December 20, 2022

South Coast & Southern: Taking a stand

As 2022 ends, I take my hat off to all the transport workers who have pulled together during the year to enforce agreements, join new members and maintain the strength of the TWU in the southern part of NSW. Thanks to all Members, Delegates and the Sub-branch Officials Brad and Ryan, who took a stand for job security and better rates and conditions throughout the year. Thanks also to Karen at the Sub-branch office, our strength behind the scenes supporting members. Members took a stand, participating in the TWU Convoy for Safe Rates to Canberra. 

From myself and on behalf of the Executive and Team Southern at the Sub-branch I want to wish everyone all the very best for the Christmas season and the New Year. I look forward to continuing the fight with you in 2023.


After a 2 year fight, the Autocare EA is finally completed. The Agreement was already two years overdue while the company was entering into voluntary administration. That passed and the company started negotiations at 0.1 and 1%. Over negotiations, members took 9 full days of industrial action and 2 overtime days to reach the finish line. The Agreement now has 11.6% with 10 months back pay and the strongest outside hire clause of any State yards at Autocare. It pays to be Union, congratulations. 


The drama continues from Wollongong City Council. The Council and Transport for NSW are still going back and forth over a permanent home for a bus terminus in the Wollongong City area. In the meantime, Council has committed to only one extra year that bus drivers can use the existing facilities at Marine Drive. We were promised a return by Christmas to Marine drive, but that is now off the table. There are no answers yet regarding a permanent facility for bus drivers to use as a rest area. Transport for NSW and the Council need to pull a finger out and come up with solutions that work for bus drivers, local businesses and the Wollongong Community. This is currently a bureaucratic nightmare.


It took some time, a long wait and now TWU members at Cleanaway have begun talks to negotiate their new enterprise agreement. Unfortunately, as Cleanaway have tried to do all over the country, Cleanaway continue to attempt to remove union based clauses that ensure adequate representation of members. Cleanaway proposals around pay increases in no way reflect the cost of living that our members face. 


Preliminary talks have begun for the McColls Milk Enterprise Agreement and membership in the yard is growing which builds union member strength behind the negotiations. Drivers are fighting for better hourly rates as in the South Coast region they are way behind other McColl yards. Drivers are doing the same job, and should get the same pay. Members are being asked to encourage others in the yard to join the TWU and build the strength behind our claims. 


In Unanderra, TWU Members in transport at the Salvation Army have finally received their back pay for years of unpaid “money handling allowances”. The TWU made representations on behalf of members with management at the Salvos and this has meant that members have had a win, and have received four years back pay. Get the word around the TWU is ready to help you if you drive for the Salvos. Drivers might work for a charity, but their work is not charity. 


The TWU Office in Wollongong has moved to our new home. It is an investment by the Union in the future of members in Southern NSW which we can all be proud of. You can now find us at 38 Swan Street Wollongong. 

Rob Pirc • Sub-branch Secretary


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