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Further to Newsflash 23, we can now confirm, having conferred with PN to release your delegates, that we have set up some meetings for you to hear first-hand from your Delegates and Officials what has been achieved through your industrial action and what has now been proposed by Pacific National.
We also continue to take on board feedback from some of our coal members, who are concerned around Pacific National’s sincerity so far. We want to set the record straight that we are not compromising on coal members’ conditions, and clearly explain why we have decided to pause our action. The Negotiation Team have received a good proposal from PN regarding compulsory arbitration. Many members are aware of the importance of compulsory arbitration, it is one of the most important entitlements to get in an agreement, and something PN does not currently allow in any Agreement around the country. Compulsory arbitration means that the union can effectively resolve disputes and get binding decisions from Fair Work that protect and enforce your conditions of employment. Without compulsory arbitration, your conditions are more vulnerable.
PN have always refused compulsory arbitration and are one of the only rail operators in NSW that does not allow this fundamental entitlement. PN’s reluctance to allow compulsory arbitration should indicate to members just how important this condition is. Your delegates will be conducting meetings to further explain our decision and the importance of compulsory arbitration.
While we all acknowledge that coal is not going away in the short term and will remain an integral part of the national economy and PN’s business for some time, we still need to acknowledge and accept that the global trends around the reduction in fossil fuel use indicate that changes will happen as the world transitions from coal. The intent of any negotiation now and in the future is (and always will be) to better all members’ conditions. It is always at the front and centre of the RTBU Locomotive Division’s values. Whilst we are discussing PN’s goals around a transition to a mixed commodity business, we have made it clear that we will not compromise or undermine the hard-fought employment conditions of coal or bulk members. We will not be leaving anyone behind.
Whilst most protected industrial action has been paused due to good progress in bargaining with PN, the sticker and email banner actions remain in place. Therefore, you can continue to place stickers on PN assets and vehicles. You should select a safe place like an office window, a loco, or company motor vehicle to affix a sticker. You should do a take 3 and make sure that the sticker is not obstructing visibility or impacting safety in any way. You should also make sure that you do not place the sticker in an area that would damage the vehicle or asset.
Are you interested in becoming a delegate or a committee member at Your Depot? We are always on the lookout for new delegates and activists. If you want to get involved and assist at your depot, please contact our office or your local delegate.
MEETINGS AND UPDATES
Local delegates have been released to update members as they sign on and off at their respective
depots as follows:
• Bulk – Bulk Depot delegates will be on shift over the next few days.
• Coal – We have scheduled two days of meetings early next week at our two biggest depots, Port Waratah and Greta. In addition to these, RTBU Delegates and Officials will be accessing time with members without the Company present at the Business Update Meetings being held over the Shutdowns at the various depots. As the date gets closer, we will advise of times and dates.
This article first appeared on locoexpress.com.au
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