Another widespread disruption to Sydney commuter rail services is looming, just weeks after rail unions rejected the state government’s latest wage offer.
The Rail Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) pledged to step up union action in November after a welcome two-month respite from major disruptions to commuter service as the two sides failed to resolve their differences over wages and long-distance changes to the new state. fleet of trains during conciliation hearings.
RTBU issued a bulletin to members confirming that it rejected the government’s latest offer because it was “just a recycled version of previous offers.”
The union threatened to start with minor actions banning overtime, before leading to workers’ refusal to use foreign-built trains, which make up nearly three-quarters of China’s passenger rail fleet. state – by the end of this month.
The union must give railway operators 10 working days’ notice in the event of a ban on the movement of foreign-built trains and other major forms of industrial action.
A ban on foreign-built trains like Waratah and Millennium should drastically reduce the frequency of services, making a weekday schedule look like a weekend.
The RTBU, along with five other rail unions, called for a 2.53% wage increase and a $ 3,595 signing bonus in the first year at the end of last week, followed by annual increases of 3.03%. % in the next two years.
On Monday, the government offered 2.53% in the first year and 3.03% in the second, along with a $ 3,185 bonus after the deal was approved, including an offer of back wages.
The Federal Court rejected RTBU’s request for an urgent hearing to determine whether plans for rail workers to turn off Opal readers at train stations were legal and moved the case to be heard in February or March.
In response, the RTBU warned in a bulletin to members that it was clear that “the only option is to return to the well-trodden course of disruptive trade union action.”
Transport Minister David Elliott expressed concern that RTBU will take further forms of industrial action following the Federal Court ruling last week.