NSW TrainLink Enterprise Agreement



  • Update on intensive bargaining

    We are now at the end of what’s been an intensive, two week bargaining period.

    We have made good progress and there has been a genuine focus from all sides to understand the issues to help us reach an agreement that benefits both our people and customers.

    There were some important matters raised over this period that we propose to address for our people in NSW TrainLink as a priority, including:

    • Rostering – it’s clear that we’ve got an opportunity to oversee ongoing improvement and consistent rostering and scheduling practices
    • Station staff transfer register – we will collaboratively develop an improved station staff transfer register to allow our people better mobility to different locations across NSW.
    • Improved wellbeing in areas such as enhanced provisions on parental leave, domestic violence, carers leave, the prevention of sexual harassment and improved support for breastfeeding mothers.

    Next steps

    Our next step is to report back to the Transport Secretary and work up the detail and costings of an offer so that we can move forward based on these discussions. Our aim is to be in a position to share details with you in the coming weeks.

    I want to take this opportunity to thank the CRU for their engagement throughout this process and for your time in the coming weeks as we work through some remaining items.

    Regards,

    Dale

  • Update on ‘intensive’ bargaining

    As you may know, we’re half way through meeting with the unions for two weeks on matters that are common to the proposed NSW TrainLink and Sydney Trains enterprise agreements.

    Today, our discussions included:

    • how we can improve the discipline process; and
    • continuing to make our business the best it can be so that privatisation isn't considered – best for our people, and best for our customers.

    The Deed

    We reiterated that we’re willing to talk about the contents of the Deed and move forward with discussions around what current provisions within the Deed could be retained as part of the overall enterprise agreement package.

    We confirmed that we’re not agreeing to codify the contents of the Deed into a new enterprise agreement.

    We are, however, committed to continuing to support our people through change, strengthening redeployment processes and enhancing support services for displaced employees.

    While we continue to discuss common matters of interest together, our focus remains on developing an EA that meets the unique needs of our own people and our customers throughout NSW.

    Regards,

    Dale

  • A two-week period of intensive bargaining

    As you may know, yesterday we started meeting with the unions for two weeks on matters that are common to the proposed NSW TrainLink and Sydney Trains enterprise agreements. We have been asking for an increase in the frequency of our bargaining meetings, so this is a positive step in moving towards a new EA that is tailored to the needs of our people and our business.

    Yesterday, during the lunch break, the Secretary of Transport for NSW, Rob Sharp, Sydney Trains Chief Executive Matt Longland, and I met with union organisers, and confirmed a wage increase offer of 2.5% for each year of the new agreement and in line with wages policy. The 2.5% includes 2.04% increase in salary and the super contributions which came into effect since 1 July 2021.

    The intense bargaining period comes after an enormous amount of work was done over the weekend by our leaders, the enterprise bargaining team and others to enable this to happen.

    Unfortunately, despite our commitment to bargain intensely, there are certain protected actions that remain in place and will continue to impact on our customers.

    While representatives of both Sydney Trains and NSW TrainLink will be discussing common matters of interest together, our focus will continue to be on developing an EA that meets the unique needs of our people and our customers throughout NSW.

    Regards
    Dale

  • ACE message - Industrial action has been postponed

    I'm pleased to advise that after significant engagement with the Combined Rail Unions including the Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU), they have agreed to postpone or suspend some protected industrial action which was scheduled for the next couple of weeks.

    The RTBU has also agreed to postpone the following actions until at least 7 November 2021, effective immediately:

    • Two-week ban on overtime
    • Two-week ban on the performance of foreign depot working for train crew.

    Furthermore, the following actions in Sydney Trains which would have impacted our operations have been suspended:

    • 1 hour rolling stoppages of signallers, area controllers and LICs operators planned for Monday 25 October 2021 (RTBU)
    • 1 hour rolling stoppages at the ROC and Sydenham Signal Box (ASU).
    • 48 hour ban on overtime from Monday 25 October (ASU).

    This means that, from tomorrow, Intercity and Regional services should resume normal operations.

    I want thank each and every one of you for the part you have played in continuing to serve our customers during this time and dealing with changing conditions.

    We have been bargaining, and will continue to bargain in good faith, to deliver a new enterprise agreement for our people. We will of course continue to update you on how our negotiations progress.

    Please ensure you reach out to your leader if you have any concerns or questions.

    Stay safe,

    Dale

  • ​Looking out for one another through protected industrial action

    This year has thrown us challenges with changing work and home life and we are all focused on moving forward to regaining some ‘normality’ as our communities step back into their regular routines.

    I thank each and every one of you for the part you have played in continuing to serve our customers during this time and dealing with changing conditions. You’ve shown resilience and courage and I hope you are starting to regain some of your own ‘normality’ back into your daily lives.

    Looking out for one another

    We know that protected industrial action is lawful and a part of the process of bargaining for a new enterprise agreement.

    It’s okay to have a different point of view, and as a team we are here to support each other.

    Please be patient and kind and treat your colleagues and leaders with the respect we all deserve.

    We continue to bargain in good faith and will of course continue to provide more information in the weeks ahead about what’s in the EA for you.

    Remember, our future is up to us.

    Regards,
    Dale

  • We’re bargaining in good faith

    We had our 9th meeting this week and used this to continue going through the claims the unions have presented to us.

    Bargaining in good faith means coming to each bargaining meeting fully prepared and with a genuine interest in working towards an agreement.

    An important thing to know is that the NSW Government Wages Policy we operate under means that the cost of all claims must be cost neutral. What that means is that they must be offset by ‘employee-related cost savings’ that is, trade-offs in terms of wages or conditions.

    Change and this EA

    A new EA is a really important part of NSW TrainLink’s future, but it’s really not going to change your day to day job.

    Rather, the big difference that you’ll notice if the new EA proposed by NSW TrainLink is voted for, is an increase in your pay.

    The other thing to remember is that this is not the first time we have had our own EA. Our last two EAs, since NSW TrainLink was established, have been separate agreements. This is the first time we have run bargaining separately from Sydney Trains.

    Both organisations provide transport services in NSW, but our workforces are very different. We service different customers and communities, our roles are different and we sit in different divisions of Transport.

    Our workforce deserves to be considered in its own right, to have our own voice heard.

    The right to make up your own mind

    We have been notified by the RBTU that there are plans for protected industrial action coinciding with students returning to classrooms and vaccination rates expected to reach 80% in NSW.

    We know this is also an unusual time for many people in our community as they start to venture further afield and we should all expect and plan to hear comments or criticism from our customers.

    Please respect the rights of your colleagues to make up their own mind about protected industrial action. The decision to take or not take protected industrial action is one of personal choice available to union members.

    Keeping up to date, asking a question

    Go to: www.stayinformed.com.au/nswtrainlink-ea or if you have a specific EA-related question you can:

    • email the EA Team at NSWTLEA@transport.nsw.gov.au
    • look at the Q&As
    • ask your leader who may have the answer or if it’s more complicated, can pass it to us for a response.

    Remember, our future is up to us.

  • This EA is critical to our future

    This week saw our 8th bargaining meeting, with more than 30 hours of bargaining so far.

    We had asked the union to discuss the remainder of their log of claims, but unfortunately, they weren’t ready to do so. We are currently a quarter of a way through their log.

    Whilst the unions are an important part of the bargaining process, it is our employees who ultimately vote on the EA, and the current EA is holding us back.

    Continuing the way we have is not an option anymore. That’s why we are working so hard to achieve a new EA that allows us to provide you with fairer pay and conditions and a safer, more efficient transport system.

    Protected industrial action this week

    This has been a challenging week for our people and our customers that has been handled really well by our people.

    We care about supporting you through this and know that decisions about taking action that will impact your salary are much harder for some people to make than others.

    Please be respectful of other’s decisions and circumstances and recognise the unfairness of burdening individuals or teams with actions that may impact on some far more than others.

    We are all in this together.

    Keeping up to date, asking a question

    Go to: www.stayinformed.com.au/nswtrainlink-ea or if you have a specific EA-related question you can:

    email the EA Team at NSWTLEA@transport.nsw.gov.au

    look at the Q&As

    ask your leader if you have a question about the EA or you can pass it to us for a response.


  • A message from Dale Merrick - the weeks ahead

    It’s our time to reflect, before we move on

    Every enterprise agreement negotiation creates uncertainty, and the 2021 EA also provides an opportunity to reflect on where we’ve come from and where we need to go.

    Here at NSW TrainLink we have a proud history of delivering customers safely, supporting essential workers, and keeping families and friends in touch with each other.

    Our people have every right to feel proud of this history and the work that we do. More recently, every one of us has had to adapt to changing circumstances at work and in our personal lives due to the pandemic, and we should give ourselves credit for that.

    We are more resilient as a team as a result.

    We need to be realistic as well. Our current EA is holding us back.

    When our people are not empowered to make changes to the way we serve our customers, we are not in control of our future and so our future is uncertain.

    The weeks ahead

    Protected industrial action is lawful and a part of the bargaining process, but it needs to take place within a framework of understanding and care for each other including respecting other’s views.

    Please be patient and kind and treat your colleagues and leaders with the respect we all deserve….as a team we are here to support you though this period of uncertainty.

    We will continue to provide more information in the weeks ahead about what’s in the EA for you but one thing is clear: a new EA is needed to secure our future.

    Remember, our future is up to us.

    Regards

    Dale

  • A higher base salary for station and regional on-board staff

    Our meeting was virtual again this week and it centred on the benefits we are proposing for station and regional on board staff.

    We’re excited to share more details of our EA proposal for station and regional on-board staff that we promised you after the last bargaining meeting.

    We’re hearing loud and clear that our people are proud of the work that they do and the services we provide to our customers who rely on us. But the uncertainty of recent times and COVID has been difficult and stressful for many.

    A word about our bargaining commitment

    Bargaining is about getting a better outcome for our people. Better equity and opportunity, increased stability and sustainability across our business.

    Protected industrial action is a normal part of bargaining and employees who are union members are entitled to participate in lawful industrial action when notified correctly.

    But the process is not easy. It can be difficult and stressful for our people, our leaders and our customers. It’s ok for you to form your own views and to decide whether or not you feel comfortable sharing your views with others.

    This uncertainty is temporary and is just part of the process. We are a resilient and caring business that deserves a louder voice. An Enterprise Agreement that is designed by us and for us is the best way to bridge our past and a stronger future.

    We have an opportunity to create stability for our workforce and lock in a three year period of certainty through the new NSW TrainLink EA. The benefits to station and regional on-board staff include:

    • a higher base salary
    • the opportunity to go up a pay level each year until you reach the top of the band in five years
    • rosters that support your needs and those of our customers
    • increased job opportunities
    • the same pay and condition regardless of where you are based (note there is no proposal to remove home stations).

    We’ve put together some factsheets explaining what the proposal will mean to conditions and base pay. These documents are at the links below:

    We encourage you to spend time looking through this information if it is relevant to you. There is a lot of information in the factsheets so if you have any questions please:

    Remember, our future is up to us.

  • What's in the EA proposal for station and regional on board staff

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    As you know, we made a commitment to provide you with detailed information this week about the EA proposal. We are excited to share those details that we expect you have been waiting for, but given the extra pressure that the changing COVID environment has created on our time this week, this important communication has been delayed until next week.

    In the meantime, here is a sample of what’s to come.

    Our future is up to us.

    If you have any questions please email the EA Team, visit the EA page or speak with your leader.

Page last updated: 02 December 2021, 19:09