Bus and Tram Express
Bus and Tram Express

Covid-19 strikes again in Sydney bus depots

Sep 17, 2021COVID19

We have seen COVID-19 strike again over the past week at bus depots within the Sydney basin. This time it was Brookvale and Randwick bus depots.

The Brookvale driver did a PM shift and so exposure to others was limited, but the positive case earlier this week at Randwick now has around 25 drivers being forced into compulsory isolation from the date of exposure.

A positive case within the workplace does have an effect on your ability to earn your regular income. If you are identified as a close or casual contact, you will need to spend time away from work and will only be paid your base rate of pay (NO penalties applicable) for this time.  All because you were in the same room as somebody who had the COVID-19 virus.

The NSW government has been solely focused on getting everyone vaccinated rather than looking at measures to detect if the COVID virus is in the workplace.

We saw a bus depot in Sydney’s West closed down by their Health and Safety Representatives for two days late last week due to a positive COVID-19 case within the depot. If rapid antigen testing was available then the COVID-19 virus would have been detected and the infected staff member would not have had the opportunity to possibly infect others within the depot. It was on this basis that the depot was closed and employees were sent home with pay. To ensure a safe workplace, daily Rapid Antigen testing has been brought to that depot.

The union is continuing to advocate for testing to be made available within the workplace (rapid antigen testing) at all work locations before anyone commences work. 

It is the responsibility of the employer to provide a safe workplace and this testing would give assurance to workers that the people they are sitting in the meal room with are not COVID positive.

It is the responsibility of elected Health and Safety Representatives to make that happen. The union fully supports any HSR who feels up to the task of fighting for a safe workplace.