The TWU (VIC/TAS Branch) has notified bus operators CDC and Transdev that its members will be proceeding with protected industrial action in the form of full 24-hour work stoppages from the first bus next Thursday, 16 August.
TWU members are negotiating the 2018 Victorian Bus Industry Agreement, which seeks to move away from the unreliable Average Weekly Earnings wage increase model to fixed percentage agreements, with bus operators.
The TWU informed all Victorian bus operators – through Bus Industry Victoria - over three years ago, and repeatedly since, that TWU Victorian Delegates had voted unanimously to pursue fixed increases - and would not accept Average Weekly Earnings - and what it proposed those increases to be.
CDC were the first company to open discussions, followed by Transdev, Dysons were handed a log of claims last week and Ventura have had two very recent meetings.
TWU CDC members, which comprise the vast majority of CDC drivers, have already held several protected stop work actions.
However, in a sign of good faith, TWU members lifted all work bans and postposed stoppages for the past two weeks in an attempt to come to an acceptable agreement with CDC.
The TWU had been encouraged by the positive progress of talks with CDC, however TWU (VIC/TAS Branch) Secretary John Berger said they broke down at mediation today without an agreement being reached.
“The matter had come close to a resolution and we remain available to speak with all parties. There was nothing to stop us taking actions over the past two weeks but we decided to do everything we could to resolve the issue out of good faith and without triggering further industrial action,” Mr Berger said.
“However, while our members do not take any joy in inconveniencing the community they serve, they also need to look after themselves and their own families.
“These hard-working members are worth more than what the company have put on the table and have indicated that they are willing to continue to fight for a decent living wage and a secure future.”
CDC have been busy buying up Australian transportation assets throughout this year, and between last week’s mediation session with the TWU and today's, acquired two NSW bus companies – including Forest Coach Lines, Sydney’s oldest privately-run family bus and coach operator for $110 million.
Thursday’s stoppage will be the first for Transdev members after over 90% voted to take action after results from a protected action ballot were confirmed today.
The vast majority of Transdev drivers are TWU members and were unhappy with the company’s initial wage offer.
A knock-on effect of the initial CDC action has been the huge number of CDC drivers who have joined up since the action started – and many new members have been signing up from other big operators Transdev, Dysons and Ventura.
TWU Media & Communications Manager Jason Gregory
0430 931 494 / firstname.lastname@example.org