||Issue No. 208||13 February 2004|
All The Way With FTA?
Interview: Trading in Principle
Unions: While We Were Away
Politics: Follow the Leader
Bad Boss: Safety Recidivist Fingered
Economics: Casualisation Shrouded In Myths
History: Worker Control Harco Style
Review: Other Side Of The Harbour
State Of Confusion
Give Them A Medal
Rail Safety Back On Track
The Rail Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) has secured a Memorandum of Understanding with rail chiefs that for the first time sets correct staffing levels for drivers and guarantees jobs for those who fail to meet new health standards.
"We will be working constructively to deal with the real safety issues," says RTBU Secretary Nick Lewocki.
The Memorandum of Understanding sets a number of commitments to address Drivers concerns. These include:
- a commitment to create 124 new positions to address the problem of driver shortages
- A commitment by rail bosses to move towards the new staffing levels. In the interim, drivers will be offered overtime bonuses.
- Disciplinary processes will be clarified to give driversv a better understanding of the procedure.
- Depot rostering will be improved.
- Half a million dollars will be spent to bring driver amenities up to standard.
"Each of the items [in the Memorandum] is what the delegates involved found were important to drivers," says Lewocki. "[It] has worked like a pressure valve. Things aren't perfect, but we'll live with this," Lewocki said.
He slammed the government and RailCorp's handling of the crisis.
"There was a high level of frustration amongst drivers that should never have got to this. This should have been dealt with constructively by sitting down with drivers instead of attacking drivers publicly," he said.
Transport Summit Call
Meanwhile a new peak group consisting of transport unions, community groups and local Government launched the NSW Transport Alliance, calling on the Carr Government to convene an urgent summit to deal with the state's public transport needs.
The NSW Transport Alliance believes the successful model used by Government to address both community drug and alcohol issues is the only way to cut through the current logjam of issues and provide practical solutions.
The NSW Transport Alliance believes the summit should address issues facing public transport in NSW, including investment, planning, the environment, the quality of public and fair access.
A summit will provide the Government with an opportunity to hear from key stakeholders, experts and transport users that will provide the platform for the development of a shared vision that will deliver a sustainable public transport system for the people of NSW.
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