Tasmanian pay talks get bitter before better


Metro Tasmania has warned passengers that refusing to pay bus fares is illegal, as a company dispute with drivers escalates

March 18, 2013

Metro Tasmania has warned passengers that refusing to pay bus fares is illegal, as a pay dispute between drivers and the company continues.

Metro CEO Heather Haselgrove says alleged calls for passengers to refuse fare payment,
as
enterprise agreement
negotiations continue, could be
detrimental
for the bus company.

"Reducing our revenue further would make it difficult to even pay the wage increase that is on offer," Haselgrove says.

Last
Friday Metro announced it was seeking legal advice to clarify the position in relation to non-payment of fares.

"On the face of it, under the Passenger Transport Regulations 2000 a person cannot travel on a regular passenger transport services unless they have paid a fare," Haselgrove says.

"Collecting fares is also part of a driver’s duties and therefore non-collection may put them in breach of their duties, which could carry penalties for the driver."

Metro has offered drivers a 2.1 percent pay rise a year over the three years plus additional benefits through the enterprise agreement through the compression of wage classifications.

Haselgrove says Metro does not have the financial capacity to meet
union demands for a
three percent pay increase each year over the three years.

Metro will formally put a revised offer directly to employees this week.

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