Rail Tram and Bus Union Queensland Branch
 
 
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AFULE & RTBU to Canvass Aurizon Members on Key Issues

Negotiations for Aurizon Agreements have started to gain pace in recent months. Union negotiators and management representatives alike are pleased with some key issues starting to get resolved.

Notably the key issues surrounding hours of work and rostering are getting close to resolution across most areas and with that a raft of other associated matters will flow logically to agreement.

The issues of Rail Passes, Consultation/Dispute settlement clauses, Drug & Alcohol testing and of course, the no forced redundancy provision are unresolved outstanding matters that affect members across Aurizon.

Across the board, the Unionsí position on Rail Passes, Consultation/Dispute Settlement and Drug & Alcohol testing remains clear and united. These are matters which all unionsí members feel equally strongly about.

However, the ETU and AMWU recently presented a proposed clause in the negotiations of the other Agreement (covering the Infrastructure/Maintenance and the Rollingstock Maintenance/RACS areas) that included a redundancy provision which was no longer voluntary (copy attached). The clause proposes significant safeguards including a requirement to accept volunteers first, offer retraining and job placement processes. The clause also proposed significant increases in payments available to those who accept or are made redundant but ultimately the company, after exhausting the processes outlined above, could make people redundant at their call.

The RBTU and AFULE make no criticism of the ETU or AMWU and understood that the ETU and AMWU have a right to put such an offer on the table. Their members have particular needs in this negotiation and a much smaller membership to consult and therefore represent. They are entitled to put positions in bargaining with or without the agreement of other unions.

The AFULE and RTBU position is, and has been, to gain a clear understanding of our membersí position at various times during this lengthy negotiation period as developments such as this occur and, therefore, it is the intention of the RBTU and AFULE to canvass the opinion of our members on this issue. The AFULE and RTBU will conduct this using a number of various methods taking into consideration the geographical spread, time constraints, available resources and operational factors that often limit access to members. This will at times mean that single union and joint union engagements will occur during this process in an effort to maximise the consultation with members of both Unions.

The task for us now, is to determine how we move forward in these negotiations. Particularly in the circumstance that we can gain agreement on a sensible consultation and dispute settlement arrangement, we are keen to explore the parameters around issues such as redundancy. Each Union will be in touch with their members shortly providing further information on the opportunities to canvas their membersí views.

Authorised by:
Owen Doogan
State Secretary
RTBU

And

Greg Smith
State Secretary
AFULE