TfNSW and RMS Award negotiations: Transport for NSW continues to resist union claims - Public Service Association

TfNSW and RMS Award negotiations: Transport for NSW continues to resist union claims

With not long to go until the nominal expiry date of your Award, you are probably wondering what progress has been made in negotiations?

So far, the PSA and combined transport unions have met with Transport for NSW (TfNSW) six times to negotiate the terms and conditions of your Award.  The PSA and combined transport unions have put forward claims and draft clauses for the majority of our log of claims. Outstanding claims to be raised are; rostering, Award modernisation, and cost-related claims, including your wages.

There has been little agreement from TfNSW on incorporating Award terms for the tabled claims. The line trotted out from TfNSW to the majority of the claims has been it would be best addressed as a matter of policy.

Below is a summary of claims put forward and the position from TfNSW:

Claim TfNSW Response
Improved Job Security: claims related to restriction on use of labour hire and contractors, reviewing the success of restructures and prioritising unplaced employees. Formally no response, verbally we have been told many of these are better placed in policy or already occur as matter of policy.
Enhanced flexible work practices: claims related to incorporating the Flexible Working Hour Agreement into the Award and changes to existing provisions to reflect a hybrid way of working. TfNSW has said no to incorporating the FWHA into the Award; it wishes to keep it as a local agreement.  What TfNSW will agree to is some variation to the flexible work provisions in the Awards. The specifics of what TfNSW will agree to vary is somewhat unclear. However, the specifics we have been provided are that TfNSW is seeking the ability to have greater flexibility in the hours in which employees can seek to work and a provision in the TfNSW Award to allow the cashing out of Annual Leave when they are entitled to accrue more than 20 days annual leave per year.
Improved consultation: claim included the provision of consultation reports that inform restructures and harmonising the Award.s TfNSW has not provided a formal response to this claim. However, it has agreed to establish a Working Group for potential changes to the Consultation and Change clauses.
WHS: the majority of these claims related to the impact of workload on wellbeing and establishing Award conditions that provided a mechanism to manage these issues better. Included was a draft clause providing the right to disconnect.


TfNSW has not agreed to incorporate any of these claims into the Award. TfNSW has advised that its systems cannot in a meaningful way provide the data sought in the claim related to reporting the number of flex hours forfeited across TfNSW.

TfNSW’s view of the other claims made was it is better addressed in policy and at the local level with the union’s providing it with specific areas where workloads and forfeited hours are an issue. What it will commit to is addressing workload. TfNSW has also committed to exploring further the right to disconnect.

Modernisation: claims relating to updating parental leave to be gender-neutral, updating the domestic violence leave clauses to reflect the NSW Government policy, and various other claims yet to be explored. TfNSW has agreed that parental leave is updated, domestic violence leave is updated, and amendments to clauses to promote a more inclusive workplace.
Professional Development: these claims sought Award conditions that provided employees more equal access to training and development. TfNSW has not responded formally as these claims were only discussed on 17 May 2022.


TfNSW offer

TfNSW wrote to the combined transport unions, dated 17 May 2022, to formally advise of its position on the Award:

  1. Duration of two years;
  2. Proposed increases in line with the current wages policy:
    • 04 per cent from the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2022 (superannuation is scheduled to increase from the current 10% to 10.5% from 1 July 2022)
    • 2.04 per cent from the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2023 (superannuation is scheduled to increase to 11% from 1 July 2023)
  3. TfNSW is not putting any claims forward to vary the conditions in the Award substantively. The variations to conditions will be made based on the combined transport unions claims; what those variations will be remains rather opaque. The drafting of these clauses will continue over the coming weeks.

TfNSW has stated its aim is to finalise the Award before the nominal expiry date of 30 June 2022.

Where to from here?

The outstanding claims still need to be negotiated, including salary. The Public Sector Wages cap is still at 2.5 per cent. The Premier has said if there will be changes to the wages cap, it will not be released until after the budget. The PSA is campaigning for an end to the NSW Liberal-National Government’s unfair Public Sector Wages cap of 2.5 per cent.

We want to ensure our members’ real wages do not go backwards and will move forward with a pay claim of 5.2 per cent.

In relation to the PSA claims that have been canvased so far, we remain dismayed at TfNSW’s resistance to including the majority of these matters within the Award. In particular, the rejection of our claims that seek to address the workload issues that members are reporting. As the unions have continually stated to continue to push this back to being addressed at the local level without any changes to conditions is unlikely to resolve the issues.

The PSA will continue to negotiate with TfNSW and push the claims that are important to the membership, including the increases in wages.  We hope to come to a negotiated outcome before the nominal expiry date of 30 June 2022.

If you want any further information, you can contact the PSA on 1300 772 679 or if you want to learn more about our campaign and write to your MP and sign the petition go HERE.

Now, more than ever, a strong union will help us all win together. If there is a colleague who isn’t yet a member, send this update on and invite them to JOIN.

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