The time has come to vote on the offer put forward by Sydney Trains.
I want to say from the outset that the ETU negotiating team has done a remarkable job to get to the position we are in. As part of the combined union negotiation committee they have been meeting constantly for months to try and extract the best possible outcomes from Sydney Trains management. The fact that the we have managed to break the Governments long held 2.5% wages cap is outstanding and will be viewed by other parts of the public sector as a great win and precedent. On top of this all of your conditions have been maintained and a number of them enhanced.
The new contracting out arrangement is a marked improvement on the previous agreement and will make it more difficult for your employer to contract work out. The redundancy provisions within the deed have been increased to sixty-four weeks for voluntary redundancies. These are on top of other improved conditions including the expanded travel pass, improved meal allowance and the classifications structure which will give us an opportunity to further increase the wages of some employees including a review of protection officers.
Overall I believe this is the best outcome that could be attained through negotiations under a hostile liberal state government. Should members vote to reject the agreement, the ability for ETU members to take protected industrial action remains an option and the ETU is ready to support members in any future industrial campaign.