Rail, Aviation and Transport

Rail, Aviation and Transport


Paul Lister - Monday, March 26, 2018

In results announced on Saturday, approximately 53 per cent of Sydney Trains employees voted ‘YES’ to the enterprise agreement.

The majority vote means the EBA will proceed to the Fair Work Commission for certification.

The key elements of the agreement relevant to ETU members include:

  • a total wage increase of 9 per cent, in three annual 3 per cent instalments. This breaks the 2.5 per cent cap imposed under NSW Government wages policy
  • a one-off $1,000 cash bonus
  • an extended Staff Travel Pass that includes private bus and metro networks
  • an expanded Contracting Out Clause that establishes a new Consultative Committee which will allow the ETU to vet any proposal to contract out electrical work
  • the protection of wage relativities that recognise the skills and qualifications of electrical workers
  • the establishment of a Protection Officer trial that potentially opens a new career path for ETU members
  • an improved redeployment and redundancy cap in the Deed, up from 52 to 64 weeks
  • seven days Domestic Violence Leave
  • all current conditions maintained.

Sydney Trains EBA Update - 8 March

Paul Lister - Thursday, March 08, 2018

The time has come to vote on the offer put forward by Sydney Trains.

I want to say from the outset that the ETU negotiating team has done a remarkable job to get to the position we are in. As part of the combined union negotiation committee they have been meeting constantly for months to try and extract the best possible outcomes from Sydney Trains management. The fact that the we have managed to break the Governments long held 2.5% wages cap is outstanding and will be viewed by other parts of the public sector as a great win and precedent. On top of this all of your conditions have been maintained and a number of them enhanced.

The new contracting out arrangement is a marked improvement on the previous agreement and will make it more difficult for your employer to contract work out. The redundancy provisions within the deed have been increased to sixty-four weeks for voluntary redundancies. These are on top of other improved conditions including the expanded travel pass, improved meal allowance and the classifications structure which will give us an opportunity to further increase the wages of some employees including a review of protection officers.

Overall I believe this is the best outcome that could be attained through negotiations under a hostile liberal state government.  Should members vote to reject the agreement, the ability for ETU members to take protected industrial action remains an option and the ETU is ready to support members in any future industrial campaign.

Dave McKinley


Paul Lister - Friday, March 02, 2018

Dear ETU Members.

Product Safety Australia, a division of the Commonwealth Governments Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, this week issued a product recall relating to Takata Airbags. This recall is compulsory due to significant safety risks and affects a large number of car makes and models and a small number of motor cycles.


If your employer has any of the affected vehicles in their fleet you should first contact your supervisor to find out if the mandatory recall work has been completed or to report that your vehicle is impacted by the product recall.

The ACCC has advised the following:

It is critical that owners of cars with alpha airbags installed take immediate steps to have the airbags replaced because of the significant risk of injury or death involved in using cars with these airbags. All other consumers whose vehicles are on the full recall list are urged to arrange for the replacement of Takata airbags in their vehicles as soon as possible due to the safety risks involved in the use of these vehicles.

If you have any issues arising in the workplace relating to the operation of affected vehicles please immediately contact your workplace delegate or ETU organiser.

In Unity,
Dave McKinley

Sydney Trains Members Vote to Support of Industrial Action

Paul Lister - Thursday, March 01, 2018

ETU members have overwhelmingly voted in favour of industrial action at Sydney Trains in the event that management’s proposed agreement is rejected at next week’s vote.

More than 50% of ETU members participated in the Protect Action Ballot. Up to 95% of those voting supported various forms of industrial action ranging from indefinite stoppages to work bans. This result will allow ETU members to participate in any future industrial campaign.

Over the past two weeks management has toured depots and workplaces to present its current offer. The proposal includes a number of items secured by ETU members in negotiations, including an improved contracting out clause that provides ETU members with direct representation on any future contracting out proposals. ETU action has also ensured trade relativities will be maintained within the pay structure with electrically-qualified staff recognised for our skills and training.

Voting on the proposed agreement will commence next Tuesday, 6 March. A result will be declared during the week commencing 19 March. In the event that the proposed agreement is voted down, the ETU, along with the Combined Rail Unions, is now in a position to proceed to industrial action in a campaign to further improve the offer.

Management’s current offer includes three annual pay increases of 3%, a one-off $1,000 bonus per employee and an expanded travel pass. The ETU encourages members to study the proposed agreement and vote either YES or NO, based on your considered assessment of the offer. Should you have any questions or want to discuss any element of the proposal please contact your workplace delegate or ETU Organiser Anthony O’Sullivan – 0429 429 234 / anthonyo@etunsw.com.au


Paul Lister - Thursday, February 08, 2018

Sydney Trains has tabled a ‘final’ EBA offer which will go to a postal ballot of ETU members and all rail employees from 5 March.

The ETU is consulting members for feedback on the proposed EBA. At this stage, the Combined Rail Unions, including the ETU, hold to our claim for annual pay rises of 4% per annum. While the offer below is the best presented so far in negotiations, it falls short of that benchmark.

Protected Action Ballot continues: please vote immediately

It remains very important that all ETU members vote in the current Protected Action Ballot. Members are strongly urged to vote YES to all options in that ballot. A successful ballot will ensure ETU members are able to take Protected Action, if required in the event workers reject the current EBA offer.

Summary of Sydney Trains ‘final’ offer

The key elements of the offer presented yesterday by Sydney Trains management to Combined Rail Unions include:

  • a three-year agreement with annual 3% pay rises
  • 3% from date of approval, 3% 12 months after approval and 3% 24 months after approval
  • a one-off $1,000 payment to each employee on approval of the agreement.

The offer extends Travel Passes for existing employees (including current employees with Gold Passes) to:

  • all metropolitan and outer metropolitan bus operations
  • Sydney Metro from Rouse Hill to Bankstown
  • CBD (including existing Inner West services) and SE light rail services.

Management claims that the combined value of the annual pay rises, the one-off payment and the extended Travel Pass is 4.06% per annum averaged over three years. The Combined Rail Unions are conducting independent research to test the veracity of that estimate.

The offer includes an improved Contractors Clause which establishes a separate Consultative Committee at which the ETU will be able to vet any proposed contracting out of electrical work.

Regarding the Master Roster, which affects ETU members in Fleet Maintenance, the offer provides ‘visibility of change, capped number of changes and minimum roster duration’.

Redeployment and redundancy provisions maintain 64 weeks paid redundancy, but remain in the deed outside the agreement.

There are improvements to the Facilitation Clause including access to a mediator if required.

Most existing conditions would be rolled over from the current EBA, however there are a number of other proposed changes in the new document which will be provided in full to all ETU members from mid-February.

Timeline for access to proposed EBA, voting and Roadshow

Key dates in the process from here:

  • EBA draft distributed from 12 February
  • all employees have access to that document from 23 February
  • Postal ballot opens 5 March
  • Ballot closes 20 March
  • Management Roadshow February-March.

We encourage ETU members to provide feedback on this offer via ETU organiser Anthony O’Sullivan anthonyo@etunsw.com.au 0429 429 234

In unity
Anthony O’Sullivan and Ben Lister
ETU Organisers

Combined Delegates Reject Managements Week Old Offer

Paul Lister - Monday, February 05, 2018

Last Thursday 1 February the Combined Rail Union delegates met to hear from management and consider an EBA offer, tabled on 17 January, that had already been rejected by the negotiating committee. At this meeting, more than 200 rail delegates from seven unions, including the ETU, unanimously rejected the offer, which included annual pay increases of 2.75%, a one-off $1,000 payment and an extended travel pass.

In a sign of good faith, the combined rail delegates agreed to reduce the pay claim from 6% to 4% per year and have advised management to go away and come back with an improved wages offer. The combined unions negotiating committee is meeting again today to resolve claims around domestic violence leave, redundancy deed, master roster issues and the facilitation clause.

A further EBA meeting with Sydney Trains management on Wednesday will continue to work around agreement wording.


In a further development, Sydney Trains management has blocked ETU depot meetings that were planned to commence this week. Sydney Trains management has advised the ETU that they will not facilitate paid meetings at this stage in negotiations.

As a result the ETU is considering before and after-hours depot meetings and a telephone townhall to discuss the EBA and Protected Action Ballot and to gather feedback from members.


ETU members should now be receiving their ballot papers for the Protected Action Ballot – IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT THAT ALL ETU MEMBERS TAKE THE TIME TO VOTE AND RETURN YOUR BALLOT PAPER. We are asking members to VOTE YES to all questions. This will allow ETU members to join industrial action with other union members, should it be needed, in the future. Industrial action may not be required but the threat of industrial action will increase pressure on management to improve any future offer.

We will keep members informed of any developments. Please stay tuned for details of the out-of-hours depot meetings and telephone townhall which are likely to occur over the coming week.

A reminder to ensure your contact details are up-to-date – call the office on (02) 9267 4844 to check. Any other questions, contact organiser Anthony O’Sullivan anthonyo@etunsw.com.au or 0429 429 234.

In Unity,
Anthony O’Sullivan
ETU Organiser

Rail EBA Update - Delegates to Meet

Paul Lister - Tuesday, January 30, 2018

ETU delegates will join a Combined Rail Union meeting this Thursday where management plans to present the offer first tabled during negotiations last week and which ETU members have told the union they overwhelmingly reject.

The full delegates meeting marks a crossroads after the Fair Work Commission suspended all industrial action for six weeks. The outcome of the meeting will determine the next move in negotiations.

Rail delegates from seven unions will listen to management’s offer and provide feedback on whether the offer is considered good enough to go to a vote of almost 10,000 rail employees across Sydney and NSW Trains.

Negotiations will continue right up to Thursday’s delegate meeting, with the ETU team pushing to further improve the outcome for ETU members after there was a push last week to remove higher rates of pay for electrically qualified team leaders/work group leaders. The ETU successfully argued that electrically qualified team leaders/work group leaders should continue to receive higher rates of pay.

The key elements of management’s offer are:

  • Three-year agreement with annual pay rises of 2.75% per year
  • One-off $1,000 payment on approval of EBA
  • Current Travel Pass extended for existing employees to include metro and outer metro buses and the Sydney Metro between Rouse Hill and Bankstown
  • Improved contracting out clause negotiated by the ETU means a dedicated Consultative Committee, with union representation, will vet any future proposal to contract out electrical work
  • A review of classifications relating to infrastructure team leaders/work group leaders that may result in enhanced outcomes for electrical team leaders in the future PLUS the protection of existing pay rates for electrical trade team leaders/work group leaders
  • Redundancy to remain in Deed and not part of the agreement with notice periods to change.
  • Most other conditions rolled over from current agreement.

While our delegates consider the best way forward, two other matters need the attention of all ETU rail members…

Your voting papers for the ETU’s second Protected Action Ballot will arrive soon. Please ensure you vote ‘YES’ so that ETU members have the option of taking industrial action, if required.

Meet new rail organiser Anthony O’Sullivan and other ETU leaders at Sydney Trains depot meetings between 6-15 February. Stay tuned for confirmed schedule.

A reminder to ensure your contact details are up-to-date – call the office on (02) 9267 4844 to check. Any other questions, contact organiser Anthony O’Sullivan anthonyo@etunsw.com.au 0429 429 234

In Unity,

Rail EBA Update - Fair Work Decision

Paul Lister - Thursday, January 25, 2018

The Fair Work Commission today ordered a six-week suspension on protected industrial action by rail workers seeking improved wages and conditions.

The orders mean the RTBU and Professionals Australia must lift overtime bans and cancel plans for a strike on Monday 29 January.

The decision demonstrates the unfair restrictions placed on workers and their unions under current enterprise bargaining rules.

Unions can negotiate for months and conduct a protected action ballot and yet still be prevented from taking action to protect and improve conditions.

This lack of fairness underlines why the ETU will strongly support the ACTU’s Change the Rules campaign in 2018.

Rail negotiations continued today with the ETU team prominent is pursuing the best possible outcome for our members. Progress was made towards agreement on several non-monetary issues.

The six-week ban on industrial action places the ETU’s second Protected Action Ballot firmly on the agenda. If this ballot gets up, ETU members will be able to join any future action.

For that reason, it is essential that all our rail members attend the depot meetings scheduled for February. The full schedule will be released early next week. Secondly, we need all rail members to participate in the PAB ballot for which voting papers will arrive from around 5 February.

A reminder to ensure your contact details are up-to-date – call the office on (02) 9267 4844 to check. Any other questions, contact organiser Anthony O’Sullivan anthonyo@etunsw.com.au 0429 429 234.

In Unity,

Rail EBA Negotiation Update

Paul Lister - Thursday, January 25, 2018


We resume EBA negotiations with Sydney Trains this morning. ETU organiser Anthony O’Sullivan (Ben Lister is currently on leave) and ETU President Glen Potter continue to do a great job at the bargaining table – often under trying circumstances.

We conducted an SMS poll of our rail members on Tuesday and the message came back loud and clear: most ETU members want Sydney Trains to improve its offer from the current 2.75 per cent per year. The ETU will vigorously pursue an improved offer in all meetings.

Unfortunately the Protected Action Ballot of ETU members conducted in late-December/early January did not meet the 50 per cent participation rate required to authorise industrial action. This means unfortunately we cannot support the RTBU in their current overtime ban or in Monday’s planned stoppage. But of those ETU members who did vote in the Ballot, a big majority voted ‘YES’ to all proposed actions.

We are now re-balloting all rail members with voting scheduled from early February. Please ensure we have your current contact details so you can participate. I urge you to vote ‘YES’. ETU leaders will run depot meetings to coincide with the ballot – please attend and have your say.

Stay tuned for further updates. We will inform members of any news emerging from negotiations later today.

For further information, contact organiser Anthony O’Sullivan on 0429 429 234 or anthonyo@etunsw.com.au alternatively talk to your workplace delegate. To update your details for the Ballot please contact the ETU office on 02 9267 4844.

In Unity,

ETU rail members to vote in fresh protected action ballot

Paul Lister - Wednesday, January 17, 2018

ETU members employed by Sydney Trains will decide on protected industrial action in a second ballot, likely to open in early February, 2018, subject to Fair Work approval.

This follows a poor turnout in the first Protected Action Ballot held between 8 December 2017 and 10 January 2018. The ETU was one of several rail unions that did not achieve the 50 per cent member participation required for a valid outcome under Fair Work Commission rules.

The first ballot was disrupted by Christmas, New Year and school holidays, those members who did vote gave overwhelming support for protected industrial action, if such action is required.

The ETU supports a second Protected Action Ballot to permit industrial action if Sydney Trains fails to improve its offer in long-running enterprise agreement negotiations.

The major problems with Sydney Trains current offer are:

  • an inadequate pay offer of just 2.5 per cent per year
  • a threat to destroy relativities for electrical tradespeople who lead teams or work groups in Infrastructure Works by paying the same rates to all without recognising electrical skills and qualifications
  • job security is watered down because protection against forced redundancies is not included with the enterprise agreement.

The ETU made application to Fair Work for a second ballot and orders are expected to be issued in the coming days.

To ensure this fresh ballot produces a valid outcome and reflects rail members’ intentions, ETU members are urged to:

  • immediately update contact details by phoning the ETU office on (02) 9267 4844, or emailing etunsw@etunsw.com.au A number of members did not receive voting papers for the first ballot. This is likely because contact details held by the ETU and Sydney Trains did not match.
  • attend ETU depot meetings across the network which will be held to coincide with the ballot. Stay tuned for further details
  • make sure you vote YES by returning your completed ballot paper and encourage other ETU members to do the same.

For more information, check www.etunsw.com.au and follow us on Facebook @ETUnsw or contact organiser Anthony O’Sullivan anthonyo@etunsw.com.au  0429 429 234.