Bus and Tram Express
Bus and Tram Express

The Hot Topic

Jul 29, 2011The Hot Topic

Union Watchdog created to monitor Transport for NSW

The creation of a centralised transport authority, Transport for NSW, is the most significant reform in decades and has huge implications for all RTBU members.

Headed by Les Wielinga, the new authority will have control of policy, procurement and planning for roads, rail, freight and ferries.

It’s believed the move will strip existing agencies, including RailCorp, Sydney Ferries, and STA, of all responsibility other than the direct delivery of transport services. They will be all treated as contractors, delivering services under Service Agreements with the authority.

State Transport Minister, Ms Berejiklian, has said that in order to deliver better bus, train and ferry services overall the number of front-line employees would increase.

The RTBU welcomes a more streamlined approach to transport planning and delivery but is concerned that despite political promises jobs could be lost, workers could be demoted or have their jobs downgraded.

Another concern is that business units could be stripped back ready for privatisation and that the new structure will make it easier to privatise service delivery via franchise contracts – as per the Victorian model.

The RTBU believes it’s critical to closely monitor the transition to the new structure in order to assess how the changes will affect members.

However, since the restructure announcement in April, the RTBU has been sidelined by Transport for NSW. Despite requests, information about the restructure is not being communicated directly to the union, excluding it from the process of change.

As a result the union has decided to create a Transition Watchdog comprising of members of the Locomotive and Bus Divisions, Rail Operations, Administration, Infrastructure and Workshops.

The teams will keep a close watch on developments to highlight waste, mismanagement and any negative effects on members and will be reporting back to members on important workplace issues.

The RTBU Branch Executive has approved the creation of the Transition Watchdog and the process of organising the campaign is underway.

If you’d like to be involved in this campaign please send your contact details (email and phone numbers) to nswbus2@bigpond.com.

Regular updates on this issue will be posted on Bus Express.