More than 1,000 bus drivers across Sydney’s Inner West and South West have voted overwhelmingly for the right to take industrial action over Transit Systems’ refusal to accept same-job, same-pay provisions.
Bus drivers in Regions 3 and 6 of Sydney’s bus network voted convincingly in favour of taking action, with 97% and 92% voting in favour of taking action respectively.
In an industry first, the Protected Action Ballot for Region 6 covers members of both the TWU and RTBU, meaning more than 800 drivers in the Region now have the right to take industrial action.
The votes allow drivers to take a range of industrial actions, including displaying union materials on buses, turning off Opal card readers and strike action.
TWU NSW State Secretary Richard Olsen said the company’s refusal to come to the negotiating table in good faith had left drivers with no option but to vote for the right to take industrial action.
“Bus drivers aren’t asking for a lot here – all they want is a guarantee that whether you’re driving a bus in Liverpool or in Leichhardt, you will be paid the same regardless, but Transit Systems are digging in their heels and forcing drivers to take action” Mr Olsen said.
“If the company continues to dig its heels in, the State Government as the principal contractor will need to step in. The new Transport Minister Rob Stokes urgently needs to drag Transit Systems into his office and talk some sense into them.”
In addition to the same-job same-pay provisions, drivers are also seeking for superannuation to be paid on all earnings, and for a pathway to 15% super. Currently, drivers are not paid any super on overtime or other additional earnings, which often make up a significant portion of drivers’ total income.
“If 15% super is good enough for the Prime Minister, then it’s good enough for our bus drivers too” Mr Olsen said.
The PAB votes come after more than 90% of Transit Systems’ workers in Region 6 voted to reject an agreement put forward by the company without any consultation or negotiations having taken place.
- Transit Systems operates two of Sydney’s bus regions:
- Region 3 covering Parramatta, Liverpool, Merrylands, Prairiewood and Fairfield
- Region 6 covering Sydney’s Inner West and South
- Click here to a view a map of Sydney’s bus regions
- Transit Systems’ parent company, SeaLink Travel Group, received $20.5 million in JobKeeper payments over the 2019-20 and 2020-21 financial years, despite the NSW Government continuing to pay bus operators at pre-pandemic levels throughout the entire period
- The TWU has given an undertaking that industrial action will not disrupt HSC students during their exam period