TWU NSW and RTBU NSW members, Bus Drivers who work across the now fully privatised bus industry in NSW, are putting together the plan for a 24-hour bus strike and action to occur Monday 11 April, 2022 across NSW. Drivers at three companies will be involved, Transit Systems, Transdev and ComfortDelGro.
The TWU will hold a press conference as part of a planning meeting, this coming Wednesday, 6 April, at Rooty Hill. The RTBU will also be present.
Press Conference Details:
Where: Conference Room 6 – Novotel at West HQ (Rooty Hill RSL) – (Best Parking Entry is off N Parade, Rooty Hill. May also be known as North Parade on Google – then go to Novotel Reception)
When: 10.30am Wednesday, 6 April.
Who: TWU NSW Assistant Branch Secretary, Mick Pieri; Tram and Bus Division Secretary of the RTBU NSW, David Babineau, and around 40 bus drivers
TWU State Secretary Richard Olsen said, “The NSW Government control the purse strings. Through the contracts they award to private operators, the NSW Government must take responsibility and control to enforce a list of industry standards that will ensure fairer pay and conditions and improved health & safety across the bus industry.”
“Central to drivers’ demands are same-job same-pay protections, as the current system sees some drivers receiving substantially lower pay and conditions than others working in the same depot, driving the same routes.”
“Across the industry Bus Drivers are also questioning their own safety at work and the safety of their passengers as the NSW Government has not taken its share of responsibility to provide adequate training, reduction of violence against bus drivers and the provision of adequate fatigue management conditions.”
“Bus Drivers cannot find toilets or adequate places to have a proper fatigue break away from their buses. Drivers are expected to “hold on” because toilet facilities are either closed or non-existent. Bus drivers face abuse, violence and have very little support for their own or passenger safety,” Mr Olsen said.
Bus Drivers are fully aware of the harsh reality of the job they do. In February 2022, Bus Drivers flagged further action if Transport for NSW did not adequately address their concerns. Drivers will take action because they have been ignored.
State Secretary Richard Olsen said “Bus drivers worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic, they keep the state moving, and now the State Government must take on their responsibility that exists despite privatisation.”
“We understand the inconvenience strike action may cause some members of the public, and it’s not a decision the drivers take lightly, we have chosen the day with care, we are confident the community will understand drivers have been left with no other option to have their voices heard.”
Tram and Bus Division Secretary of the Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) NSW, David Babineau said the RTBU’s region 6 drivers will join the strike action on Monday in protest of the two-tiered workforce in the region that has seen bus drivers doing exactly the same job get paid different amounts. “We can’t sit back and let the NSW Government create situations where you have workers doing exactly the same job on different rates of pay and conditions. The State Government could put a stop to this by simply coming to the table and committing to fixing the mess that they’ve created.”
The NSW Government relies on these workers and bus drivers take pride in doing their job but Transport for NSW are ignoring the hidden shame of how drivers are up against a two tired pay system, constant attacks on their working conditions, violence, health and safety issues, abuse and more. Drivers feel they must act.
A TWU survey showed the stark reality of a bus driver’s day includes:
- 85% of drivers drive for over 3 hours between breaks.
- 42% of drivers who drive 5 hours or more between breaks suffer medical issues.
- 96% of drivers believe that driving without adequate breaks puts them and their passengers at risk.
- 87% of drivers will hold on rather than use toilet facilities when there are passengers on board. 28% of drivers experience medical issues because of inadequate break periods.
- 81% of drivers experiencing verbal abuse daily.
- 74% of drivers believe that the NSW government tendering has left the bus industry in a worse state.
- 73% of drivers believe that the competitive tendering by the NSW government compromises passenger safety.
- 25% of drivers have been disciplined for running late to timetables they believe are not possible to meet.
- 88% believe that the pressure the government is putting on bus companies is flowing down to drivers.
- 67% of drivers believe the pressure to meet timetable obligations compromises the safety of passengers.
- 74% of drivers believe a lack of buses or drivers servicing routes place pressure on drivers to drive unsafely.
- 64% of drivers feel extra pressure to meet timetable deadlines daily.
- The top 3 areas that drivers feel that they should receive further training in, include conflict resolution (48%), recognition of issues with the vehicle (48%) and self-defence (47%).
- 27% believe that security should be improved.
Members involved in the action are at the following bus companies:
|Click here for a map of metropolitan (SMBSC) regions and here for a map of outer metropolitan (OSMBSC) regions.
Media Inquiries –
TWU – Colin Henderson 0405 625 208
RTBU – Alana Mew 0419 929 722