The stoppage will affect services including school transport on the Central Coast and in Western Sydney (Penrith, Blacktown and Windsor areas).
TWU NSW did alert Government, Catholic and Independent school authorities regarding the stoppage, to enable schools to get the message out last week.
Busways management ignored all requests to negotiate with drivers regarding Enterprise Agreements. Busways also ignored the NSW Minister for Transport’s request last week for a speedy resolution to the issues.
Member Drivers tried very hard to send a message to Busways Management, avoiding inconvenience to commuters. This morning’s action is very much a result of Busways refusing to negotiate with Drivers.
Drivers are also objecting to the Management of Busways attempting to drive home an Enterprise Agreement that had no input from Members across Depots. Busways Management put their Agreement out to the vote on Thursday and 80 percent of Drivers voted “no” against the proposal.
Since Thursday, Management continue to refuse to pick up the phone and offer to negotiate.
Richard Olsen, Secretary, TWU NSW said, “Drivers across a number of depots have sent the message that they are ready to negotiate with Busways over the terms and conditions in an Agreement. Busways continue to pursue their own version of an agreement rather than work with the agreement used widely across the industry.”
“Busways have only responded with punitive action against some drivers involved in previous stop work meetings and a failed court case. I am questioning their commitment to employees who help Busways meet the needs of NSW Government transport contracts” Mr Olsen said.
Some of the conditions that concern drivers in the agreement proposed by Busways include:
- No guarantee of permanent work.
- Drivers forced to answer anonymous complaints
- No representation allowed at disciplinary meetings
- Company only to appoint workplace representatives
- Drivers will be forced to take leave when it suits the company
- No company provided wage increases until 2018.