No Opal Cards Required In Bus Drivers' Day Of Action On Central Coast

Release date: 16/08/2016

Daily Telegraph, Patrick Boddan, 16 August 2016
Busways drivers are urging Central Coast residents to leave their Opal cards at home on Wednesday, with the public to be offered free transport by the bus service.

Photo: There will be no need for Opal cards to get on buses on the Coast tomorrow.

Ticket machines and Opal card readers will not operate on the day, as members of the Transport Workers Union (TWU) begins their campaign to protect their pay and working conditions.

 The current enterprise agreement is out of date and union members are pushing for a new deal to be signed that complements their current contractual terms and conditions.
The TWU claimed that Busways had so far failed to renegotiate these terms and instead are looking to alter the drivers’ trade agreement to one that differs from the rest of the industry.
TWU secretary Richard Olsen said the Busways drivers’ demands were reasonable and hoped that both parties could come to an agreement.
“Bus drivers are doing a vital job seven days a week. They take the kids to school, take our loved ones to work and they start early and finish late to ensure the community is kept moving,” he said.
 “We are calling on Busways to properly support their drivers. We aren’t asking for anything out of the ordinary.”
Mr Olsen warned that this would not be a one-off, and if Busways don’t come to the negotiation table then further action would be considered.
“In the days following this Wednesday’s action we will consider what the next stages of the campaign look like,” he said.
Despite the stand-off, Busways has assured the public it was working towards a conclusion with the TWU, and that Coast commuters would not be disrupted by changing travel schedules.
“Busways is continuing to work with the TWU to resolve the issue and ensure an appropriate
agreement is reached and further industrial action is avoided,” the company said in a statement.
“All Busways bus services will continue to operate as per timetable.”

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