Transport for New South Wales & Sydney Metro Salaries & Conditions of Employment Award 2019 ratified in the IRC
The Public Service Association is writing to inform members that the Transport for NSW & Sydney Metro Salaries & Conditions of Employment Award 2019 has been made by the NSW Industrial Relations Commission (IRC).
The Award is for a two-year period with salary increases of 2.5 per cent per annum. There are also several other updates to the Award reflecting union concerns over the reform anticipated from the dissolution of the RMS and its amalgamation with TfNSW proper.
The PSA has also negotiated a Memorandum of Understanding with TfNSW in order to provide some sanctity of the RMS Group Award and mechanism to determine Award applications (i.e. either RMS Award or TfNSW Award coverage) for roles in future levels of reform. This has less involvement for staff that currently reside in TfNSW proper.
Salary increases will be back paid to the first full pay period after 1 July.
Inclusion of Sydney Metro
Sydney Metro was created in 2018 and the salaries and conditions of employment for these staff were tied to the TfNSW Award via agreement between the employer and the unions. This nexus has now been strengthened with the inclusion of Sydney Metro as part of the Award. This enable better mobility provisions between the groups for members as TfNSW rolls out its large infrastructure spend.
What about the New Flexible Working Hours Agreement?
As part of the negotiations and balloting, members have accepted the terms of the proposed TfNSW Flexible Working Hours Agreement (FWHA). This provides a better and more flexible accumulation of working hours and time off for staff who are subject to the agreement and is a corner stone of the negotiations for this Award.
However, it must be recognised that due to the administrative and systems changes required to implement the new FWHA, there will be some lag time with its implementation.
It is envisaged that staff will be able to access the full entitlements set down under the FWHA by early 2020.
What is the Education Piece around the FWHA?
There is a basic premise of a FWHA that staff work hours excess of their contract in order to take hours off at another time. This will work differently in every business unit and due to the nature of the change, it will be necessary to educate members and managers on:
- the substance of the new agreement
- the implications for flexible work
- the inhibiting factors
- the discussions required to properly implement the spirit and the functionality of the agreement.
The last point is the most important. Flex is still granted at the operational convenience of the agency and therefore staff and managers need to understand that the increased nature of the flexibility requires the subsequent level of maturity developing processes for how this will operate in each circumstance.
Watch out for the PSA and combined unions in your workplace assisting with this process.
The PSA will continue working with TfNSW over the amalgamation of RMS and TfNSW functions. For the time being, TfNSW is continuing with their stakeholder meetings in order to identify and agree on the work that will be facilitated by each division and how they will interact with other divisions.
The PSA advocates for members to have their say.
PSA representatives meet regularly with TfNSW management as part of the Joint Consultative group process. As part of that process, the PSA will be providing all of the information, correspondence and presentations on our website.
PSA gives thanks
A big thank you goes out the PSA delegates and the TfNSW Departmental Committee members that assisted PSA staff in this rather drawn out negotiation. In the end this provides real benefits and protections to members.
Watch for updates and PSA bulletins.