% in the first year of the agreement. The CRU again asked for the document from Government upon which this is based, and again Sydney Trains did not produce it but rather said “We’ll see what we can find!” Their response begs the question- Why do they need to find it and what are they actually relying on?
- Proposal to change the consultation provisions. The consultation provisions currently allow you and your unions to have a significant say on proposals for change. The proposed changes weaken the consultation clause and redefine when consultation is required.
- They want to change the Dispute Settlement procedures. Sydney Trains suggested that the current clause be replaced with the model clause from the Fair Work Act. This would be a huge reduction in the ability of individual employees and unions to raise disputes. Again, this reduces members’ ability to have a say;
- Change the Status Quo. The status Quo recently was ruled on in the Fair Work Commission giving unions and workers the right to pause change while a dispute is heard. Sydney Trains obviously did not like the decision and are now re-writing history as to the original meaning of the clause and also trying to get rid of it. Again, this reduces your ability to have a say on your working conditions.
- More flexibility over rosters in Engineering Maintenance Branch. Specifically raised by the 2 EMB reps was the fact that they want to roster staff more than 2 weekends a month.
In the view of PA, these proposals would all be highly offensive to members, as they undermine the framework that members and their unions have a say in rostering, safety, change proposals and disputes. These proposals ultimately weaken your current conditions and entitlements.
This appears to be a variation by stealth
Members at the meeting observed that Sydney Trains appears to be using the scope claim and our log to stall negotiations as much as possible. Their two main bargaining representatives seem to have an endless curiosity and need to understand our claims on scope and other matters, even when they would not seriously consider them. This includes monologues and getting into the minute details of how a claim would operate, when they have not indicated a willingness to accept the proposal on a broad basis.
Your bargaining reps call on Sydney Trains to stop the delays and get on with bargaining.
From the reps:
“I suppose it won’t surprise anyone that ST Engineering & Maintenance are no longer the preferred Maintainers of Choice & ‘we’ have now upskilled Private Companies so that they are now more than competitive. Apparently ‘they can do it better’.
Water down the Deed, then water down the staff.
ST want to look at ‘updating’ current rostering principle. This means being able to roster employees every weekend (at the moment can only do 2 weekends out of 4) & also look at more work being at night.”
Remember we have fortnightly lunchtime meetings on Thursdays please attend.