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VOLUME 106 No.2 June 2014

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RAILROAD THE MAGAZINE OF THE NSW BRANCH OF THE RAIL, TRAM & BUS UNION

RTBU joins May Day Marches across NSW

Print Post Approved 25500003-01148


NSW Branch NSW BraNch

Jervis Bay

Head Office Level 4, 321 Pitt Street, head Office Sydney NSW 2000

Tel (02) 321 92642511 Level4, Pitt Street, Fax (02)NSW 92611342 Sydney 2000 Email nswho@rtbu-nsw.asn.au Tel (02) 92642511 Website www.rtbuexpress.com.au Fax (02)92611342

Bus and Tram Division

Email 83-89 nswho@rtbu-nsw.asn.au Renwick Street Website www.rtbu-nsw.asn.au Redfern NSW 2016 Tel (02) 93197277 Fax (02) 93194341 Bus and Tram Division Email info@rtbu-nswbus.asn.au 83-89 renwick LocomotiveStreet Division

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The RTBU Holiday Park is a great place to escape to for a peaceful break in the The RTBU Holiday National Park is Park situated in Jervis Bay on the South Coast. and a walk along the beach. Modern self-contained with colour TV,your microwave ovens Avoid the rush and the highunits season rates - book holiday now. Theand Holiday accomodate families of up to 6 persons. The Holiday Park is situated in a Park is situated in a National Park and Members can enjoy a holiday by the National and Members can enjoyboating, a holiday by the sea relax with sea Park and relax with fishing, tennis, swimming or and bushwalking. RTBU members alsoboating, now getswimming discountedorrates at the United Services fishing,can tennis, bushwalking. Union Aquatic Resort (Motel and Caravan Park) at Port Macquarie.

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Selective advertising is available Rail competitiveindividual individualissue issue Selective advertising is available in in RAIL & & Road ROAD atatcompetitive rates or a discounted annual rate. A design service is also available to have your rates or a discounted annual rate. A design service is also available to have your advertisement professionally designed to your specifications. advertisement professionally designed to your specifications.

RAIL & ROAD is the official journal of the NSW Branch of the Rail, Tram and RAIL & ROAD is the official journal of the NSW Branch of the Rail, Tram and Bus Union and is produced as part of the union’s communication strategy Bus Union and is produced as part of the union’s communication strategy to inform and report on matters of interest to members. to inform and report on matters of interest to members. All editorial and advertising inquiries should be addressed to Peter O’Connor Telephone: 0430 188 116 e-mail: poconnor@rtbu-nsw.asn.au All editorial and advertising inquiries should be addressed to Peter Printing - Brightset, Banksmeadow, (02) 9316 4800 O’Connor Telephone: (02)- 9264 2511 e-mail: poconnor@rtbu-nsw.asn.au Art & Design - P Design proberson@hotmail.com - Phone 0402 032 949

Printing - Brightset, Banksmeadow, (02) 9316 4800 art & Design - P Design - paul@pdesign.com.au - Phone 0402 032 949

redfern NSWPitt 2016 Level 4, 321 Street Sydney Tel (02) NSW 2000 93197277 Tel (02) 92643400 Fax (02) 93194341 Fax (02) 92647679 nswbus4@bigpond.com Email nswloco@rtbu-nsw.asn.au

Newcastle Office 33 Gordon Avenue, Division Locomotive

Hamilton NSW 2303 Level 4, 321 Pitt Street Tel (02) 4961 4311 Sydney Fax (02)NSW 49612000 4779 Email newcastle@rtbu-nsw.asn.au Tel (02) 92643400

Fax (02) 92647679Office Wollongong Level 1, 306a Crown Street, Email nswloco@rtbu-nsw.asn.au Wollongong, 2500 Tel (02) 4227 5798 Email wollongong@rtbu-nsw.asn.au Newcastle Office 33 Gordon avenue Branch Executive SecretaryNSW 2303 Alex Claassens hamilton President 4311 Tony Clear Tel (02) 4961 Assistant Secretary David Woollams Fax (02) 4961 4779

Elected Full-Time Officials Branch Secretary

Wollongong Office Alex Claassens Level 1, 306aDivisional crown Street, Wollongong, 2500 Locomotive Secretary Tel (02)Hayden 4227 5798 Robert Email wollongong@rtbu-nsw.asn.au Tram and Bus Divisional Secretary Chris Preston

Branch Executive Tram and Bus Divisional President Secretary Gary Way

alex claassens

President Organisers

Phil Kessey

assistant Secretary Wollongong

Mick Schmitzer John Curley Freight Organisers Steve Wright Kevin Pryor Organisers Passenger Organiser Bob Newham Newcastle Mick Schmitzer Jessica Epps Wollongong John curley Branch Organisers Lizanne Bennett Frieght Organiser Steve Wright Helen Bellette Branch Organisers Brendan Edghill Mick Cartwright Paul Douglas Michael Farhat BobGraham haydenFozzard Doug Klineberg Lead Organisers Skye Morrison KesseyStuart Education Officer Phillip Maryanne Doug Klineberg Communications Officer Peter O’Connor Lizanne Bennett

Education Officer Maryanne Stuart Industrial Officer

Peter O’connor


From the Branch Secretary For the past few months the Combined Rail unions have been locked in to frustrating negotiations with the Rail Entities to replace the Railcorp EA 2010. This is the toughest collective bargaining campaign the NSW rail unions have run in the 20 years we have had collective bargaining in Australia’s industrial relations system. It is not made any easier by having a Coalition government in Macquarie Street and a Coalition government in Canberra. The current government’s so-called reforms to the NSW rail passenger system have been callous, resulting in over a thousand redundancies. Position descriptions have been rewritten and downgraded and previous job holders passed over in favour of people who have never set foot in the industry. People who now pretend to supervise workers in an industry they know nothing about. Crappy, cheap and uncomfortable uniforms designed to make the workers hot in summer and cold in winter. Millions of dollars have been squeezed out of maintenance and operations in order to provide the government with over a billion dollars of savings over four years. Millions of dollars spent on consultants and contractors, whose employment agencies are reaping massive windfalls from the decision to contract out rather than provide services in-house. The contempt for public transport and the people who both need it and who deliver it every day is real and disrespectful. Our collective Agreement is a statement of the minimum safety and respect we

demand and deserve. It represents the struggles and gains of generations of rail workers, not just the struggles of the past decade or so. The key questions for the union are: ‘What are the most important parts of our Log of Claims? How does our fight preserve and protect the pay and conditions in our current Agreement? What are the overriding needs and wishes of the thousands of members we represent? We don’t just make it up as we go along, the direction and claims of this campaign were established at our Delegates Conference, and endorsed by the members at many meetings. Members have received bulletins and updates within 24 hours of the negotiations, and every delegate has had conversations in the workplace and have encouraged their workmates to attend meetings and sign petitions. There is no doubt that the members are up for a fight! The question that we must turn our minds to now is how to fight for the things that are worth fighting for. In my mind, the most important fight is the fight for our rights at work. Our right to be safe at work, our right to be treated with dignity and respect. Our right to security, and decent pay and conditions. In my view, choosing to fight for the things that are really important, and understanding the difference is the mark of leadership. I also believe that our fight is also a fight to preserve and protect the industry from privatisation and contracting out. It is a

fight for the rights of the public for whom a safe, reliable, clean and affordable public transport system is one of the most basic rights in a democratic society – to enable people to travel safely to work, to school, to recreation and to visit family and friends. Everyone must do their bit, by having many conversations, pushing back against the propaganda and spin coming from a government that is already on the back foot. This campaign is being conducted by all the members, it is a combined rail unions campaign and we are all accountable to each other for our decisions and our actions. The union also continues to fight to preserve established working conditions through our dispute with Pacific National and its attempts at wholesale redundancies as it re-configures its business units. We are also standing resolute against attempts by companies such as Aurizon Qld to remove previous public sector conditions from agreements. We are also actively involved in building broader community alliances through developments such as the Local Union Community Councils, to promote and defend working conditions at a grass roots level. The RTBU is also actively campaigning around passenger and worker safety on the rail and bus networks, both through the community support for Our Transport and Keep Us Safe campaigns, following recent spates of attacks on transport workers. Go to www.ourtransport.org.au or www.rtbuexpress.com.au/safe/

In this Issue Industrial News Delegates and Members Fight for Decent Agreement. . . . . . 6 RTBU to Fight Aurizon Bid to End Bargaining Deadlock . . . . 8 Transport For NSW Award Negotiations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Industrial Notes Wollongong Members Meet to Discuss RailCorp EA . . . . . . . 9 Redundancy Dispute at Pacific National . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Same Old Rubbish with PN Port Kembla . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 STA Part Time Broken Shifts and Casuals Appeal. . . . . . . . 10 General News Arncliffe Commuters Get a Lift. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Newcastle Office Official ReOpening. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

RTBU Joins May Day Marches Across NSW. . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 What A Bastard of a Budget. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 RTBU Supports University Campaign . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Bust the Budget – Not Refugees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 RTBU General Elections 2014. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Campaign Trail RTBU Members Turn Out for City Assembly. . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Penrith Valley Community Union Campaign Launch . . . . . . 25 Safety Matters Changes to Federal Workers Compensation Will Cut Benefits. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Whistlestop. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29


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Industrial News Delegates and Members Keep Up The Fight For a Fair And Decent Agreement Combined Rail Union delegates discuss latest offer from Rail Entity bosses at Combined rail unions delegates’ meeting. At the Combined Rail Unions delegates’ meeting held on Tuesday 13 May, the Sydney and NSW Trains bosses presented the latest offer on the replacement Agreements for the RailCorp 2010 EA. A summary of the offer is set out on the next page. After making their offer, the employer representatives left, and the delegates considered their response and directed a way forward. The delegates expressed their views forcefully about the way that the government and the bosses have attacked various groups of workers, particularly over the last two years. Speaker after speaker expressed anger and dismay at the cuts to jobs and services and the overall attacks on our wages and conditions that the government has waged seemingly non-stop. NSW RTBU Secretary, Alex Claassens described it as the ‘toughest collective bargaining campaign the rail unions have run in the past 20 years’, and applauded the work and dedication of members and

delegates across the combined rail unions. “No-one here needs reminding of the absolute hash the current government has made of the NSW rail passenger system. No-one here needs reminding how callous and outrageous the so-called reforms have been.” he said “I also believe that our fight is to preserve and protect the industry from privatisation and contracting out. It is a fight for the rights of the public for whom a safe, reliable, clean and affordable public transport system is one of the most basic rights in a democratic society – to enable people to travel safely to work, to school, to recreation and to visit family and friends.” Mr Claassens said After questions and discussions finished, the following resolution was carried:1. This meeting directs negotiations with the Rail Entities continue on the 14th May and the 20th May, to achieve the CRU members’ claims, and draws particular attention to the following matters which are outstanding as a result of the latest offer from the Rail entities:( a) The term of the proposed offer of a new Agreement is unacceptable. The CRU claim remains four years from 31st March 2014

( b) The proposal to delete the terms of Clause 47 from any replacement Agreement is unacceptable 2. These views are to be conveyed to the Rail entities at the meeting to be held tomorrow 3. In the meantime, this meeting directs the CRU negotiators to seek legal advice on all aspects of the proposed Facilitation Clause 4. This CRU delegates’ meeting will be reconvened after the negotiations scheduled in the next two weeks, and no meetings of members will be held until a Report back to the CRU delegates is held in the week beginning 26th May 5. This meeting of CRU delegates endorses a broad based campaign seeking commuter and community support for the OurTransport Pledge opposing privatisation and supporting safe, reliable and decent commuter rail services, to commence immediately.

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This meeting requests the support of all members for this campaign Carried unanimously The Combined Rail Unions met with the rail bosses on the 14th May and conveyed the members’ responses on the offer. On Friday 16th May, the bosses lodged a s240 Application in Fair Work. The application was directed to seeking the assistance of the Fair Work Commission on the bargaining dispute between the unions and the rail bosses. The unions and the bosses met again on Tuesday 20th May, and again on Monday 26th May, and reported back to the commission on Tuesday 27th May. Meanwhile members are talking to the community, particularly commuters, about the need to sign up to the Our Transport Pledge for a Safe, Clean, Accessible and Affordable transport system at www.ourtransport.org.au. All RTBU representatives should sign in to ensure they get instant updates regarding current negotiations. Just log onto www.ourtransport.org.au/reps and complete your email and other requested details. You will be given your password as soon as the website has contacted the union to ensure you are eligible to join in the conversation. Sometimes this can take a couple of days, particularly over the weekend. If you have tried logging on and have not heard from the site, contact your organiser. Remember though, unless you are financial member of the union, you will not be given permission to receive your password.

Offer tabled by Rail bosses to CRU Delegates’ conference 2014 Enterprise Agreement: Rail Entities’ Offer 13 May 2014 Without Prejudice Structure of Agreements • One Agreement for NSW Trains • One Agreement for Sydney Trains, covering all other employees including cleaners • All employees, including cleaners and residual RailCorp, will have clarity about their conditions • Both Agreements to expire on 30 September 2016 Pay rises • 3% pay rise upon approval by the Fair Work Commission (the Commission) • 3% pay rise 12 months after Commission approval • 1% pay rise 24 months after Commission approval • Federal Government legislated increases to superannuation to be paid on top of the pay rises • 2.27% back pay from 1 April 2014 if agreement is finalised without industrial action Redeployment and redundancy • The removal of clause 26 (salary maintenance) and clause 47 (voluntary redundancy/management of excess employees) • Enforceable Deed of Agreement to reflect the provisions of the NSW Government Managing Excess Employees Policy with the following added: o The retention of the rail voluntary redundancy incentive payment until 30 June 2016 o Three months’ notice given before employees are declared excess and help given to find other opportunities o The call for voluntary redundancies in the first instance so that those who want to leave can leave first. This is the same as the current Expressions of Interest process o The ability for employees to job swap for VR offers, in accordance with Public Service Commission Guidelines Salary maintenance • Existing excess employees will keep salary maintenance whilst they are either redeployed or leave the business under the new arrangements • Employees who have been placed in lower level roles with salary maintenance for a specified period (e.g. 12 months) or with a letter confirming ‘red-circled’ pay rates will continue those arrangements • Employees who have been appointed to a position with a condition of salary maintenance will continue those arrangements • If an employee becomes excess after the new Agreement comes into effect, they will maintain their salary whilst they are either redeployed or leave the business under the new arrangements Combined Rail Unions’ Claims • Considered and explored ways to address to CRU’s claims • Commitment to explore employee-funded accident insurance and/or income protection insurance for journey accidents • Commitment to a trial of swab testing for prohibited substance Facilitation Clause • A facilitation clause to manage change during new Agreements • Change to the EA will only be made if a majority of affected employees vote in favour of the proposed change • If sufficient savings are made under the facilitation clause and in line with the Wages Policy, affected employees may receive up to an additional 1% pay rise

RAIL & ROAD June 2014

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RTBU to fight Qld Aurizon bid to end bargaining deadlock The RTBU says it will "vigorously defend" an application by privatised Queensland rail freight carrier Aurizon to terminate 14 expired enterprise agreements, as the company seeks to break a bargaining deadlock. RTBU National Secretary Bob Nanva says the company would have to convince the Fair Work Commission that terminating the agreements was in the public interest, raising complex legal issues about pay and conditions. "They've got to demonstrate it's in the public interest. . . not just welsh on a deal," Nanva said. "We will have a very strong and vigorous defence so they're not allowed to make a mockery of collective bargaining and a mockery of enterprise agreements." Aurizon says it has been bargaining with union representatives since April last year and has completed more than 70 days of negotiations, but

has not made meaningful progress despite "significant assistance" from the Fair Work Commission. It says negotiations had produced in-principle agreement on some clauses, but no accord on significant changes on "legacy conditions and practices", such as hours of work, rostering, removal of the no-forcedredundancy clauses or free rail travel. The company says in a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange it offered annual wage increases of 4% for three years, but the union rejected it multiple times without putting forward counter-proposals. Aurizon says the union had rejected its request in April for the Commission to arbitrate outstanding matters relating to the Queensland enterprise agreements, which nominally expired at the end of December 2013. "They were agreed almost four years ago, prior to privatisation in 2010, to

give effect to an agreement between the then Queensland Government and the unions that employees' terms and conditions would be 'protected' for three years," the company says. Aurizon says the current agreements prohibit forced redundancies and forced relocations, has more than 900 pay classification points which it wants to reduce, and has complex allowances and ancillary payments, above base wages. If the agreements are terminated, the terms and conditions of employment of the Aurizon workers will be regulated by the Rail Industry Award 2010, the National Employment Standards and workers' employment contracts. Aurizon says it will maintain a number of the current terms and conditions, such as base wages, certain allowances, superannuation, leave accruals and redundancy pay.

Transport for NSW – Award Negotiations Thursday, 22 May, we were in the NSW Industrial Relations Commission for the TfNSW Award. It has been agreed in principle that following a long and difficult negotiation, the award wage rate will be varied by 2.27% and all TfNSW members’ conditions will be rolled over. A 'no casual’s' clause will be included in the Award variation. Well done to the delegates who were having discussions in the workplace regarding the proposal to introduce this classification into the Award. There was very strong objection to the casual’s employment clause. The 2.27% excludes the Superannuation Guarantee Levy due to workers. This was due to the NSW Government’s application before the Court of Appeal, which saw in favour of the NSW Government. We have therefore, received an agreement from TfNSW that if there is a legal challenge to the 2.27% which is successful, and the High Court determines that the wage rate should be 2.5%, then this will flow on to our wage rates. This is only an “in principle agreement" and will depend on the vote and endorsement of our members to this position. Paid workplace meetings will be scheduled to seek the endorsement of members.

CALL OUT TO ALL MEMBERS WHO MAY HAVE TRANSITIONED/TRANSFERRED FROM STA & RAILCORP TO TfNSW All RTBU members in Transport for NSW should contact the Union office to notify us of your change of workplace/location? If not, please contact Maryanne Stuart on 0425 498 811 or mstuart@rtbu-nsw.asn.au We want to ensure that you are receiving all our communications applicable to you.

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Industrial Notes Wollongong Members Meet to Discuss RailCorp EA

Redundancy process forces dispute at Pacific National

RTBU members met in March in a combined information meeting conducted by RTBU officers Ian Wyllie and James Buckley. The information session was held at Wollongong Railcorp Infrastructure meal room to discuss the Railcorp EA and whether or not to change the Union position from a single EA to 2 EAs, NSW Trains & Sydney Trains, the majority voted to accept the 2 EA concept.

With all business divisions of Pacific National calling for redundancies, the RTBU is now in dispute with the company. Pacific National has shown a complete disregard for the consultation enterprise agreement processes, and as a result, the union has been left with no choice but to go down this path. At a meeting with PN senior managers recently, the company failed to provide evidence to show why these redundancies are necessary and genuine. The company provided no written information answering our concerns, which they are required to do under the extensive consultation provisions in the EA. Given that there have been Commission decisions, including one favouring the RTBU, that rule that consultation must be meaningful and, importantly, it is not enough to simply notify the union and employees of change, we must pursue this dispute. Members will be kept up to date on any new information as it comes to hand.

Get on the

Bus Express! Bus Express is constantly updated with new information from around the depots – including workplace disputes, industry updates and news about RTBU Members. Members who subscribe to the web site get a fortnightly email with links to all the latest scoops. Printed newsletters will also be distributed around depots.

www.busexpress.com.au RAIL & ROAD June 2014

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Same Old Rubbish with PN Port Kembla Management The RTBU has been negotiating with Pacific National in Port Kembla for a replacement E.A of the Intermodal Outsourced since December last year. To date we have had 13 meetings and progress has been slow. The RTBU presented it’s log of claims to the company on 13 December 2013, which included a list of clauses the members seek to change and a wage claim of 5% per year of the agreement. The company’s response to this was to launch an attack on the members current conditions. As an example here are a few things that they offered:

• Reduction in the redundancy entitlement from the current 4 weeks per year down to 2 weeks per year knowing that if Remote Control Operations come there will be up to a 20% reduction in staffing levels

• • • •

Removal of the APM on all forms of leave All forms of leave already accrued to revert back to base rates Medical certificates required for every occasion of personal/carers leave Removal of the 76hr continuous block safety net for long term personal/carers leave

The RTBU held a meeting with the members on 16 May to put the company offer of 2% and a modified rollover of the E.A. The members rejected the wage offer but agreed to reduce their claim to 4% which we took back to the company on 29 May. After much discussion, the company agreed to remove some of the above but then offered a wage increase of 2% which after more debate was raised to 2.5% along with a modified rollover of the current E.A. The RTBU informed the company that it held a meeting with the members on 5 June and tell the company what the members think of the amended offer after the meeting.

Members are advised that the appeal being heard by the full bench of the NSW Industrial Relations Commission, in relation to STA’s desire to make Part Time Broken shifts and use Casuals to cover absences in the first instance, is ongoing. The scheduled one-day appeal hearing that took place on 30 April 2014 was insufficient time to complete proceedings, and the matter has been set down to continue on 18 June 2014.

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www.locoexpress.com.au

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STA has refused to address problems with the m41 bus timetable that local drivers say means the service runs up to 60% late each and every day. The schedule and resulting systematic late running times are causing headaches for commuters, and means drivers regularly miss out on breaks or lunch. It means the m41 falls way short of providing the high-frequency, high-capacity service required by the community

STA part time broken shifts and casuals appeal

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Here comes the m41, late again

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ION

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General News Arncliffe Commuters Get a Lift! Public transport users in Sydney’s south received a lift, with news that an elevator will be installed at Arncliffe Station. The announcement of the new lift followed a concerted campaign by local community groups such as the Inner South West Community Development Organisation and the Sydney Alliance. Sydney Alliance Coalition Director Amanda Tattersall congratulated Transport Minister, Gladys Berejiklian, and Member for Rockdale, John Flowers MP, for listening to the local community. “The campaign to install lifts at

Arncliffe Station has been going on for some time, but local residents never gave up. “It’s great to see politicians listening to the concerns of local communities and taking action. As a result, many more people in the Arncliffe area will now be able to use the rail system, and enjoy a better quality of life.” Dr Tattersall said better access to public transport was a critical issue for people across Sydney. “Sydney Alliance has analysed the State Government’s own figures and found that 56 stations - or 32 per cent of the Sydney Trains network are not wheelchair accessible.

“Another 22 stations – or 13 per cent – require people in wheelchairs to ring ahead and book assistance to help them get on the train. “That means 61 stations still need to improvements like lifts and ramps. This means that a simple daily task like catching a train can become a logistical nightmare for people with mobility issues, or for parents with prams. “Today’s announcement is a positive step forward, and we look forward to hearing more similar announcements about improving the accessibility of public transport right around Sydney.”

1964 – 2014 PORT KEMBLA LOCOMOTIVE MAINTENANCE CENTRE 50TH YEAR REUNION An invitation to all of those who added to the illustrious history of the Port Kembla (NSW Government Railways, State Rail, RailCorp, FreightRail, FreightCorp, NationalRail, Pacific National, Downer EDI) Maintenance Centre, or better known as just Port Loco, to celebrate the 50th year of continuous operation and catch up with former/current workmates Where: Illawarra Leagues Club – 97-99 Church St. Wollongong NSW 2500 When: Saturday the 21st June 2014 from 13:00 to 17:00 and beyond Cost: $10:00 approx. (for hors d'oeuvre to be served during afternoon) Contact: John Aquilina 0408 291 587 – email: johnaqua2004@yahoo.com.au RSVP: John no later than Thursday 12th June 2013 Authorised by: John Aquilina Event Co-Ordinator

RAIL & ROAD June 2014

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Newcastle Office – Official Re-Opening On 31 March, RTBU members across the rail and bus networks, officials, retired members and friends of the RTBU joined NSW Opposition Leader John Robertson and Member for Wallsend, Sonia Hornery in officially opening the newly refurbished Newcastle Office. In addition to the more formal aspects of the official opening, including speeches by RTBU NSW Secretary, Alex Claassens and NSW Opposition Leader John Robertson, members and those attending enjoyed a relaxed atmosphere, and the bounty and refreshments of the RTBU BBQ. It provided the opportunity for new and older members, as well as some notable retirees, including former Branch Secretary Nick Lewocki, former Branch Assistant Secretary Mick Schmitzer, and others, to chat, share yarns, speak with the Opposition Leader and the Member for Wallsend, while taking in the changes in the Newcastle office.

Leader of the NSW Opposition, John Robertson, Member for Wallsend Sonia Hornery and RTBU NSW Branch Secretary, Alex Alex Claassens, and RTBU members at the official re-opening of Newcastle office

In his opening speech, Branch Secretary Alex Claassens gave a brief overview of the Newcastle Office, from its original start in 1955 as the Australian Tram and Motor Omnibus Association (ATMOA) office (which amalgamated with rail unions in 1993 to form the RTBU), and through some of its proud history. Mr Claassens also pointed out that the modest offices were also once shared with the Nurses Association, and had endured many trevails before getting a much needed face lift. The offices have been refurbished to allow members and delegates to comfortably use facilities, including a delegates computer room, meeting rooms, and kitchen facilities. The changes mean that the Newcastle office will meet member needs well into the future. The NSW Opposition Leader, Mr John Robertson took the opportunity to thank the RTBU for a long a strong association. The focus of the speech was to emphasise the importance of continuing our union work, and to fight for the conditions of working people. Mr Robertson proudly shared his background in the union movement, including his leadership of the Your Rights at Work campaign as the Secretary of UnionsNSW. He also highlighted the long and proud union involvement of Member for Wallsend, Sonia Hornery, as testament to the commitment to those in attendance to the values and struggles of the union movement. He urged all those in attendance to maintain those efforts and to continue the fight against unreasonable work practices and hostile governments such as the O’Farrell NSW Government, and Abbott Federal Government, who will continue to wage attacks on workers and their families.

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RTBU Joins May Day Marches across NSW The RTBU, accompanied by two vintage double decker Sydney Buses, joined thousands of unionists and community groups in this year’s May Day parade in Sydney. It is estimated that some 7,000 – 8,000 people participated in the Sydney May Day procession, gathering in Hyde Park to hear several inspirational addresses. Many thousands also attended May Day activities in regional areas around the state and across the country, in one of the most well attended May Day events in recent years. Much of the focus of the May Day activities were on attacks on workers and their families by both the NSW Liberal Government and the Federal Government, as well as workers in other countries, with unions and community groups protesting attempts at privatisation, cuts to services and attacks on public servants and other workers.

Origins of May Day Despite much common mythology about May Day being a celebration of communist countries, May Day, International Workers' Day, also known as Labor Day in some places, is a celebration of labourers and the working classes that is promoted by the international labor movement, and occurs every year on May Day, May 1, an ancient European spring holiday. May 1 was chosen as the date for International Workers' Day to commemorate the Haymarket Massacre in Chicago that occurred on May 4, 1886. The Haymarket Massacre refers to the aftermath of a bombing that took place at a labor demonstration on Tuesday May 4, 1886, at Haymarket Square in Chicago. It began as a peaceful rally in support of workers

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striking for an eight-hour day and in reaction to the killing of six workers by the police, the previous day. An unknown person threw a dynamite bomb at police as they acted to disperse the public meeting. The bomb blast and ensuing gunfire resulted in the deaths of seven police officers and at least four civilians; scores of others were wounded “Before there was a Labor Party in Australia, before there was a Communist Party anywhere… May Day was honoured as a day of rejoicing at the coming of spring, at the coming of the recognition by governments that the people of the world had rights which they were determined to observe”. Lloyd Ross, Railroad (1969)

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What a Bastard of a Budget Editorial – the views expressed in this article are those of the Editor, and do not necessarily represent the views of the RTBU. In introducing the ‘budget that we had to have’ Treasurer Joe Hockey argued that ‘we all have to now contribute’ to the cost of meeting our country’s future requirements. The argument is that we have all had it too good for too long, and it is time for all of us, that is, the young, the old, the disabled, the indigenous, the sick, job seekers, students, families, to tighten their belts and get on with building a strong Australia. The ‘Contribute and Build’ budget handed down by Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey on May 13 is, to paraphrase his words ‘the budget we had to have to deal with the budget emergency’. Most of us could probably agree with the general rhetoric and clichés in the Budget Speech preamble. That this is a budget about values, priorities, and the legacy that we leave future generations. The consensus seems to stop at the preamble. A Budget is where a government gets to make its stamp on the nation, and its decisions about how to spend tens of billions of dollars tell us much about its agenda and the type of Australia it wishes to have. Most commentators, and even the most conservative media commentators are calling this a cruel and vindictive budget, that will impact hardest on working families. This is one of the most blatently ideological budget statements in decades. This is the battle call of the Robert Menzies fan club in Abbott, Hockey and their Government co-horts. The values contained in the Government policies inflict significant hardship on the young

job seekers, the sick, students, the aged, pensioners, and on the living costs for working families. It seriously threatens a worldclass universal health care system, our standard of public education – the very basics that we do expect our taxes to be used to provide. Rail Infrastructure Taxpayer spending needs to be reprioritised, where possible, into job stimulating investment like roads and rail. (Treasurer Joe Hockey) The Abbott Government wants to be known as the ‘ Infrastructure Government’. The Federal Budget allocated $50 billion to infrastructure – roads, roads and roads. $500 million of the infrastructure budget (that is, one hundredth of the $50 billion) has been earmarked for rail freight infrastructure. There is no allocation in the budget for public transport infrastructure. A budget that has increased fuel excise, has also focused on road infrastructure as its priority.

However, probably of more significance to the priority, is the ‘con’ of the infrastructure allocations, highlighted by Shadow Transport Minister Anthony Albanese. He argues that $37 billion was already allocated in the budget, and that the $5.5 billion dollars in new projects has come at the costs of cuts to public transport projects, such as the $3billion cut from the Melbourne Metro projects, and cuts to public transport projects in Brisbane, Perth and South Australia. That is, the new roads money (excluding loans to private companies) in the Budget has come directly from cuts to public transport projects, and the increase in the fuel excise. The ACTU blasted Tony Abbott’s Budget as signalling the end of the Aussie fair go. “The Abbott Government’s assault on welfare, Medicare, education and the public sector represents the end of the fair go and the biggest attack on the social wage this country has ever seen,” ACTU President Ged Kearney said.

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“This is a savage attack on the standard of living that Australians have worked hard for,”…“The Liberal Government vision is of a harsher, less equal Australia.” Ms Kearney said Most people probably don’t remember and don’t much care for the election promises of this or that politician. We expect our politicians to lie. Running a scorecard on broken promises is best left to opposition politicians and others who monitor such details. Unions and working people need to be clear about the damage to our social values, and the harm that will be delivered to our children and grandchildren through these types of policies. Last night Joe Hockey delivered the first Budget of the Abbott Government, and the document he released has confirmed what we already suspected: that Tony Abbott and the Coalition are no friends of working people and their families. Melbourne Herald Sun, 14 May 2014 After World War II, the great Labor Prime Minister, Ben Chifley put out the welcome mat to hundreds of thousands of immigrants wanting to come to Australia. One of them was Joe Hockey’s father, Richard. He arrived in 1948 and, to this day, loves the man who let him in, Prime Minister Joseph Benedict Chifley. The budget handed down by Joseph Benedict Hockey is a far cry from any of the social reforms of his namesake. (Sunday Night, 18 August 2013)

Who Is Hurt By the Federal Budget? Some of the main people who will wear the pain of the Federal Budget are: • Young job seekers • Older Job Seekers • Anyone who becomes sick and wants to see a doctor • Anyone who needs prescription medication • Pensioners and self-funded retirees • Working families • Higher education students • Public school students • Public hospital users • Anyone who drives a car • First home buyers • Road users • Apprentices • Public transport users • New home buyers

Ben Chifley would be very troubled in his grave, firstly at the antics contained in the first budget of this Treasurer who was named after him, and moreso at the refugee, other social policies and mean-spirited values of this Government

• State Governments

As unionists we need to get past the cheap political posturing and inform the broader community of the implications and real pain contained in these policies. This is a value statement by the Government, and they are values of vindictiveness, callousness and indifference to those in our community that have the greatest needs, and the least capacity to pay to meet those needs. All working people should resist and deplore these values – they are not our values, and they do not contain any legacy that we want for our children and their children.

• People with disabilities

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• Any worker who will have to work until age 70 • People on Newstart benefits • Public services • Indigenous Australians • Local Councils • Families relying on Family Tax Benefits • Public Sector workers

The simpler question is ‘Who is Not Hurt by the Federal Budget?’

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Solidarity on May Day with Greek Steelworkers Executive Secretariat of PAME Comrades, The Australian Workers Union – Port Kembla, South Coast and Southern Highlands Branch, Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union – NSW Construction and General Division, Fire Brigade Employees Union, Finance Sector Union of Australia, Maritime Union of Australia – Sydney Branch, Rail, Tram and Bus Union – NSW Branch and the Transport Workers Union – NSW Branch would like to express our solidarity and support for the steelworkers of Greece. Against a backdrop of ruling class hatred, exploitation and oppression, the steelworkers have united in struggle to defend the interests of trade unionism in opposition to the bosses and courts who continuously seek to defend capitalist dictatorship. Workers united in struggle have defended our class interests against the Ruling Class incursion and have protected society against neoliberalism and fascism. The sacrifice of Greek steelworkers is recognised and understood throughout the world and will be added to the glorious struggles waged against the oppressors and exploiters throughout history. The inspirational efforts of imprisoned workers has only ever shown the bosses and their puppets in power and other ruling class institutions that workers united will never be defeated no matter the threats and intimidation brought against us.

Join the RTBU Retired Members Association

For more information, contact Don McKechnie on 0409 813 643 or the union office on (02) 9264 2511

The 500 Euros per month on offer is an act of class warfare and we know it will be matched by the willingness and determination of the Greek working class to achieve wage justice and dignity in their employment. We condemn completely the prison sentences handed to the strikers; a country which gaols workers is indeed a rich man’s country. The Unions in support forever stand with the exploited and oppressed, we march with you, we act in solidarity with you; we congratulate you for your steadfastness and courageous stand. Continue your struggle; we have a world to win. Always in Solidarity, Australian Workers Union – Port Kembla, South Coast and Southern Highlands Branch Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union – NSW Construction and General Division Fire Brigade Employees Union – NSW Branch Finance Sector Union of Australia Maritime Union of Australia – Sydney Branch Rail, Tram and Bus Union – NSW Branch Transport Workers Union of NSW

RTBU Express Website

www.rtbuexpress.com.au

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Budget imposes four-year freeze on super guarantee rises Budget imposes four-year freeze on super guarantee rises The Abbott Government will introduce a four-year pause on increases to the superannuation guarantee from July 1, as it seeks to "provide business with certainty" over SG rises. In releasing its 2014-15 Budget, the government said it would continue to increase the SG rate to 12 % from 9.25%, but the changes will take place over a different timeframe. Treasurer Joe Hockey said in a statement that, instead of pausing at 9.25% as previously announced, the SG rate would increase to 9.5% on July 1 this year and remain there until June 30, 2018. "It will then increase by 0.5 per cent each year until it reaches 12 per

cent in 2022-23, one year later than previously proposed," he said. "This delay will avoid the fiscal cost of the earlier increase to 9.5 per cent." "This change is necessary because the Senate has refused to pass the Government’s election commitment to defer the increase scheduled for 1 July 2014." The rescheduling will make it clear to businesses that are uncertain about whether they should pay superannuation at 9.25% (as announced) or at 9.5% (as legislated) from 1 July 2014. "By announcing this change now, business will be able to meet their superannuation guarantee obligations from 1 July 2014 in the knowledge that they will be paying at the rate set out in the law."

Industry Super Association spokesperson Matt Linden said increasing the pension age to 70 and reducing the generosity of pension indexation - to be based on CPI increases rather than wages - would significantly reduce retirement savings. "Coupled with the proposed changes in pension indexation and further pause in the Super Guarantee it will result in a 25 per cent reduction in total retirement incomes for someone aged 45 today on average earnings," he said. ACTU president Ged Kearney argued the Coalition was "making it harder for Australians to save for a decent retirement" by freezing the increase to the Superannuation Guarantee for four years as well as lifting the retirement age to 70.

MEDIA RELEASE The Abbott Trap: Commuters Forced to Drive and Forced to Pay People in outer suburban areas will be forced onto roads they can't afford to use,after the Abbott Government attacked commuters in the Federal Budget. The Rail,Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) today condemned the Federal Government's failure to invest in public transport and rail. "Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey are taking Australians for a ride," RTBU National Secretary Bob Nanva said. "It's one thing to invest in new roads, but many motorists will be reluctant to use them due to the increasing cost of fuel. "At the same time,the Government has axed funding for major

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commuter rail projects in Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. "Without any investment in transport alternatives, motorists will be stuck in a classic Catch- 22. They will be caught in the Abbott Trap - forced onto roads, and forced to pay more." Mr Nanva said the Abbott Government had also failed to invest a single cent of new money in rail freight. "All of the so-called announcements about railfreight are simply recycled budget allocations from the previous Labor Government . "What's more, in a total infrastructure budget of $50 billion,only one per cent of that is going to rail.

"Does anyone in the Federal Government actually realise that Australia's freight task is expected to double between 2010 and 2030? "How are our major export industries going to survive and prosper if they can't get access to a modern,efficient freight network? "It's clear that the self-styled 'Infrastructure Prime Minister' hasn't got a clue about the infrastructure our country desperately needs." The RTBU National Office has also released a more detailed Budget Wrap in its Transport Now, Policy Bulletin May 2014.

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To all NTEU members at the UTS Branch 21st May 2014 On behalf of the NSW Branch of the Rail Tram and Bus Union, I offer our solidarity and support, and congratulations on your strong fight back against the attacks on your wages and conditions and on your union representative, Simon Wade. The dismissal of UTS Branch President Simon Wade during collective bargaining negotiations is a disgraceful attack on all our rights at work. Your campaign for fair equitable and decent wages and conditions for your members and for recognition of the needs of disadvantaged students is both principled and timely. Your fight is strongly supported by the RTBU whose members employed in Sydney Trains and NSW Trains are also struggling against conservative government agendas of cuts, privatisation and attacks on wages and conditions. The federal budget last week, the Royal Commission into unions and now the sacking of an effective union delegate at UTS signals tough times ahead for working people everywhere.

Please let us know how we can assist you in your campaign, and once again, congratulations on your determination to fight. I am confident you will prevail.

However we are many and they are few.

In Solidarity,

I am confident that union solidarity and support will enable the fight to continue, and for working people to prevail.

Alex Claassens Branch Secretary

NSW gets third IR minister in a month as Government Unravels On 15 May, the Hon. Andrew Constance, Member for Bega became NSW's third IR minister in less than a month. Constance, who is also the State's Treasurer, took on the role after Mike Gallacher resigned. Gallacher, who had been NSW's IR Minister for less than a fortnight resigned after being named in the Independent Commission Against Corruption. Gallacher's name arose in ICAC's Operation Spicer investigation, which is looking into "allegations concerning soliciting, receiving and concealing payments". Premier Mike Baird confirmed in a media conference that he had accepted Gallacher's resignation, saying that in the circumstances he had little choice but to do so. Gallacher took on the role less than a fortnight earlier, when then IR minister and Treasurer Mike Baird became state premier, after dramatic revelations in ICAC against then incumbent Barry O'Farrell

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Bust the Budget - Not Refugees! Why the demonisation of refugees and asylum seekers is union business Just before the last federal election, in a Four Corners program that went to air on September 2nd, Liberal candidate for the seat of Penrith, Fiona Scott said the following:“ [Asylum seekers are] a hot topic here because our traffic is overcrowded. Go sit on the M4, people see 50,000 people come in by boat. That is twice the population of Glenmore Park” On the ABC program QandA aired on Monday, 19th May this year, Treasurer Jo Hockey was grilled by the residents of Western Sydney about the billions of dollars in cuts to health, education and family support that the government’s Federal government budget contained. When challenged by voter after voter about the string of broken promises that this budget represents, he said, with a visible smirk on his face. ”Well we have kept our promises… we’ve stopped the boats” The comments by both these conservative politicians tells us a lot about the way that the issue of refugees is being used to distract people from the real attacks launched by conservative forces in this country on working families. The Liberal/National government has cut billions of dollars from Health, Education, the Environment and Health and imposed a $7.00 co-payment on visits to the doctor, cut taxes on big business, and eliminated income support for young unemployed people for six months every year. Conservative forces in this country prefer that people attack people who are fleeing conflict and persecution, rather than hold the rich and powerful to account. They would prefer that we don’t talk about who benefits from the actions of the Liberal/National government in Canberra, and who are being punished. Origins of Unions4Refugees In 2013, a group of unionists disgusted with the way that refugees and asylum seekers were being dealt with by all sides of politics, got together and formed ‘Unions4Refugees’. The organisation is absolutely nonparty political, and is resolutely

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committed to the union values of solidarity and the ‘fair go’. Australian unions and the importance of the Refugee Convention Australian Unions have a proud history of international solidarity and support for people who are victims of human rights abuses. Australian unions provided material support and assistance to Indonesia’s struggle for independence in the 1940s. Australian unions took a leading role in the campaign to free Nelson Mandela and end the regime of apartheid in South Africa, and in the struggle for independence for East Timor. In 2012 the ACTU carried comprehensive resolutions supporting refugee rights, which said in part:“..Australia has an obligation to protect the human rights of all asylum seekers and refugees arriving in Australia, regardless of the manner in which they arrived and the country of origin” In February this year, UnionsNSW carried a resolution of endorsement and support on behalf of all affiliated unions for Unions for Refugees and the work it carries out. Unions such as the NSW Nurses and Midwives Association, the National Tertiary Education Union, the Maritime Union of Australia, the RTBU, the ASU and many others are actively working together to ensure that we can have civil conversations about this issue at our workplaces and in our communities. And because we are unionists, we know how to hold conversations that are informed by the fundamental union values of solidarity and the ‘fair go’. Australia was one of the first signatories to the 1951 Refugee Convention, a Convention that arose from the failure of democracies to extend asylum to refugees fleeing persecution and certain death in the 1930s from Nazi Germany. Indeed, in a shameful episode from that time, the SS St Louis sailed from Germany to the US in 1939 laden with refugees from the Nazis. The US government of the time refused entry to the boat and the refugees were turned away. Less than half the refugees

who had sought asylum on that boat survived the concentration camps to which they were sent upon return to Europe. The 1951 Refugee Convention was drafted and ratified by western democracies, including Australia, as recognition that such a situation should never be repeated. Thousands of RTBU members, past and present have parents and grandparents who have been refugees, or are themselves, refugees from persecution and strife. Union delegates in industries as diverse as cleaning, hospitality, transport, construction and health have come to this country because of persecution of trade unionists in countries across the world- from South America to Turkey, from Poland to Iran, from Mexico to Mali. Despite the strong contribution made by refuges to the growth and prosperity of Australia, over the last 36 years, (including past NSW Branch Secretary, Nick Lewocki), Australia has granted asylum to only 48,856 asylum seekers arriving by boat, just over1628 each year for the last thirty years, or just over four people a day. Australia ranks 87th in the world for our intake of refugees based on our Gross Domestic Product (wealth) It is important that the facts are part of our conversations about refugees and asylum seekers:• It is not illegal to flee persecution. • It is not illegal to claim asylum. • It is not illegal to arrive by boat. • It is not illegal to arrive by plane. • It is not illegal to arrive by car, truck, lorry or flattop! Unions4refugees wants to work with all union members who believe in the ‘Fair Go’. If you are interested in finding out more, go to www.unions4refugees.com.au and record your details, or attend the monthly meetings at Trades Hall Training Room 1 on the second Wednesday of each month.

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RTBU General Elections 2014 Members are advised that the RTBU General Elections will be held in 2014. The flow chart below summarises the steps and time periods for the elections

To be eligible to vote in the RTBU elections members need to be financial and provide their current address details. To update your details or to check on your financial status contact Membership Services at the RTBU office on (02) 9264 2511

Our Transport The RTBU has joined forces with seven other transport unions to launch the Our Transport campaign calling for a public transport system that is safe, reliable, clean and affordable. Our Transport calls for an end to slashing staff, outsourcing services, cutting security and underinvesting in the system, if NSW is to achieve a public transport system we can all be proud of. The campaign website will also house information for members on the rail enterprise agreement negotiations and the bulletins that the combined unions team put out after each meeting with management. You can check it out at www.ourtransport.org.au

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NSW wages cap includes super, Appeal Court rules The NSW Government has had a victory in its long-running battle to include compulsory superannuation increases within the 2.5% public sector pay ceiling after the State’s Court of Appeal quashed last year’s IRC ruling that the wages cap only applied to Commission-awarded increases. The State successfully argued that if it incurred employee costs in passing on the Federal Government’s superannuation increases, the Commission was required to take these costs into account when making awards. The Government argued that it had already been established that the Commission’s power to increase the pay and conditions of NSW public servants was limited to 2.5% (see Related Article) and “therefore it was necessary to take into account increased costs resulting from the superannuation legislation”. Opposition IR spokesperson Adam Searle MLC has said that the court’s decision means that NSW public servants will now receive sub-CPI pay rises and, in effect, have to “pay

their own superannuation increase”. He said with superannuation inside the cap, public sector workers will now be limited to a 2.27% pay increase in the first year, followed by 2.04% in the next two years – well below the 2.5% wage cap and the 2.9% CPI. Searle said “any other employer that sought to pay increased superannuation by cutting wages would be rightly criticised, and so should the NSW Government”. The PSA tried to argue for a broad reading of the Commission’s powers in setting wages and conditions and said that when the Government announced its wages cap, it did not foreshadow any discounts that would mean public servants received less than 2.5%. However, the Court of Appeal found that both the Commission’s full bench and now retired president Justice Roger Boland (when it was remitted to him) were mistaken in ruling that the Coalition’s wages cap policy excluded superannuation increases.

Chief Justice Tom Bathurst, President Justice Margaret Beazley and Justice John Meagher ruled that the Commission had wrongly determined that the 2.5% wage cap only applied to employee cost increases awarded by the Commission, rather than other costs such as those brought about by changes to compulsory superannuation. NSW Greens IR spokesperson David Shoebridge MLC said the decision meant that the NSW Government would now try to ensure that wage increases are limited to 2.25% so that the 0.25% super increase does not take the total increase paid to public servants over 2.5% per year. “Having budgeted for a 2.5% wage increase it will be hard for many public servants to deal with this cut in their wages,” he said. UnionsNSW and affiliated unions are currently considering whether to take on a High Court case to challenge the decision.

Australia ranked alongside Chile, Ghana, UK on workers’ rights The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has named Australia as a “country of concern” during the opening of its third congress in Berlin. At the congress the ITUC released its first global ranking of rights – a scale which ranks countries from 1 (those with the best rights) through to 5 (those with the worst). Australia gained a ranking of 3, indicating “regular violations of rights” and a regular interference in collective labour rights. The ranking places Australia alongside Ghana, the UK, Singapore and Chile.

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Denmark was the only country to achieve a perfect score of 0. The ITUC also released a poll during the conference, which found that in Australia 84% of respondents felt that ordinary citizens do not have enough influence in global decision making. The poll, which was conducted across 14 countries, found 68% think their government is doing a bad job at tackling unemployment, 78% believe the economic system favours the wealthy rather than the majority and more than half rate the economic situation in their country as bad.

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Royal Commission not about crushing unions Former High Court judge Dyson Heydon told the first sitting of the Coalition Government's royal commission into unions he is heading that its terms of reference are "not hostile to trade unions", while outlining the heavy criminal sanctions that apply to those who breach its rules. In his opening remarks to the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption in Sydney in April, Commissioner Heydon said the royal commission would inquire into "the existence of certain factual matters" to assist the government discharge its functions and "if it so decides, to introduce draft legislation for consideration by the Commonwealth Parliament". He said the investigation's terms of reference had been described as broad and in "some ways they are", but in others they were "restricted",

and rested on "certain assumptions which are not hostile to trade unions". The terms of reference did not, he said, "assume that it is desirable to abolish trade unions. They do not assume that it is desirable to curb their role to the point of insignificance". Rather, they assumed it was worth inquiring into how well and lawfully they performed that role, and whether that could be improved, and the "desirability of unions having legitimate functions within the law". "They seek to ascertain how certain factors hampering the fulfilment of those functions, if they exist, might be negated." Commissioner Heydon said the royal commission was likely to rely on oral testimony, documents and "inferences from circumstances

which testimonial statements and documents tend to establish". "The Commission is not bound by the rules of evidence which apply in civil and criminal trials. The inferences it can draw are wider than those which a civil or criminal court may be able to draw." Commissioner Heydon said his investigation could reveal a "diversity of practices" among unions, their branches and divisions and it was relevant to inquire why those differences existed. He invited unions and their officials to offer evidence to the Commission that they had no "relevant entities" and, if they had, to "offer evidence that they have structures or rules or understandings in place which prevent relevant entities causing any harm to unions or others or breaching any law, regulation or professional standard".

Randwick depot celebrates ANZAC Day with touching memorial service Transport workers and members of the community came together at Randwick depot for their annual ANZAC memorial ceremony. 2014 marks the 66th year of the memorial ceremony and march, with the Randwick Bus Depot honouring the memory of the more than a hundred bus workers who have lost their lives in Australian conflicts. The service was organised by the Randwick Depot Ex-Serviceman’s Club, with President and retired bus-worker Bill McKay presiding over the ceremony. The service was well attended with the area’s federal MP, the Hon Matt Thistlethwaite, as well as local councillors and representatives from the State Transit Authority in attendance. In their traditional style, RTBU members from the Randwick depot joined Ex-servicemen in their march to the memorial, led by the NSW Railway Band and followed by a Sydney Bus to the rear of the column.

RTBU NSW Tram & Bus Division Secretary Chris Preston laid a wreath on behalf of the union. Mr Preston said that the RTBU and the Randwick Bus Depot ExServicemen’s Club would endeavor to ensure the historic march and ceremony continues long into the future, both to preserve the Union’s long tradition as well as to honour the fallen.

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RTBU Holiday Park at Jervis Bay RTBU Members can also take advantage of the United Services Union’s Aquatic Resort at Port Macquarie The RTBU and USU have a reciprocal arrangement where members of each union can book holidays at the two locations, at member discounted rates. The USU owns the Aquatic holiday resort, in a glorious location on the Hastings River at Port Macquarie on the north coast of New South Wales. The resort consists of a Motel and a Caravan Park. Stay in comfort at the holiday resort and enjoy great discounts and great style while relaxing in what many say is the best climate in Australia. No matter what type of holiday you are after your needs are covered. Lots to do any time of the year! There are a lot of attractions in the area for you and your family – have a great game of Putt-Putt golf or try Jet boating, Parra Sailing, Waterslides, Wave Bowling & Lawn Bowls which are all within walking distance. And don’t forget the fishing!Please note – there are no tent sites at the Port Macquarie Caravan Park. You can contact the motel or caravan park by calling the Comfort Inn Aquatic Motel on 02 6583 7388 or the Aquatic Palms Caravan Park on 02 6584 9155 or check the website at www.aquaticinport.com.au You can also call the United Services Union’s Head Office on 02 9265 8211 for more information. Members must provide proof of identity plus their RTBU membership card at the time of arrival at Jervis Bay or Port Macquarie United Services Union or full rates will apply.

Located in the Booderee National Park, the RTBU Holiday Park at Jervis Bay, is just a 3 hour drive south from Sydney, but a world away… Each of the 14 self-contained units sleep up to a maximum of 6 people and rates are based on a family of 2 adults and 4 children. Other rates are available, however all units only have the capacity to sleep 6 people. Units have a double bed, two single beds and a set of double bunks. You will need to bring your own sheets as only mattress protectors, quilts and pillows are supplied. The units contain a digital television, an oven, microwave, fridge, crockery, cutlery, glassware, pots and pans as well as basic cooking utensils. Make sure you come prepared as the closest grocery shop is in Vincentia, a 30 minute drive away. The RTBU Holiday Park facilities available to all guests include a Boat Ramp, Undercover Bar-B-Q area with seating, Tennis Court and a Coin Operated Laundry. There are various swimming spots to enjoy and natural areas to explore, suitable for all the family. Kangaroos, possums, wallabies, kookaburras, bandicoots, echidnas and rosellas visit the grounds of the Holiday Park daily. Enjoy fishing for whiting, flathead and bream from the calm shores or take a quick walk to experience beach fishing for tailor and salmon on the pristine Bherwerre Beach. The boat ramp allows direct access via the Sussex Inlet Channel to St Georges Basin or outside into the famous fishing grounds of Jervis Bay. Bookings can be made by telephoning the RTBU Office on (02) 9264 2511.

Booderee National Park & Bherwerre Beach

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In the Dhurga language, Booderee means “Bay of Plenty” and the area is the home to the people of Wreck Bay. The Booderee National Park has the only Aboriginal owned Botanic Garden in Australia. The gardens are well known for providing a centre for interpreting plants used by the local aboriginal people. The Park is also home to 200 species of birds, over 30 different native mammals including 10 species of bats, 37 reptiles, 17 amphibians and at least 180 species of fish. The White-Bellied Sea Eagle is a special bird at Booderee as it is the guardian of the Koori people of Wreck Bay and features on the Booderee National Park logo. This spectacular eagle has a white head, rump and underparts, dark or slate grey back and wings. It has an awe-inspiring wingspan of up to 2.2 metres. Within the Booderee National Park you will find beautiful white sandy beaches at Green Patch, Murrays, Steamers, Caves and Bherwerre. Bherwerre is home to some of the Boderee National Parks rarer seabirds. Pods of Bottle-nose dolphins are often spotted playing in the waves at the Sussex Inlet Entrance and Humpback whales have been known to enter the protected areas close to shore.

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On the Campaign Trail RTBU Members Turn Out for City Assembly A large delegation of more than 80 RTBU members joined more than 1500 people from all over Sydney in the Sydney Town Hall on 26 March to set the people’s agenda for the next state election. The RTBU delegation was loud and proud! The 3 issues were housing affordability, transport and workstart programs for youth. Solutions were announced for all three issues. Over the next 18 months the Sydney Alliance will be campaigning on transport issues that can be committed to and achieved in the next term of the NSW Government. Each focuses on better using or upgrading the assets that currently exist. In relation to transport, the government has been asked to: • remove the Airport Rail Link access fee • improve accessibility to all station platforms • ease congestion on Parramatta Road (East) by better interchange between motor and public transport (announcement coming soon!) Comments from some members who attended: "It was a powerful event well organised & attended." "I loved the call for a transport revolution from the alliance and the community groups." "I loved the mention of shared equity in buying a home which got me really interested." The walk to Town Hall with flags and members from different RTBU work groups was good fun. The roll call was so funny and the diversity of Sydney Community was so out there. Some of the story’s were so gut wrenching participants felt a bit teary at times. A great night for people power, well run. A great feeling to think that we have like minded people across the diversity working in unity. It is clear that the kind of work and change that the Sydney Alliance is striving for aims to be both long term and sustainable. Overall an enjoyable educational and fun night out.

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RTBU Members Attend Penrith Valley Community Union Campaign Launch RTBU Members were out in force at the Penrith Valley Community Union (PVCU) launch of their campaign at Penrith RSL Club on Wednesday 30 April. PVCU is a group designed to promote a vision of the Penrith Valley region as a prosperous, progressive region, with quality infrastructure and well paid secure jobs. While current governments continue with their slicing up of public sector jobs and attack on the working class, union members and community groups are proving that they are not going to take this kind of divisive action lying down. With the formation last year of the PVCU there were numerous discussions and ideas thrown around. The end result was to conduct surveys and have proper discussions with all areas of the community and find out what the community concerns were at a grass roots level. The end result was no surprise, community concerns were established as being about wanting secure jobs, workplace rights and world class services for Penrith. Western Sydney has faced a particularly difficult period recently with job losses in both the public and private sectors. Couple this with the sustained attacks from the current state government to continue to undermine the rights of working people and intention to cut jobs for rail workers, staff ratios for nurses and the public service in general. In addition, we have the ominous budget which has the clear intention of further punishing pensioners, students, unemployed, low income workers and families. The timing is perfect for the community to bond together and remind politicians that they are answerable to the people as opposed to their mates in big business. Mark Lennon, General Secretary of Unions NSW delivered a strong message that we will be fighting all the way to protect jobs and work conditions. Members of the RTBU and their families are welcome to attend and participate with community unions. For further details of where your closest community union group contact the RTBU office or check the website for details.

RAIL & ROAD June 2014

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Safety Matters Changes to Federal Workers Compensation Will Cut Benefits to Injured Workers

On 19 March 2014 the Federal Government introduced The Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Legislation Amendment Bill 2014 into parliament. The bill makes a series of changes to the federal workers compensation scheme {Comcare) ,and creates new criterion to allow national employers to self-insure under the scheme, providing they have an office in more than one state. The announcement of the bill follows the lifting of the Comcare moratorium in December that prevented Comcare issuing new licences for employers to enter the scheme. The bill will impact workers currently in the Comcare scheme as well as those covered by state workers compensation schemes. For those inside the Comcare scheme, a number of injuries which are currently compensable will be excluded. For those outside the Comcare scheme, there will be a very low threshold for transition from State Workers Compensation and Health and Safety Schemes into Comcare. This will mean that workers will be left with virtually no common law rights to compensation and their benefits will be calculated through a scheme predominantly tailored to risks of injury that present in non-blue collar industries Occupational Health and Safety safeguards In 2011the Commonwealth Government passed laws to address major gaps in Comcare's regulatory capacity (governed by the Work Health and Safety Act) by requiring corporations entering the Comcare scheme to continue to comply with requirements of State based health and safety regulators. This was effective from 1 January 2012. The Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Legislation Amendment Bill 2014 ("the Bill") proposes to reverse this requirement.

This move will attract serious concerns, not least because Comcare has a small inspectorate and does not have adequate capacity to enforce OH&S standards nationally across a wide group of industries which it has no experience of regulating. With a small inspectorate nationally, the Comcare scheme has a significantly lower rate of proactive health and safety interventions compared to other schemes (State regulators). Comcare has historically initiated low rates of prosecutions. This is doubly concerning because this substantially no足fault scheme is not able to expose safety failures through common law or other examination processes. The Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) released with the Bill cites minor savings for major corporations as the rationale but this will come at a high price, particularly for workers in high risk industries. \The combined impact of the new 'national employer' test and 'group employer licences' potentially expose injured workers to a large scale shift out of State schemes and loss of common law rights. \In addition, proposed 'group employer' provisions mean that individual big and small companies could form a 'group' for the purposes of self-insuring under Comcare Currently, compensation for injuries caused by serious and wilful misconduct of the employee can be paid, assuming injury was not intentionally self-inflicted, if the injury resulted in death,or serious and permanent impairment. The drafters of the current legislation saw fit to exclude workers severely injured or deceased as they and their families are disadvantaged in proving their case. Source: Information Briefing prepared by Slater & Gordon Solicitors, Sydney April 2014

Page 26 RAIL & ROAD June 2014


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Page 28 RAIL & ROAD June 2014


Whistlestop Ben Nimerawi receives life membership Hi, Alex First I would like to thank you and to express my appreciation to the nice letter you have written to me following my retirement from the Rail Industry after nearly 41 years of service. I enjoyed every minute of my job on the railways and if I am given a crack at life again I would come and do it all over again. I enjoyed the work, the people and the challenges we faced on a daily basis. I also enjoyed my work for the Union over 18 years which equipped me with all the knowledge I needed to do my job in later years as a DRCM and previous managerial jobs. I was overwhelmed when I got the call to inform me that the Union have decided to grant me a life membership and for that I express my deepest gratitude to you as the Branch Secretary and to the State Council which no doubt approved the request. It meant a lot to me and would wear the badge with pride and treasure the memory of the day. I know you will be facing a hard period in the next few months trying to negotiate the best outcome under the current political conditions for the members who are at times unforgiving and lack the understanding of current situation. I thank you again and wish you and the Union the best in these hard times. Kind regards Ben Nimerawi

RAIL & ROAD June 2014

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Qld Send Off for 150 Years On-The-Job Branch Secretary Alex Claassens joined RTBU members, work colleagues, friends and family of Neil Grimley, David Leitch and Allan Goodwin in Brisbane to celebrate their long railway careers. All three have called it quits, after clocking up a combined working of 150 years.

Neil Grimley: He commenced with the PTC NSW (State Rail) 28/5/79. Commenced with National Rail 8/8/94. Union Positions Lithgow Sub-branch; Steward, Junior Vice President, Assistant Secretary, President, Secretary. NRC Brisbane Sub-branch: President, Secretary, Divisional Councillor. I'm sorry I can't give dates. I think the steward position was prior to 1984. The other positions were post 1986. My official last day with PN will be 19/10/13, a total of 34years 5 months rail service.

David “Cliffy” Leitch (TO)

Allan Goodwin:

Has a railway career spanning 42 years over 5 periods in the industry. He joined NSW railways in 1964 as a junior station assistant, worked at Nambucca Heads on the gates, then worked at Macksville - Raleigh - Cundle Cundle gates, from there he went to Kempsey for a stint before going to Sydney where he was home station Auburn then back to Kempsey before going back to Sydney to work at Concord West and Villawood. ‘Cliffy’ left the railways for a couple of years and in this time worked in a factory and then as a trainee accountant with the Tax Dept. He moved back to Glenreagh in 1974 and rejoined the railways the same year. David started as a Safe Working Station Assistant home station Grafton, during this time I worked at Greenbank - Kundabung - Eungai - Bonville Glenreagh - Wauchope and Taree North Box, and in January 1975 took up a permanent position at Tamrookum, from 1975 until 1979. David jumped at the opportunity to get back to NSW and worked at Glenreagh from 1979 until 1983 then CTC came into effect (during this time he did O/T at all stations between Grafton and Coffs Harbour, and also qualified as an assistant station master during this time. In July 1983 he took a transfer to Gunnedah as an ASM then to Baan Baan then back to Gunnedah and Tamworth Freight Centres as a Transport Officer. After this stint he worked on the relief team at the following stations - Werris Creek - Binnaway - Coonabaribran Curlewis - Boggabri - Narrabri and Moree. In December 1989 he took a redundancy package and moved to Brisbane, then joined QLD Rail 1996 as a trainee driver at Hughenden In 1999 then got a job as a shunter with Pacific National and retired in February 2014, to enjoy retirement in Sawtell. The RTBU Executive would like to extend its gratitude to Neil, David and Allan for their long careers on the job, and many decades of support for the union, and wish them long and happy years in retirement.

Allan started on the railway at Broadmeadow in June 1965 as a Trainee Engineman. Transferred to Enfield on the 4th October 1966 and was promoted to Fireman on the 6th October 1966. Transferred to Yeerongpilly 6th July 1974 Promoted to Engineman Class 3 on the 23rd December 1975. Promoted to Engineman Class 4 on the 6th April 1976. Re classified as a Driver on the 1st October 1987. Joined National Rail in Acacia Ridge in the 1st intake in 1994. Allan has always been a proud member of the Union, starting with the A.F.U.L.E in the early days.

Good

Bye Luck

Friends and Please join us workmates for farewell drinks for Geoff Farthing. gathered on 2nd May 2014 at the Aurora Hotel Surry Dedicating over 42 years to Hills Rooftop BarGeoff for farewell our organisation. has been an of drinks forintegral Geoff part Farthing. training Drivers & Guards for over a quarter of a century. His knowledge and42 expertise Dedicating over years will be missed by all he Geoff has to our organisation. worked with.

has been an integral part We’d like toDrivers wish him&every of training Guards success in all his future for over a quarter of a endeavours, so join us on century. His knowledge and 2nd May 2014 at the Aurora Hotel expertise willSurry be Hills missed by Rooftop Bar from 4pm all he has worked with. onwards. Come celebrate and We’d like to wish him every recognise the outstanding success in all his future he service and contributions has made. endeavours.

Page 30 RAIL & ROAD June 2014


Retirement Letters Rodney Kite Temora, NSW 30 / 4 / 2014 Dear Sir / Madam n driver I wish to resign from l, Cootamundra NSW, as a freight trai Having retired from Pacific Nationa rs (I started as a g and helping train crew over the yea stin assi in rts effo r you for you nk the RTBU. Tha n much appreciated. our welfare and conditions. It has bee for ting figh and 3) 197 y Ma in er trainee driv Regards Rodney Kite

Thomas Dixon, Hurstville NSW E TO RETIREMENT RESIGNATION FROM R.T.B.U DU MEMBER No: 103109 Alex, g my resignation from In relation to the above I am tenderin

the RTBU to take effect today the 14th

of

April.

ived from stance and professional help I have rece assi the for f staf ce offi d hea all k I would like to than g Klineberg, James Buckley and bership. In particular yourself, Dou mem my of rs yea the r ove U RTB the Maryanne Stuart. out the world would still be S workers and their families through Without the assistance of the UNION e salary and er horrendous conditions with very littl und job k wee a day en sev plus r hou working a 12 r conditions. very little opportunity to improve thei ld forward the rail industry information so if you cou ing cern con d rme info p kee to like reciated. I would also above address it would be greatly app the to tion ocia Ass rs mbe Me ired details of the RTBU Ret IN UNION IS STRENGTH Regards Tom Dixon

RAIL & ROAD June 2014

Page 31


Lawyers helping Rail, Tram & Bus workers across NSW Slater & Gordon is proud to be the preferred legal service provider for the RTBU NSW Branch, its members and families. We have offices throughout NSW & ACT and offer preferential rates and services to members of the RTBU and their families.

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AM AND

RTBU Change of DeTails foRm

S

R AI

BU

L

TR

UN

Change of Personal Details

ION

Surname

Given Name(s)

Gender Male Female

Street Address

Suburb

Post Code

Home Telephone Number

Work Telephone Number

Date Of Birth

Mobile Number

Email (work) Email (home)

Employer

Employee Number

Occupation: Eg Train Driver

RTBU Member Number

Work Location/ Depot

Date Commenced

Employment Status Fulltime

Part time

Casual

Change in Banking Details iMPortant Members need to specify the date of their next pay so that when the membership fee debit occurs on a friday there is sufficient money in the account to ensure the transaction is not dishonoured which results in you then being charged an additional fee by your bank.

Next Pay Week

Details of Bank aCCoUnt to Be DeBiteD Name of Financial Institution (Bank)

Branch where account is held

Account in the name(s) of Bank/State Branch Number: (BSB Six Digits)

Account Number (Maximum of 9 digits)

Details of CreDit CarD to Be DeBiteD Credit Card Type: Eg Visa, MasterCard, AMX

Credit Card Number

Credit card in the name of

Expiry Date

I/We authorise and request the Rail Tram and Bus Union, until further notice in writing to arrange for my/our account described in this direct debit authority, to be debited with any amounts which the debit user may properly debit or charge me/us through the direct debit system. I/We authorise and request this direct debit authority to remain in force until cancelled, deferred or otherwise altered in accordance with this service agreement. SIGNATURE

sUBMit

DATE Please email your completed form to nswho@rtbu-nsw.asn.au by using the submit button Post: Level 4, 321 Pitt Street, Sydney NSW 2000 or fax: 02 9261 1342


TR

R AI

S

Membership Enquiries Telephone (02) 9264 2511

BU

L

RTBU MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION FORM

AM AND

UN

ION

Surname

Given Name(s)

Gender Male Female

Street Address

Suburb

Post Code

Home Telephone Number

Work Telephone Number

Date Of Birth

Mobile Number

Email (work) Email (home)

Employer

Employee Number

Date Commenced

Occupation: Eg Train Driver

Work Location/Depot

Employment Status Fulltime

Part time

Casual

I, ___________________________________________________ the undersigned, hereby apply to become a member of the Australian Rail, Tram & Bus Industry Union, an Organisation of employees registered under the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 as amended, and hereby undertake to comply with the Rules & By-Laws for the time being of the Union. Signature of Applicant _______________________________________________________ Dated _____________________ I, __________________________________________________ the undersigned, hereby apply to become a member of the Australian Rail, Tram & Bus Union NSW, an Organisation registered under the Industrial Relations Act 1996 (NSW) as amended, and hereby undertake to comply with the Rules and By-Laws for the time being of the Union. Signature of Applicant _______________________________________________________ Dated _____________________ 1. I agree to pay $ __________ via

DIRECT DEBIT fortnightly; OR

CREDIT CARD fortnightly or any other amounts as may be determined from time to time in accordance with the Rules of the Union. I certify that I have received a copy of Rule 14, Notification of Resignation From Membership. 2. I/We authorise and request the Rail Tram & Bus Union, until further notice in writing to arrange for my/ our account described in this direct debit authority, to be debited with any amounts which the debit user may properly debit or charge me/us through the direct debit system. 3. I/We authorise my employer to notify the Rail, Tram & Bus Union of any change of address during my employment. 4. I/We authorise and request this direct debit authority to remain in force until cancelled, deferred or otherwise altered in accordance with this service agreement. Signature of Applicant _____________________________________________________ Dated ____________________ DETAILS OF THE ACCOUNT TO BE DEBITED

Account Name OR Name on Credit Card __________________________________________________________ Financial Institution ______________________________________________ Branch ___________ Date of next pay week __________________________ IMPORTANT Members need to specify the date of their next pay so that when the membership fee debit occurs on a Friday there is sufficient money in the account to ensure the transaction is not dishonoured which results in you then being charged an additional fee by your bank.

Bank / State Branch No. (BSB)

Card Type

MasterCard

Account No. / If Credit Union Membership No. _____________

Visa

Expiry Date

/

Credit Card Number

Please submit this Form to the RTBU’s Membership Officer by email nswho@rtbu-nsw.asn.au OR Mail to Level 4, 321 Pitt Street Sydney NSW 2000 OR Fax (02) 9261 1342


IMPORTANT PLEASE KEEP THE FOLLOWING FOR YOUR REFERENCE

4. A notice delivered to the Branch Secretary shall be deemed to have been received by when it was delivered.

RESIGNATION FROM MEMBERSHIP

5. A notice of resignation that has been received by the Union is not invalid because it was not addressed and delivered the Branch Secretary.

2. A notice of resignation from membership of the Union takes effect:– (a) where the member ceases to be eligible to become or remain a member of the Union (i) on the day on which the notice is received by the Union or (ii) on the day specified in the notice, which is a day not earlier than the day when the member ceases to be eligible to become a member, whichever is later; or (b) In any other case:– (i) at the end of two weeks; or (ii) on the day specified in the notice: whichever is later. 3. Any subscriptions, fees, fines and levies owing but not paid by a former member of the Union in relation to a period before the member’s resignation took effect, may be sued for and recovered in the name of the Union in a Court of competent jurisdiction, as a debt due to the Union.

What happens if I get pregnant, sick for an extended period or take leave without pay? If you are on unpaid maternity leave, sick or are off work for a substantial period of time you can seek to have your membership fees suspended until you return to work by giving written notice addressed and delivered to the Secretary of his/her Branch under Clause 11 (8): (8) Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this Rule, should any member during any financial year be without pay owing to ill health or to other causes which a Branch Executive regards as warranting special consideration, then the Branch Executive may grant the member exemption from payment of all or any contributions imposed in accordance with the Rules for all or part of the period during which he/ she is without pay. During the period of the exemption, the member shall be deemed to be financial.

The Rail, Tram & Bus Union is bound by the Privacy Act and your information can only used for RTBU processes and cannot be used for any other purposes.

AM AND

BU S

Level 4, 321 Pitt Street Sydney NSW 2000

TR L

1. A member may resign from membership of the Union by written notice addressed and delivered to the Secretary of his/her Branch.

6. Resignation from membership of the Union is valid even if it is not affected in accordance with this Rule, if the member is informed in writing by or on behalf of the Union that the resignation has been accepted.

R AI

OF THE RTBU

Tel (02) 9264 2511 Fax (02) 9264 1342 E-mail nswho@rtbu-nsw.asn.au Website www.rtbu-nsw.asn.au

UN

ION


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2014 Rail and Road - June Edition  

The magazine of the NSW Branch of the Rail, Tram & Bus Union

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