Friday, May 24, 2024

Rail workers put brakes on strike action

Train workers have voted down a statewide stop-work action by rail union bosses and will instead vote on a pay deal this week.

Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) bosses conducted a ballot of employees seeking support for industrial action including unlimited stop-work action for 4, 12 or 24-hours, indefinite overtime bans and interrupting work to give announcements over train announcement systems.

However, around 75%, or 179 of the 239 employees eligible to vote, either did not vote or voted against industrial action.

Treasurer Rob Lucas welcomed the ballot result as a “victory for common sense” and has now called for rail staff to get on board the Government’s wage and conditions offer.

“It’s pleasing that common sense has prevailed, with the overwhelming majority of train drivers rejecting the union bosses’ silly strike threat, which would have caused widespread disruption to hardworking South Australian commuters,” said Mr Lucas.

“We hope this means we can now get on with achieving a sensible resolution to our enterprise bargaining negotiations.

“The Government is offering a sensible 2% per annum pay rise over the next 3 years instead of the ridiculous 4 per cent per annum over 4 years union bosses had originally demanded.

“We’re also aware of a separate group of up to 100 local train drivers and other rail staff, represented by industrial advocate Gary Collis, who has indicated publicly they would be prepared to accept the Government’s offer.”

In May this year, tram drivers agreed to a 2% per annum pay increase.

He said nurses also voted to accept a 2% per year pay rise earlier this year, while last week the Police Association of South Australia endorsed a 2% per annum wage increase to its members.

A ballot of rail staff on the Government’s offer of an enterprise agreement opens on Friday and will run until November 5.

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