August 30, 2022

Sydney Bus Strike
Wednesday 31 August 2022

Media Alert

  • Wednesday 31 August 2022
  • Bus Strike, Buses off the road 4am to 7am and then 2:30pm to 5:30pm
  • Only in Bus Contract Region 6 (inner west, some Sydney CBD, Olympic Park, Strathfield, Rockdale)
  • Impacted Region Map:
  • Press Conference: Transit Systems Burwood Bus Depot – opposite 16 Luke Avenue Burwood, 6:30am.
  • Media Inquiries –  Colin Henderson 0405 625 208

Bus Drivers are taking protected industrial action in Region 6 tomorrow in response to a safety crisis at the private bus operator, Transit Systems.

The TWU and RTBU are calling for the NSW Government to urgently step in and address serious concerns following a string of tragic deaths in recent years that have involved both drivers and passengers.

In total, nine people have died under Transit Systems’ management of Region 6 Buses. In recent weeks, one driver was almost set alight after a defective bus caught fire, and a week after, another driver was killed in a fatal crash.

The safety crisis is being caused by dangerous standards and conditions, which have heightened pressures on bus drivers. Low rates of pay and poor conditions have forced bus drivers to become dependent on excessive overtime to support their families, which is pushing drivers to the edge of safe limits and increasing fatigue.

In a recent TWU survey of Transit System’s drivers, over 79 % of drivers report that safety for drivers and passengers has deteriorated. Drivers complained of a deadly mix of pressures arising from unsustainably long hours including shift lengths spanning 13-hours each day, unrealistic running times and timetable pressures and reduced breaks and recovery times. Drivers are so stretched under running pressures that many are not able to even access a toilet for hours while behind the wheel.

For more than a year, bus drivers have been desperately calling on Transit Systems and the NSW Government to resolve this crisis by improving standards and conditions. The NSW Government, through its competitive tendering of NSW bus contracts in recent years, has allowed private operators like Transit Systems to undermine standards leading to the current safety crisis.

Richard Olsen, TWU State Secretary said, “Workers regret having to take this action but this is about the most fundamental issue for drivers – their safety and that of their passengers. The blood of nine innocent people is on the hands of the NSW Government who, through their contracting out of bus services to companies like Transit Systems, has produced this safety crisis in the industry. People are getting hurt, people are dying – the NSW Government must urgently take action to set safe and sustainable working standards.”

RTBU Bus & Tram Division Secretary David Babineau said it is disappointing the NSW Government has let things get to this point. “Same Job, Same Pay has been at the cornerstone of our negotiations, yet Transit Systems are continuing to undermine claims that are critical to ensuring this. By botching the privatisation of Sydney’s buses they’ve left workers under unfair and unsustainable conditions. This cannot continue.

“Old and tired excuses and blame-shifting stopped working long ago. Giving workers doing the exact same job the exact same pay and conditions is not only fair, it’s just common sense. We’re confident that commuters will understand that such an arrangement is unfair for anyone. We don’t take action like this lightly, but we’re left with no other options. Hopefully we can get back to bargaining as soon as possible.”

Media Inquiries –

TWU – Colin Henderson 0405 625 208


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