Bus and Tram Express
Bus and Tram Express

STA dispute: drivers have their day in court

Nov 19, 2013News

Drivers crowded the court at the Industrial Relations Commission on Thursday last week to hear the opening address from the Bus and Tram Division defending their working conditions from STA attack.

Members will be vary aware of STA’s attempts to introduce casuals to work vacant shifts and part time, broken shifts to reduce overtime payments that drivers rely on to support themselves and their families.

Justice Staff heard from the RTBU barrister that STA’s attempts to vary rosters were in direct conflict with the good faith drivers’ brought to EBA negotiations with management in 2011 and with the no extra claims clause included in the final agreement. No extra claims, he explained, means just that both sides, and STA must respect the agreement reached for its duration.

He went on further to explain how the changes would adversely affect drivers, reducing their pay and access to full time positions – expanding further those touched by the insidious nature of insecure work. He said these changes are “fundamentally unfair” and come with no other justification than STA wanting to save money at drivers’ expense.

Together, with a court packed full of drivers, we made a strong stand for our pay and conditions, for the agreement we came to in good faith and for what is right and fair. We argued that STA actions are not only unfair but in conflict with their obligations and we made it clear that we will not allow them to play with our livelihoods.

The hearings continued on Friday but were not concluded and no decision has yet been reached. We will return to the IRC on 29 November to continue putting our case against the introduction of these changes.

A big thank you to everyone who attended the hearings over the two days, you did your bit to make sure Justice Staff was in no doubt about how serious this matter is for drivers.