TAS passengers pay for pay dispute

Metro Tasmania will cancel all bus services for a day next week due to strikes and an ongoing pay dispute

TAS passengers pay for pay dispute
TAS passengers pay for pay dispute

March 28, 2013

Metro Tasmania will cancel all bus services for a day next week due to strikes and an ongoing pay dispute.

Metro Chief Executive Officer Heather Haselgrove today says the Rail Tram and Bus Union (RBTU) planned to hold two stop work meetings Wednesday next week.

Haselgrove says the strike action would have disrupted services for
more than
six hours in morning peak and afternoon school service periods.

She says Metro has
been forced
to cancel services to mitigate passenger confusion and safety risks caused by the industrial action.

"After examining the very long list of services that would be disrupted, it became clear we could not provide passengers with any certainty next Wednesday," Haselgrove says.

"This raised the real risk of students being either stranded for hours waiting for a bus in the morning or stranded after school and that is simply untenable.

"It would have created confusion for all our passengers about whether their service was running or not. It is better for the public to know no services are running, rather than the inherent uncertainty of piecemeal service delivery in the midst of the proposed industrial action."

Haselgrove says that while the stop work meetings were each of one hour duration, the time taken by drivers to get to and from a meeting disrupted services for a minimum of three hours each time.

Metro says that services would again be disrupted across Tasmania next on April 4 due to a RTBU stop work meeting.

Haselgrove says Metro wrote to all drivers earlier this week detailing changes to the proposed new Enterprise Agreement and wage increase offer.

Metro has increased its pay offer of 2.1 percent
with the proposed offsets for opening up urban satellite yards and extending some drivers’ duties to
five hours 30 minutes with two 15 breaks.

Haselgrove says Metro’s financial position does not allow for the offer to be further increased.

She says the offer is reasonable given the rise in CPI for Hobart for last calendar year was 1 percent. With the compression of wage classifications, superannuation increases and wage increase the cost to Metro of the new Enterprise Agreement is already 3.2 percent per annum for the next three years.

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