Rail Tram and Bus Union Queensland Branch
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Aurizon Termination of Agreements: Unions' Appeal to Federal Court

Today solicitors acting on behalf of the RTBU and the other rail Unions have submitted an appeal to the Federal Court in respect of a judicial review of the decision of the Fair Work Full Bench on 22 April 2015 to terminate the Aurizon Agreements.

The solicitors will be seeking for a date for hearing of this appeal to be set down prior to the proposed termination of the Agreements on 18 May 2015. I have to advise members that there is no guarantee that we will be successful in obtaining a date prior to the 18th but we will make every endeavour to do so.

Also, under consideration and in the hands of our legal team is seeking an injunction to provide for a stay of the implementation of the decision, if the appeal is not heard and determined prior to the 18 May 2015.

In the meantime the industrial campaign in respect of obtaining Agreements is continuing with industrial action in Callemondah, Bluff, Stanwell, Maryborough, Mackay and Rockhampton tomorrow.
I can also advise you that negotiations over the outstanding core issues occurred yesterday and today and will recommence on Thursday, 30 April 2015.

Naturally the RTBU will continue to endeavour to obtain agreement on the outstanding issues in an effort to resolve this whole matter as early as is possible. Some progress has been made in respect to the discussions on these issues but the parties have still some way to go to resolve issues such as redundancy, dispute settling and drug & alcohol testing. I will keep members up to date in respect of progress as it occurs.

Negotiations on Traincrew, Operations, Rollingstock and Infrastructure areas are continuing with all areas involved at some stage over the next two weeks. Significant progress has been made in all areas but still some difficult issues to resolve.

Whilst the Union is hopeful the success of the appeal and/or successfully negotiating Agreements over the next few weeks there is a possibility that the Agreements cancellation will impact on members come the 18 May 2015. I would like to advise members that Aurizon has indicated that their undertakings provided to Fair Work will mean your rates of pay, including aggregates, will remain in place for at least six months after the termination of the Agreements. This will also mean that there will be no impact to your superannuation, either defined benefit or cumulative.

Finally, given there is a possibility that Aurizon may withdraw your right to access payroll deduction (PRD) to pay your Union subscriptions it is imperative that members consider transferring over to direct debit or direct credit as soon as possible. Contact the RTBU State Office for further information on this.

Unity is Strength

Owen Doogan
RTBU State Secretary,
Queensland Branch