Yarra Trams statements about proposed industrial action

18 September, 2015

Yarra Trams is delighted to have negotiated an in-principle employee agreement with the Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) which brings about an end to recent industrial actions.

Our passengers can once again travel on Melbourne's tram network as normal.

We have only maintained or improved conditions in this agreement, giving our employees a better work-life balance.

The agreement that covers tram drivers, customer service employees, authorised officers and other operational employees is the outcome of complex negotiations between Yarra Trams and the RTBU.

Employees will receive a 14 per cent wage increase over the next four years, plus two separate cash payments totalling three per cent. The first wage increase will be backdated to 1 July 2015.

The agreement includes the introduction of trauma leave and family violence leave, as well as increased maternity and secondary carer's leave, and bereavement leave.

The agreement allows Yarra Trams to continue offering a safe and reliable service for our customers, and build upon the improvements in safety, punctuality and customer service that we have achieved in recent years.

We acknowledge the constructive role taken by the Victorian Government in helping to facilitate this agreement between the parties.

 

Previous statements

11 September 2015

Yarra Trams received formal notification from the RTBU at 4.40pm today of the intent for further industrial action that will affect the tram network.

The notice includes a range of threatened actions including four separate two-hour stop works from 8pm until 10pm on:

  • Monday, 21 September at the Camberwell and Kew depots (Routes 70, 75 / 48 and 109)
  • Tuesday, 22 September at the East Preston and Brunswick depots (11 and 86 / 1, 8 and 19)
  • Wednesday, 23 September at the Southbank and Essendon depots (12, 30, 96 and City Circle / 55, 57, 59 and 82)
  • Thursday, 24 September at the Malvern and Glenhuntly depots (5, 6, 8, 16 and 72 / 3, 64, 67 and 78).

Other threatened actions that will disrupt the level of service provided to passengers are:

  • Bans on working overtime on Monday, 21 September and Friday, 25 September.

The notice also includes bans on wearing uniform on Thursday 17, Tuesday 22 and Thursday, 24 September.

The RTBU has repeatedly said it wants to avoid taking industrial action, but have today chosen to threaten a further nine actions.

Only hours before this notification was sent, the parties had agreed to bargaining sessions on Saturday, 12 September and Monday, 14 September.

We remain committed to reaching a fair and balanced agreement. We believe industrial action is unnecessary.

28 August 2015

Yarra Trams received formal notification from the RTBU prior to today's bargaining session of the intent for further industrial action that will affect the tram network.

The notice includes a range of threatened actions including a stop work on Thursday, 10 September, from 10am until 2pm, which would result in similar disruptions to those that Melbourne experienced yesterday.

Other threatened actions that will disrupt the level of service provided to passengers:

  • Bans on terminating short of the intended destination on Friday, 4 and Tuesday, 8 September.
  • A one-week ban on working overtime between Sunday, 6 September and Saturday, 12 September.

The notice also includes bans on wearing uniform on Thursday, 3 and Wednesday, 9 September.

We remain committed to reaching a fair and balanced agreement and are willing to negotiate at any time of the day or night. Negotiations are planned for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of next week. While negotiations continue we believe industrial action is unnecessary.

We will do what we can to avoid disruptions to our customers.

We are putting plans in place to continue to offer our passengers the best service we can, and to provide information so they can effectively plan their journey.

27 August 2015

Yarra Trams would like to thank its customers for their patience during today's industrial action.

Trams are returning to the network and our focus is on ensuring safety during this time.

We expect to have trams operating to normal frequencies between 4pm and 5pm.

We also thank our employees who were on the network today, many of whom were volunteers from other parts of the business.

We share our passengers' frustration about this unnecessary industrial action; we did everything we could to keep passengers informed and keep Melbourne moving.


26 August 2015

Yarra Trams shares our customers' frustrations that industrial action will affect their travel plans on Thursday, 27 August.

Our first priority is the safety of our passengers, employees and the community and we will ensure that all contingency plans consider the wider community's safety at all times.

Limited replacement buses will supplement existing train and bus services, with the aim of providing a way for the community to keep moving during the disruption.

Replacement buses will operate on the St Kilda Road corridor and to key locations such as train stations, hospitals and Melbourne University.

We are committed to continuing to provide the best service and information that we can to our customers.

Real-time information is provided via the tramTRACKER® application for smart phones, the @yarratrams Twitter account and passenger information displays at major tram stops.

Up to date information is also available on the Yarra Trams website.

 

25 August 2015

Yarra Trams is doing all we can to avoid threatened industrial action from taking place.

This week we have held bargaining sessions with the RTBU and a further session is planned for tomorrow. While these negotiations continue, we believe industrial action is unnecessary.

We have lodged an application to the Fair Work Commission, which is listed to be heard at 2.30pm today.

The application is made under Section 424 of the Fair Work Act (2009), which states that industrial action must be suspended or terminated: "if the FWC is satisfied that the protected industrial action has threatened, is threatening, or would threaten to endanger the life, the personal safety or health, or the welfare, of the population or of part of it, or to cause significant damage to the Australian economy or an important part of it."

A further statement will be issued once the outcome of the Fair Work Commission hearing is known.

 

21 August 2015

We continue to negotiate with the RTBU to finalise an enterprise agreement for our employees and while we are doing so, industrial action is completely unnecessary.

We remain committed to reaching a fair and balanced agreement. We are prepared to sit at the negotiating table at any time, day or night. 


19 August 2015

Yarra Trams is pleased that our passengers will be able to travel as normal after the Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) withdrew its planned stop work industrial action for this Friday after conciliation with the Fair Work Commission.

We will continue to negotiate with the RTBU and we call on the RTBU to withdraw planned industrial action set to take place next Thursday, 27 August.

We are committed to reaching a fair and balanced agreement. We are prepared to sit at the negotiating table at any time, day or night.

We have asked the union to avoid industrial action while members consider the offer and we will continue to be fully transparent with employees on negotiations.

We will continue bargaining discussions and are set to meet again tomorrow at midday.


18 August 2015

Yarra Trams is disappointed that threatened industrial action which will interfere with the travelling plans of our passengers is still planned for Friday.

We regard the threatened industrial action as unnecessary and remain committed to reaching a fair and balanced agreement and keeping trams moving so that people in the community can continue their lives as normal.

Yarra Trams is prepared to sit at the negotiating table at any time, day or night, to reach agreement.

At this stage, negotiations are planned to resume on Wednesday morning.


17 August 2015 

Yarra Trams is actively planning to ensure that we continue to offers our passengers the best service we can in light of the proposed industrial action. The safety of our passengers, employees, and the wider community is our top priority when planning our response to the industrial action.

Yarra Trams will provide passengers with detailed updates in the coming days about specific service changes so they can plan their travel. We encourage passengers to follow us on Twitter @yarratrams, visit our website yarratrams.com.au and check for information available across the tram network.

We have offered to meet with the RTBU daily, and remain committed to reaching a fair and reasonable agreement as soon as possible.

Yarra Trams is seeking to stop the industrial action through the Fair Work Commission.

 

12 August 2015

Yarra Trams remains committed to reaching a fair and balanced agreement and keeping trams moving so that people in the community can continue their lives as normal - we don't believe industrial action is necessary.

For the second day in a row, in accordance with our schedule, we held a productive bargaining session with the RTBU today.

We note the proposed industrial action that is being reported and will await formal notification.

We are putting plans in place to continue to offer our passengers the best service we can, and to provide information so they can effectively plan their journey.

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