FAQs from TfNSW members’ meeting: Register for the next meeting - Public Service Association

FAQs from TfNSW members’ meeting: Register for the next meeting

On 1 March we held a Transport for NSW (TfNSW) members’ meeting. On 4 March, we held a discussion for Transport Senior Service Managers (TSSMs). Thank you to all who attended.

Given the turnout and the uncertainty around the reforms, we will hold these meetings more regularly. You can register here for our next members’ meeting on 9 April at 11:00am. Our TSSM meeting will be held at the same time the following day. Register for the 11:00am TSSM meeting on 10 April here.

The TSSM meeting will again also be open to potential members. However, we will restrict these meetings to members soon.

We didn’t have time to answer all your questions, so we’ve included a FAQ. If you have any agenda items you’d like discussed at the next meeting, please post these on the Yammer Page.


  1. As we are moving to a state-wide model, how will that impact ‘home’ work location and associated hybrid work arrangements?

We are aware there are members whose work locations are in Sydney, despite living out of the city. So far, we haven’t seen any changes to hybrid work arrangements or ‘home’ work locations. However, if our claim to bring Work From Home entitlements in line with the Australian Public Service is endorsed by members, your assigned work site will not matter as much because you will not be compelled to work a certain amount of days in the office per week.

  1. Do we have any updates regarding former RMS staff still on the USS salary?

The current situation is untenable and unfair; if you work the same job, you should be paid the same. We’re currently finalising a shift work clause with management prior to negotiations which will better allow RMS staff to transition to the TfNSW Award. The first cohorts who will benefit from this will be Operators in the Transport Management Centre. Once the technical details are finalised, we’ll be in a better position to start the transition for other cohorts.

  1. Any word on the hiring freeze? There are a lot of people on HDA and most new roles these days are fixed term which don’t offer much job security. People want to progress their career, but they are understandably hesitant to go fixed term. I declined a fixed term role for this reason.

The TfNSW Award specifically states that the employer must acknowledge the importance of secure employment and will use permanent employment as the ‘preferred and predominant staffing option’. Forty-three per cent of Labour Hires are in grade 9 roles, this is clearly an issue, and the current situation could be construed as a breach of the aforementioned clause. This is also an issue for retention. We’ve heard from countless members who have to make the decision to either turn down a promotion or take the promotion and be subjected to insecure employment by signing a fixed-term contract. The issue is further amplified if we turn our attention to TSSMs who, upon being promoted into the role, have to forfeit their Award conditions, flex time and are expected to be on call 24/7.

Management has stated the freeze will not apply to frontline, operational or difficult to fill positions. We are monitoring the situation and will always fight for permanent jobs.

  1. People on Grade 9 are being shortchanged being paid overtime at a Grade 8. I felt short changed doing overtime when I was in the Service Delivery Manager role.

This is a potential claim which we can include in the Log of Claims, thanks for letting us know. Please send an email to  if you have more details.

  1. What happens to staff who are currently working on Projects that are due to end mid to late year 2024. Are we consulted now regarding the TfNSW restructure?

Staff on fixed-term contracts are the most vulnerable when it comes to restructuring. This is because they are ineligible for the Mobility Policy and are easier to declare excess. We are motivated to see as many of these workers converted to permanency through the 24-month conversion clause as well as by holding TfNSW to account on advertising fixed term positions to begin with. It is vital that these workers are members of the Union.

  1. If someone is in a fixed-term role for more than two years, can this position become permanent?

Yes! If you are an award employee and have been working in the same role across multiple projects or BAU for 24 months, TfNSW has a positive obligation to convert you to permanency. We know that TfNSW has been in breach of this, and as such, contact the union if management is avoiding its obligation to you.

  1. With IT being centralised in a state-wide model, my colleagues are concerned about the proposed structure, and fear existing work and portfolios being lost. In particular, the impact will be on the hard work we have done in the regions.

This is a good point and feedback that we will gladly share with TfNSW. Please email if you have further details.

  1. Under TfNSW proposal, will staff on the RMS award be moved to the Transport Award rates of pay? I know that some teams in ROM were promised that we would be moved to the new pay rates and it hasn’t happened.

RMS workers were promised a transfer to the TfNSW Award in 2019, it is 2024 and TfNSW has made little effort to initiate the transfer. As mentioned above, we are currently negotiating a shift work clause which will make the transition much easier for RMS workers. We understand that workers are promised a lot, it’s our job to make sure that the promises are kept. Once we successfully see the TMC cohorts transferred, we will send out more correspondence calling for other cohorts to reach out to the PSA so that we can assist with the transfer.

  1. What is the ‘right to disconnect’? I feel many Directors do not understand the ‘right to disconnect’ as if it’s a business need that will negate the ‘right to disconnect’.

The right to disconnect allows workers to refuse to respond to any form of communication outside work from both colleagues and third parties such as clients. We won this right in last year’s negotiations and it has just been passed in the Federal Government’s second tranche of amendments to the Fair Work Act. An example of a breach to the right to disconnect would be if you were going to be on leave for a week but you are working on a project where you are the only one with the ability to do approvals. In this case, your manager should give someone an HDA to perform your role and to have access to approvals while you are on leave. However, we are seeing that workers are not being covered while they are on leave and as such, they are pressured into doing approvals and checking emails while away. If you are being disciplined for failing to respond to work correspondence outside of work hours, please contact your union.

  1. I got told my five days of Higher Duties were a “training opportunity” and as such not eligible for Higher Duties Allowance. Others in my team have been told the same. If my Manager takes two weeks off it is arranged for two of us fill in, so 2 x 5 day stints instead of a 10-day stint. I don’t think it’s my Manager doing this, I think it’s coming from higher up.

This is a sneaky practice, and we will be sending out a bulletin shortly about this issue.


  1. If a new grade was created in the TfNSW Award that accounted for TSSMs, I think it would be great to get some of the benefits of the Award. I work more than 50 hours every week and when I take a day off using my accrued annual leave, I usually have to make up that time on the weekend because the pressures on the TSSM are pretty big.

We were disturbed to hear about the amount of uncompensated overwork TSSMs appear to be experiencing across Transport. This situation is untenable, and we will continue to hold meetings for TSSMs to organise around your unique workplace issues. In the meantime, we encourage members to keep a record of their weekly hours which may be shared with the union later down the track.


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