||Issue No. 191||15 August 2003|
Three Year Itch
Interview: The New Deal
Unions: In the Line of Hire
Culture: Too Cool for the Collective?
International: The Domino Effect
Industrial: A Spanner in the Works
National Focus: Gathering of the Tribes
History: The Welcome Nazi Tourist
Bad Boss: Domm, Domm Turn Around
Poetry: Just Move On.
Review: Reality Bites
The Locker Room
MUA CD Launch
The Remittance Man
Rail Workers Spitting Mad
Public anger stems from management calls over which workers have no control, according to the Rail, Tram and Bus Union which wants staff protected from public violence.
"One guard got spat on three times in one shift,' says RTBU lead organiser Phillip Kessey. "Our members are in the front line of having to deal with decisions of management."
Despite the introduction of Transit Officers the number of assaults inflicted on State Rail staff has seen a dramatic increase in recent months, leading the RTBU to urge recommendations from last year's Beamer Report on Transport Services Minister, Michael Costa.
The Union is seeking a meeting with the Transport Services Minister to check progress in implementing the report.
The Beamer report, Occupational Violence Committed Against Public Sector Transport Workers in New South Wales, made thirty recommendations designed to improve the safety of State Rail employees.
- Calls for State Rail to develop an implementation strategy for the Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design review and audits of stations be developed.
- A detailed analysis of incidents and contributing factors to be undertaken by State Rail and a program of risk-based and intelligence-led security developed for on train security guard and station based security officers. A greater level of cooperation should exist between transport agencies in regard to violence at work.
- State Rail and State Transit to provide their employees with a guide that summaries occupation violence policies and provides practical information on occupational violence issues.
- To define the roles and responsibilities for State Rail and State Transit managers in security risk management, position descriptions should be amended to include security related performance criteria.
- Sentencing Guidelines be developed by the Attorney General's Office in relation to persons who assault public transport and other employees.
"We support the introduction of Transit Officers," says Kessey. "But merely fining or infringing someone is not going to stop the problem. We think they are doing a terrific job. They've got the hardest job, but they are hamstrung."
Kessey says the RTBU would like to see legislative change to beef up the powers of transit Officers.
"Our members have put up with tremendous reform,' adds Kessey. "There are fewer people to do the jpbs and more demands on them. Management are making decisions without consulting with staff."
The NSW Labor Council is supporting The RTBU's calls for a public campaign of awareness about assaults on State Rail staff.
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