Rail Tram and Bus Union Queensland Branch
 
 
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Update:

Appeal Underway

The Appeal against the decision to cancel Aurizon Agreements commenced today. The hearing that was convened today was largely administrative but one thing that came out of it is good news for members. The Court well and truly understands the urgency of this matter and has said it will do all it can to have the matter heard as quickly as possible.

The dates to exchange information have been set and will be concluded by 13th May. Our legal team has sought for the matter to be heard before the 18th May. However, the actual date of hearing is now in the hands of the Chief Justice of the Federal Court and we are hoping to learn that in the next few days.

Negotiations

The stream level bargaining has continued with the feedback being that the groups that are meeting are getting closer to agreement.

Delegates in the Construction Stream of the C & M Agreement are pressing for a further meeting to finalise issues and are hopeful that will allow them to round off the outstanding issues.

Meetings also commenced to discuss the core issues such as Dispute Settling, Consultation, Redundancy, drug and alcohol and Rail Passes.

So far discussions are at an early stage. We have discussed Redundancy and Dispute Settling but have not resolved any specific clause as yet. Itís fair to say that any agreement is ultimately a package deal so these discussions will be ongoing.

The response from Aurizon Management to our positions on the core items so far has been encouraging. Aurizon will be exploring some positions on redundancy and dispute settling proposed by the Union and we are reconvening on Monday to continue with the high level negotiations. We are pleased to note that Aurizon has had their senior management involved in the core negotiations all week.

We have made it clear that we took industrial action this week to encourage the negotiations along and that given the constraints caused by the decision to cancel agreements, if Aurizon are honest when they say they want to still reach agreements Ė we need to see progress in our discussions.

In the absence of progress there will be escalation of the campaign. This is no threat, just a statement of where the parties are at as a result of Aurizonís case, and their resultant decision.

We believe that instead of putting their efforts into full page newspaper advertisements whining about the industrial campaign they brought on themselves, they should refocus on getting an agreement.

To be fair, Aurizon have made encouraging sounds this week and at least appear to be engaging genuinely in the important issues members have told us they want secured at the bargaining table.

We encourage them to continue to be constructive and arrive at arrangements that are acceptable to both sides.

We will keep you advised of developments as they occur.

Unity is Strength

Owen Doogan
RTBU State Secretary,
Queensland Branch