Rail Tram and Bus Union Queensland Branch
About the RTBU
Contact us

Combined Unions Circular: Update on QIRC Proceedings

The combined rail Unions were dragged back to attend a conference this morning at the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (QIRC).

Despite the overwhelming rejection of Queensland Railís proposed Agreement by employees like you, Queensland Rail did not stop for a moment to consider what that actually meant. It chose instead to pursue the QIRC to declare that formal conciliation has to commence. Management obviously thought stopping and discussing why so many employees were against their proposal just wasnít worthwhile.

What that now means is that Queensland Rail and the Unions have just 14 days to try to negotiate a revised proposal, even though Queensland Rail has already claimed that the Newman Government has said that it does not have approval to make a better offer.

If at the end of the 14 days the parties cannot reach an agreement, the QIRC will be required to arbitrate on what is contained in your next Agreement or Agreements. That will mean that you will not get another chance to vote on whether the conditions contained in the final outcome are acceptable to you or not.

At todayís conference, Queensland Rail also advised that they were under instruction from the Newman Government to remove all of the concessions that have been made by Queensland Rail over the last four months. This signals a return to their very harsh starting position. It is important to remember that during the negotiations prior to the ballot management continually said the negotiated position would be their position at the commencement of conciliation if it occurred. This is now off the table.

This therefore strongly suggests two things:

That Queensland Rail will not come to the conciliation process to conciliate; they will come to prepare for arbitration; and
The Government wants to take your conditions off you at all costs and have instructed QR to renege on its previous commitments to Unions.

Naturally, the Unions are exploring all options at this stage. The first of the formal conciliation conferences will occur in the QIRC next Monday (24 November).

We will keep you apprised of any developments.

Authorised by:

Combined Unions (RTBU, ETU, Services Union, AMWU, APESMA)