Roads & Maritime Services (RMS) and Transport for NSW (TfNSW)
After this year's State election, there were media reports that Transport for NSW and RMS would be merged. Following these reports, our number 1 priority is to maintain conditions and minimise job losses during the merger, brought about by raising doubts about the future of Award coverage within the new organisation.
The combined transport unions were successful in securing a commitment from the Government for a 2-year protection for existing Award conditions and through the consultation provisions of the RMS Award we were able to force TfNSW to regularly meet with us to discuss the merger. At each of those meetings, we asked if there were any plans to change the legislation around RMS. Transport told us that they had no plans for this and could keep RMS as a legal entity in name while merging the agencies in practice. However, a bill was introduced to abolish RMS, and to cut long service leave for some public servants. The significance of this is that if RMS was to be dissolved, the RMS Awards would no longer have any effect and our RMS engineers would be forced on to the inferior Transport for NSW Award.
We have just under 300 members at RMS, 100 at Transport and a handful at Sydney Metro Authority which is part of Transport – once combined the new organisation will be the Association's largest site.
We have now signed up to sixteen members at Google. This is despite our access to the site being extremely limited. We have also had a small victory by getting the company to create an Australian-specific support person policy that allows union/legal representation for workers in meetings.
This is another new frontier in the digital economy which we are pursuing. Game Workers refer to the collection of coders, artists, marketers and designers who work in the growing computer gaming industry. They have already formed a support network known as Game Workers Unite, which we have supported through printing, hosting meetings and providing limited industrial advice. We are now working on a joint membership model which will enable us to grow our membership in this emerging sector and provide more formal assistance to the Game Workers Unite membership with the goal of bargaining for an enterprise agreement - the first in the industry.
NSW Power Industry
Bargaining for a new enterprise agreement at AGL is about to start with PA representing the engineers and professionals on site. This agreement is vital as it will cover the closure of Liddell power station, which has attracted a large amount of media in recent months. Our log of claims will include a clause around RPEng recognition and a commitment from the company regarding no forced redundancies during the Liddell closure.
In distribution, there are major changes as Endeavour, Essential and Ausgrid all face undesirable AER outcomes. Ausgrid have announced 360 job losses in 2019 and Essential have announced 182. We have members effected at both sites, but we have been extremely successful in minimising the number of engineers directly impacted. As part of the campaign to save jobs at Essential, we have held a number of regional meetings, including a meeting scheduled for the day of the Branch Committee meetings at which both the Leader and the Deputy Leader of the NSW Opposition will be speaking to members directly about their concerns.
LGEA 2020 Award Survey
The LGEA 2020 Award Survey is closed. Following LGNSW's disappointing Log of Claims for the Local Government (State) Award 2020 - which can be read here - it is more important than ever that we start Award negotiations from the best position possible to defend your employment conditions.
Thank you to all the survey participants, your responses will be critical during negotiations.