Rail Tram and Bus Union Queensland Branch
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Itís quite surprising and a bit rich when Aurizon tries to blame its sloppy handling of the ballot on Unions.

Reading the updates from Aurizon you could be forgiven for thinking the opposition to the ballot is about something other than democracy, but thatís the key point.

Following the announcement of the ballot results and the thin margin, Unions started receiving calls complaining about irregularities in the ballot process. Some people werenít able to vote because their ballot material turned up late. Others couldnít understand why their contract managers got a vote in some instances. Cadets and graduates were also provided confusing instructions.

As the days went by more and more people started to come forward.

Aurizon admitted in their material before Fair Work that a significant number of people were improperly given a vote, and then withdrawn, but not before several of them voted.

Unions met with Aurizon and subsequently more people were identified as having been placed in the voting pool when they shouldnít have been.

In good conscience, Unions couldnít say that the ballot was undertaken with clear integrity. Thatís why the Fair Work Commission set down the matter for a hearing Ė to get to the bottom of whether the ballot was fair or not.

It is set down for December but Aurizon has one option if they want to clear the air once and for all Ė they should run the ballot again. They would have a result before the hearing and it would be put beyond doubt, so long as they took the time to get the list right.

Further Negotiations

Following the enormous No vote in the Traincrew & Operations and the Construction & Maintenance agreements itís time for Aurizon to recommence negotiations.

Immediately after the results were revealed the Unions sought a meeting with Aurizon where we attempted to work out the logistics of getting people back to the table. Like the last few rounds, the most productive way forward is with delegates at the table. We had some proposed dates which we were waiting on Aurizon to respond but it seems they have attached a few conditions after the meeting.

Aurizon say in their update that they are awaiting a proposal from Unions before the negotiations recommence. This was never agreed.

Getting back together, in good faith, is the way an acceptable agreement is developed. Negotiations are about developing proposals together.

Letís face it Ė Aurizon now know how popular their recent proposals were. Itís now time for Aurizon to listen to their workforce and enter into serious negotiations, rather than trying to hold workers hostage.