Employment conditions and entitlements

It's important to prepare and plan for your future and STA is here to support you to do this.

Key questions about the employee conditions and entitlements that will be in place under the new private operators (s) are outlined below so you fully understand the process. You can also refer to the full list of Transfer Arrangements for Regions 7 8 & 9.

You do not need to do anything at this stage. It's business-as-usual for us all at present. State Transit will continue to provide bus services in Regions 7, 8 and 9 until the new operator(s) takes over.

Employee Conditions

What does the move to private operator (s) for employees in Region 7, 8 and 9?

Operational Staff
All bus drivers and maintenance staff covered by awards in Regions 7, 8 and 9 will be offered employment with the new operator(s) on the same award terms and conditions, including the transfer of accrued entitlements, recognition of service and continuity of superannuation entitlements and with a two-year employment guarantee.

Operational staff who are covered by the Senior and Salaried Officers Award will also be offered employment with the new operator(s) on the same award terms and conditions, including the transfer of accrued entitlements, recognition of service and continuity of superannuation entitlements and with a two-year employment guarantee.

Non-operational Staff
Non-operational staff are not automatically guaranteed a role with the new operator(s). Non-operational Senior and Salaried Officers Award staff may have the opportunity to apply for a role with the new operator(s), but this is not guaranteed and will depend on the needs of the new operator(s).

The new operator(s) will be required to identify if they have any vacancies that are comparable to current State Transit non-operational roles. Any vacancies will be advertised through an Expression of Interest process .If you are successful in being appointed to a comparable role with the new operator(s), you will receive the same transfer arrangements as other transferring award staff. Details about the transfer arrangements can be found on this site.

What is comparable employment?

Comparable employment is where:

  • your prior service with State Transit is recognised by the new operator(s), and
  • the work you will perform for the new operator(s) is similar to the work you performed for State Transit, and
  • the terms of any Award or Enterprise Agreement that would apply to your role with the new operator(s) are substantially similar to and, overall, no less favourable than the terms of your State Transit Award, and
  • the role with the new operator(s) would not involve an unreasonable increase in your journey to work.

State Transit and TfNSW will work with non-operational staff to maximise your redeployment opportunities, both within the Transport cluster and more broadly in the NSW Public Sector as part of the Government’s Placement Strategy. We will engage with you over the coming weeks to talk about this process further.

Award conditions

Will operational employees be offered the same type of employment as we have now?

Yes. Staff who are guaranteed employment with the new operator(s) will be offered the same job at the same level and with the same status. Agreed part-time or flexible employment arrangements in place at the time of transfer will continue under the new operator. Any variation to these arrangements will be subject to the terms of the relevant Award or Enterprise Agreement in place at the time.

Will my Award conditions and accrued entitlements carry over to the new operator(s)?

Yes. Your Award conditions will carry across to the new operator(s), as will your accrued entitlements such as annual leave, sick leave, long service leave, and superannuation. Your service with State Transit will also be recognized. The Engineering and Maintenance Award was renegotiated in December 2019, while the current Bus Operations Award and the Salary and Senior Officers Award will be renegotiated by 31 December 2020. The length of the new Awards and any other changes will be approved in accordance with Wages Policy and subject to the agreement of the parties.

Will my part time or flexible employment agreement be transferred over?

Agreed part-time or flexible employment arrangements in place at the time of transfer will continue under the new operator. Any variation to these arrangements will be subject to the terms of the relevant Award or Enterprise Agreement in place at the time.

How long will Award conditions and employment be protected? Once the employment guarantee period is over, what happens?

It will continue to be business as usual with the new operator(s). You will continue in your role under the award terms and conditions in place at the time and your leave entitlements will continue to accrue in accordance with those terms and conditions. Under the two-year employment guarantee, both the transferred award conditions and your employment are protected for the two years. In addition, under the transfer of business rules of the Fair Work Act, Awards in place at the time of the transfer must stay in place until a new federal enterprise agreement is negotiated with the relevant staff and their representatives or for up to five years, whichever comes first. This means that all award conditions, including any pay increases in the Award due after the transfer date, must be recognised by the new employer.

If an enterprise agreement has not already been made and your Award is getting close to its expiry date, your union would be expected to commence negotiations for a new enterprise agreement just as it would now for a new award. If the new operator(s) decides to review particular positions or its organisational structure once the two-year employment guarantee period ends, it would need to consult with staff and unions in accordance with the relevant award consultation provisions.

Once the employment guarantee period is over what happens?

It will continue to be business as usual with the new operator(s). You will continue in your role under the award terms and conditions in place at the time and your leave entitlements will continue to accrue in accordance with those terms and conditions.

If the new operator(s) decides to review particular positions or its organisational structure once the two-year employment guarantee period ends, it would need to consult with staff and unions in accordance with the relevant award consultation provisions.

Will there be redundancies as part of the transition to the new operator(s)? What happens if I don’t want to work for the private operator(s)?

Under government regulation, you will not be eligible for a redundancy payment if:

  • you reject an offer of comparable employment with a new operator(s), or
  • you are notified of an available comparable role with an operator(s) and do not apply for it.

What will happen to my traineeship or apprenticeship under the new operator(s)?

The new operator(s) will be obliged to honour the terms of any traineeship/apprenticeship current at the time of the transfer. As the current registered training organisation (RTO) for State Transit is Transport for NSW, the new operator(s) will need to engage a new RTO.

Can you ensure current employees will not be impacted by changes to rosters? Can the new operator(s) dictate our rosters and shifts?

Any changes to working arrangements, including changes to rosters, will be made in accordance with the relevant Award or Enterprise Agreement and policies in place at the time.

Transfers, secondments and applying for other roles

Will I be able to transfer to another State Transit Region? For example, I currently work in Region 7 – can I transfer to Region 8 or 9?

Requests for transfers between regions or depots will continue to be managed in accordance with State Transit’s staffing needs and policy until further notice.

Can I apply for secondment opportunities with Transport for NSW now and then return to State Transit at the conclusion of the secondment? For example, there is a six month secondment opportunity I would like to apply for now.

If you are successful in obtaining a temporary role with TfNSW and your manager approves your release, it will be a secondment and managed in accordance with current policies and procedures. This will include a right of return to State Transit following the completion of the secondment.

If I am successful in applying for a role elsewhere within Transport for NSW, at what stage will I be released to take up the new role?

Where a State Transit employee is successful in obtaining a role in the Transport Cluster, State Transit and TfNSW will make arrangements for an appropriate release date to ensure business needs and the employee's placement are secured. This will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

Leave

What happens to my annual leave once I transfer to the new operator?

Your annual leave, sick leave and long service leave will carry over to the new operator. Your service with State Transit will also be recognised and your superannuation will carry over and continue.

Will drivers be able to access purchased leave with the new operator?

Yes. The award that covers bus drivers will transfer across to the new operator(s). As purchased leave is an award condition, it will continue to be available after transfer. The procedure covering purchased leave will also transfer and will stay in place for a minimum of six months, unless varied by agreement within that time.

If I have a lot of sick leave can I get terminated so they save on sick leave? What happens to my sick leave?

All leave entitlements including sick leave balances and the entitlement to accrue those entitlements under the award transfer across to the new operator(s). It would not be legal for an employer to terminate employment because of a particular balance of leave.

Can I cash out long service leave before the transition, and if I keep it as it is now, in the future can I claim it or will I lose it?

If you are eligible for long service leave, you will be able to cash out either all or part of your accrued long service leave at the time of transition to the new operator. If you are considering cashing out leave on transition, you should seek independent financial advice on the full tax implications. If you transfer your entitlements to the new operator(s), you will not lose them in the future. Any untaken accrued long service leave would be paid out when you leave that organisation, e.g. retire.

Applications for cashing out long service leave prior to transition to the new operator will be subject to normal State Transit policy.

I used to be a casual with State Transit then I became an ongoing employee. Is my casual service recognised in my long service leave balance?

Yes. All service with State Transit is recognised for the purposes of your long service leave entitlement.

I’m concerned about loss of conditions – currently we get 15 days’ sick leave that accumulates.

Under the employment guarantee, your award conditions at the time of transfer to the new operator(s), and your employment, are protected for two years. This means that, during those two years, your award conditions of employment cannot be varied without agreement.

In addition, under the transfer of business rules of the Fair Work Act, awards in place at the time of the transfer must stay in place for five years or until a new federal enterprise agreement is negotiated with the relevant staff and their representatives whichever comes first.

If I am on a career break during the transition will I be able to come back to the new organisation?

If you are in an operational role that will transition to the new operator(s) and will be on an approved career break when the transfer takes place, the offer of employment with the new operator(s) will remain open until the day you return to work from that leave.

What if I have already booked long service leave or annual leave?

Long service and annual leave already approved at the time of transfer will be recognised as part of the transition to the new operator(s).

Will there be a freezing of recruitment?

There will be no freeze on recruitment of bus operators and other critical frontline staff such as apprentices as we will continue to deliver services up to the transfer date.

Superannuation

Will I stay in my current superannuation scheme?

Yes. Staff will continue to be a member of their current superannuation scheme, including defined benefits superannuation schemes such as SASS (State Authorities Super Scheme).

Entitlements: Opal and Gold Pass

Opal Card

Will I be able to keep my Employee Opal Card if I am not offered employment by the new operator(s) and, if so, will I be able to use it on the new operator’s services?

You will be eligible to keep your Employee travel pass while you are employed in an award or enterprise agreement role within the Transport Service (TfNSW or Sydney Metro), Sydney Trains or NSW TrainLink and service for the Gold Pass will continue to accrue. This will include the ability to use the employee travel pass on the services of the new operator(s) over that period.

You will be able to use your Employee Opal Card on all the services it currently applies to, including Region 6, 7, 8 and 9 services, for three years following transfer to the new operator(s):

  • Sydney Trains and NSW TrainLink Intercity services
  • NSW TrainLink Regional services
  • Sydney Ferries services
  • Newcastle bus, light rail and ferry services and Regions 6, 7, 8 and 9 services.
  • Metro North West.

If I keep my employee travel pass, will service under the new operator(s) count towards eligibility for a Gold Pass?

Employee travel passes and the ability to accrue service for the Gold Pass will transfer to the new operator(s) for a period of three years. This will include the ability to use the employee travel pass on the services of the new operator(s) over that period.

Will Employee Opal Cards work after the transition period, if we are still required to work at STA to do the final wrap up?

If you are not transferring to a new operator and are required to remain with State Transit beyond the transition period you will keep your employee travel pass while you remain employed by State Transit.

Gold Pass

Will the Gold Pass be valid on all services operated by private operator(s) as well as on trains and ferries?

Gold Pass holders will be eligible to travel on the same services they can now, including the following:

  • Sydney Trains and NSW TrainLink Intercity services
  • NSW TrainLink Regional services
  • Sydney Ferries services
  • Newcastle bus, light rail and ferry services and Regions 6, 7, 8 and 9 bus services.
  • Metro North West

Are there plans to take the Gold Passes away from State Transit staff that already have them?

No there are no plans to take away the Gold Passes. Once you are entitled to hold a Gold Pass, you retain that entitlement for life. Permanent employees with 30 or more years of service are entitled to a Gold Pass for life. You will continue to be eligible for free travel on prescribed State Transit, Sydney Ferries, Sydney Trains and NSW TrainLink intercity services, as set out in the STA Employee Opal Cards and Travel Passes Procedure.


It's important to prepare and plan for your future and STA is here to support you to do this.

Key questions about the employee conditions and entitlements that will be in place under the new private operators (s) are outlined below so you fully understand the process. You can also refer to the full list of Transfer Arrangements for Regions 7 8 & 9.

You do not need to do anything at this stage. It's business-as-usual for us all at present. State Transit will continue to provide bus services in Regions 7, 8 and 9 until the new operator(s) takes over.

Employee Conditions

What does the move to private operator (s) for employees in Region 7, 8 and 9?

Operational Staff
All bus drivers and maintenance staff covered by awards in Regions 7, 8 and 9 will be offered employment with the new operator(s) on the same award terms and conditions, including the transfer of accrued entitlements, recognition of service and continuity of superannuation entitlements and with a two-year employment guarantee.

Operational staff who are covered by the Senior and Salaried Officers Award will also be offered employment with the new operator(s) on the same award terms and conditions, including the transfer of accrued entitlements, recognition of service and continuity of superannuation entitlements and with a two-year employment guarantee.

Non-operational Staff
Non-operational staff are not automatically guaranteed a role with the new operator(s). Non-operational Senior and Salaried Officers Award staff may have the opportunity to apply for a role with the new operator(s), but this is not guaranteed and will depend on the needs of the new operator(s).

The new operator(s) will be required to identify if they have any vacancies that are comparable to current State Transit non-operational roles. Any vacancies will be advertised through an Expression of Interest process .If you are successful in being appointed to a comparable role with the new operator(s), you will receive the same transfer arrangements as other transferring award staff. Details about the transfer arrangements can be found on this site.

What is comparable employment?

Comparable employment is where:

  • your prior service with State Transit is recognised by the new operator(s), and
  • the work you will perform for the new operator(s) is similar to the work you performed for State Transit, and
  • the terms of any Award or Enterprise Agreement that would apply to your role with the new operator(s) are substantially similar to and, overall, no less favourable than the terms of your State Transit Award, and
  • the role with the new operator(s) would not involve an unreasonable increase in your journey to work.

State Transit and TfNSW will work with non-operational staff to maximise your redeployment opportunities, both within the Transport cluster and more broadly in the NSW Public Sector as part of the Government’s Placement Strategy. We will engage with you over the coming weeks to talk about this process further.

Award conditions

Will operational employees be offered the same type of employment as we have now?

Yes. Staff who are guaranteed employment with the new operator(s) will be offered the same job at the same level and with the same status. Agreed part-time or flexible employment arrangements in place at the time of transfer will continue under the new operator. Any variation to these arrangements will be subject to the terms of the relevant Award or Enterprise Agreement in place at the time.

Will my Award conditions and accrued entitlements carry over to the new operator(s)?

Yes. Your Award conditions will carry across to the new operator(s), as will your accrued entitlements such as annual leave, sick leave, long service leave, and superannuation. Your service with State Transit will also be recognized. The Engineering and Maintenance Award was renegotiated in December 2019, while the current Bus Operations Award and the Salary and Senior Officers Award will be renegotiated by 31 December 2020. The length of the new Awards and any other changes will be approved in accordance with Wages Policy and subject to the agreement of the parties.

Will my part time or flexible employment agreement be transferred over?

Agreed part-time or flexible employment arrangements in place at the time of transfer will continue under the new operator. Any variation to these arrangements will be subject to the terms of the relevant Award or Enterprise Agreement in place at the time.

How long will Award conditions and employment be protected? Once the employment guarantee period is over, what happens?

It will continue to be business as usual with the new operator(s). You will continue in your role under the award terms and conditions in place at the time and your leave entitlements will continue to accrue in accordance with those terms and conditions. Under the two-year employment guarantee, both the transferred award conditions and your employment are protected for the two years. In addition, under the transfer of business rules of the Fair Work Act, Awards in place at the time of the transfer must stay in place until a new federal enterprise agreement is negotiated with the relevant staff and their representatives or for up to five years, whichever comes first. This means that all award conditions, including any pay increases in the Award due after the transfer date, must be recognised by the new employer.

If an enterprise agreement has not already been made and your Award is getting close to its expiry date, your union would be expected to commence negotiations for a new enterprise agreement just as it would now for a new award. If the new operator(s) decides to review particular positions or its organisational structure once the two-year employment guarantee period ends, it would need to consult with staff and unions in accordance with the relevant award consultation provisions.

Once the employment guarantee period is over what happens?

It will continue to be business as usual with the new operator(s). You will continue in your role under the award terms and conditions in place at the time and your leave entitlements will continue to accrue in accordance with those terms and conditions.

If the new operator(s) decides to review particular positions or its organisational structure once the two-year employment guarantee period ends, it would need to consult with staff and unions in accordance with the relevant award consultation provisions.

Will there be redundancies as part of the transition to the new operator(s)? What happens if I don’t want to work for the private operator(s)?

Under government regulation, you will not be eligible for a redundancy payment if:

  • you reject an offer of comparable employment with a new operator(s), or
  • you are notified of an available comparable role with an operator(s) and do not apply for it.

What will happen to my traineeship or apprenticeship under the new operator(s)?

The new operator(s) will be obliged to honour the terms of any traineeship/apprenticeship current at the time of the transfer. As the current registered training organisation (RTO) for State Transit is Transport for NSW, the new operator(s) will need to engage a new RTO.

Can you ensure current employees will not be impacted by changes to rosters? Can the new operator(s) dictate our rosters and shifts?

Any changes to working arrangements, including changes to rosters, will be made in accordance with the relevant Award or Enterprise Agreement and policies in place at the time.

Transfers, secondments and applying for other roles

Will I be able to transfer to another State Transit Region? For example, I currently work in Region 7 – can I transfer to Region 8 or 9?

Requests for transfers between regions or depots will continue to be managed in accordance with State Transit’s staffing needs and policy until further notice.

Can I apply for secondment opportunities with Transport for NSW now and then return to State Transit at the conclusion of the secondment? For example, there is a six month secondment opportunity I would like to apply for now.

If you are successful in obtaining a temporary role with TfNSW and your manager approves your release, it will be a secondment and managed in accordance with current policies and procedures. This will include a right of return to State Transit following the completion of the secondment.

If I am successful in applying for a role elsewhere within Transport for NSW, at what stage will I be released to take up the new role?

Where a State Transit employee is successful in obtaining a role in the Transport Cluster, State Transit and TfNSW will make arrangements for an appropriate release date to ensure business needs and the employee's placement are secured. This will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

Leave

What happens to my annual leave once I transfer to the new operator?

Your annual leave, sick leave and long service leave will carry over to the new operator. Your service with State Transit will also be recognised and your superannuation will carry over and continue.

Will drivers be able to access purchased leave with the new operator?

Yes. The award that covers bus drivers will transfer across to the new operator(s). As purchased leave is an award condition, it will continue to be available after transfer. The procedure covering purchased leave will also transfer and will stay in place for a minimum of six months, unless varied by agreement within that time.

If I have a lot of sick leave can I get terminated so they save on sick leave? What happens to my sick leave?

All leave entitlements including sick leave balances and the entitlement to accrue those entitlements under the award transfer across to the new operator(s). It would not be legal for an employer to terminate employment because of a particular balance of leave.

Can I cash out long service leave before the transition, and if I keep it as it is now, in the future can I claim it or will I lose it?

If you are eligible for long service leave, you will be able to cash out either all or part of your accrued long service leave at the time of transition to the new operator. If you are considering cashing out leave on transition, you should seek independent financial advice on the full tax implications. If you transfer your entitlements to the new operator(s), you will not lose them in the future. Any untaken accrued long service leave would be paid out when you leave that organisation, e.g. retire.

Applications for cashing out long service leave prior to transition to the new operator will be subject to normal State Transit policy.

I used to be a casual with State Transit then I became an ongoing employee. Is my casual service recognised in my long service leave balance?

Yes. All service with State Transit is recognised for the purposes of your long service leave entitlement.

I’m concerned about loss of conditions – currently we get 15 days’ sick leave that accumulates.

Under the employment guarantee, your award conditions at the time of transfer to the new operator(s), and your employment, are protected for two years. This means that, during those two years, your award conditions of employment cannot be varied without agreement.

In addition, under the transfer of business rules of the Fair Work Act, awards in place at the time of the transfer must stay in place for five years or until a new federal enterprise agreement is negotiated with the relevant staff and their representatives whichever comes first.

If I am on a career break during the transition will I be able to come back to the new organisation?

If you are in an operational role that will transition to the new operator(s) and will be on an approved career break when the transfer takes place, the offer of employment with the new operator(s) will remain open until the day you return to work from that leave.

What if I have already booked long service leave or annual leave?

Long service and annual leave already approved at the time of transfer will be recognised as part of the transition to the new operator(s).

Will there be a freezing of recruitment?

There will be no freeze on recruitment of bus operators and other critical frontline staff such as apprentices as we will continue to deliver services up to the transfer date.

Superannuation

Will I stay in my current superannuation scheme?

Yes. Staff will continue to be a member of their current superannuation scheme, including defined benefits superannuation schemes such as SASS (State Authorities Super Scheme).

Entitlements: Opal and Gold Pass

Opal Card

Will I be able to keep my Employee Opal Card if I am not offered employment by the new operator(s) and, if so, will I be able to use it on the new operator’s services?

You will be eligible to keep your Employee travel pass while you are employed in an award or enterprise agreement role within the Transport Service (TfNSW or Sydney Metro), Sydney Trains or NSW TrainLink and service for the Gold Pass will continue to accrue. This will include the ability to use the employee travel pass on the services of the new operator(s) over that period.

You will be able to use your Employee Opal Card on all the services it currently applies to, including Region 6, 7, 8 and 9 services, for three years following transfer to the new operator(s):

  • Sydney Trains and NSW TrainLink Intercity services
  • NSW TrainLink Regional services
  • Sydney Ferries services
  • Newcastle bus, light rail and ferry services and Regions 6, 7, 8 and 9 services.
  • Metro North West.

If I keep my employee travel pass, will service under the new operator(s) count towards eligibility for a Gold Pass?

Employee travel passes and the ability to accrue service for the Gold Pass will transfer to the new operator(s) for a period of three years. This will include the ability to use the employee travel pass on the services of the new operator(s) over that period.

Will Employee Opal Cards work after the transition period, if we are still required to work at STA to do the final wrap up?

If you are not transferring to a new operator and are required to remain with State Transit beyond the transition period you will keep your employee travel pass while you remain employed by State Transit.

Gold Pass

Will the Gold Pass be valid on all services operated by private operator(s) as well as on trains and ferries?

Gold Pass holders will be eligible to travel on the same services they can now, including the following:

  • Sydney Trains and NSW TrainLink Intercity services
  • NSW TrainLink Regional services
  • Sydney Ferries services
  • Newcastle bus, light rail and ferry services and Regions 6, 7, 8 and 9 bus services.
  • Metro North West

Are there plans to take the Gold Passes away from State Transit staff that already have them?

No there are no plans to take away the Gold Passes. Once you are entitled to hold a Gold Pass, you retain that entitlement for life. Permanent employees with 30 or more years of service are entitled to a Gold Pass for life. You will continue to be eligible for free travel on prescribed State Transit, Sydney Ferries, Sydney Trains and NSW TrainLink intercity services, as set out in the STA Employee Opal Cards and Travel Passes Procedure.