Behind every great man…
At the RTBU NSW Bus and Tram Division headquarters in Redfern work two dedicated women, charged with the task of keeping the Bus and Tram Division boys on time and in line.
Katrina and Leonie have worked at the RTBU for 27 and 20 years respectively as Personal Assistants. These women are responsible for the day-to-day admin and cohesion at Bus and Tram HQ and are the embodiment of the type of Australian worker that the Union movement is built upon; they place enormous value on the stability that their job provides to them and their families, they’ve been in the same job for a long period of time and care deeply about their colleagues and their work. They demonstrate through their work that they’re firmly committed to what we know is the true heart of the Australian union movement; fairness in the workplace, and a good job for a good life.
Both Leonie and Katrina have family ties with unions in their past but are hesitant to attribute their motivation to their family histories, saying that “You don’t need some big, deeply ingrained union past to know that organising and mobilising ourselves to protect the jobs and rights of hard working people with families is a good idea”
When asked if anything about their work made it easier to travel from Sydney’s Western suburbs before 7am every morning, Katrina replied that: “It’s a great feeling, knowing that when you speak to a member on the phone and hear their problem you’re the one who is going to make sure that their issue is heard by the right person. Knowing that their working life just got a bit easier is great too, because our members have families and lives just like us.”
Having shared the same office for 20 years, they joke that “We’re basically like a married couple, we’re best friends, we love each other and we bicker at the same time.”