Rail Tram and Bus Union Queensland Branch
 
 
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Aurizon Looking for Easy Way Out

Members are well aware that as a result of Aurizon wanting to put a razor to current agreements negotiations have been progressing slowly.

Unions have not and will never be prepared to sit at the table handing over hard fought and won conditions reducing members’ security of employment and entitlements simply because the current crop of management feel the need to ‘streamline’ the documents.

For this reason we have been negotiating with Aurizon looking for a reasonable outcome that allows the company to continue to perform by its own estimation - with outstanding results and more forecast to come – along with providing decent and fair improvements for members. There is no dispute, the company has managed to restructure and perform at levels never before seen under current arrangements – the current agreements aren't the problem.

Recently Aurizon decided that the latest round of negotiations had come to a close and therefore they wanted to reassess their position. The RTBU has been clear that it wants negotiations to recommence right away and deal with these important matters. It’s what members rightfully expect, and what their masters demand of them too.

Instead of returning to the table we have now received correspondence where they have asked us to go into voluntary arbitration. The RTBU has never seen arbitration as the best option for members – it hands decision making from our members to a third party. It goes against our fundamental democratic principles. Certainly, in some discreet narrow disputes it’s the only option and it settles those matters quickly.

It’s a different matter altogether to throw every condition on the table, across thousands of members the length and breadth of the state and ask for a member of the Fair Work Commission to simply determine the outcome. That Aurizon want to deal with your conditions like this is amongst other things, lazy.

The sheer amount of clauses that exist right now – regulating important aspects of your employment would by any measure take a huge amount of time. It would happen with no ability for members to have a proper say – it would happen through the dry submissions of our officials, and Aurizon’s lawyers. It’s not good enough, and members won’t be fooled by this red herring.

It smacks of a lack of ideas, and it certainly isn’t acceptable. The RTBU reiterates its demand that the only way we will resolve the matter of agreements is simple. Aurizon should get back to the table, see how unreasonable their position is and negotiate agreements for their workforce. And they need to start now.

Unity is Strength

Owen Doogan
State Secretary
Queensland Branch