|posted : 10 September 2003|
Compare the Pacific National 'final' EBA offer and the RTBU claim
By By Greg Harvey, National OrganiserOn July 25, 2003, Pacific National presented their ‘final offer’ to the Rail Tram and Bus Union on the first Enterprise Bargaining Agreement for the new company. The RTBU presented its considered response a week later, on August 1. There are major differences between the RTBU and Pacific National positions, which must still, in the end, be resolved by negotiation.
At the time of writing, August 6, these were the differences in the two positions.
Remuneration for employees is calculated by adding together Base + Aggregate Penalties + Aggregate Allowance. The RTBU and Pacific National agree on a formula to calculate the penalty for Sat/Sun and Afternoon/Night shift penalties.
The Aggregate Allowance applies to a Classification Stream, and covers all existing allowances including mileage, tonnage etc. It is calculated at the 100% Base Rate so it is a flat dollar amount for all entitled employees in each stream.
The RTBU proposes that the aggregate allowance rates be:
Pacific National offers no aggregate allowance for Admin / Network Control.
There is an additional allowance paid because of the higher tonnage / mileage worked in Hunter Valley and Mudgee. Pacific National only want to pay this allowance for the term of this agreement.
Both parties agree to fortnightly pay.
A major difference between the parties is the all-purpose payment.
RTBU proposes 5% paid on February 21, 2003, and 4% February 21, 2004
Pacific National proposes 4% on Date of Certification of the EBA, 3% 12 months after Certification.
Specific changes for Locomotive Drivers
Pacific National has removed the 9% for DOO Shunting Allowance paid to former National Rail employees, and removed the 5% for DOO Shunting Allowance paid to former FreightCorp employees.
This would mean a cut in pay for ex-FreightCorp Driver Level C employees of $2,142 per year, and a loss of $3,749 per year for National Rail employees.
The RTBU claim retains driver only components.
The new RTBU Structure requires Salary Maintenance for NR Driver 3. There is no salary maintenance proposal in Pacific National's final proposal.
PN has combined the four existing classification streams into one 'operations' stream and one 'support' stream. The RTBU proposes to retain the four streams: Drivers, Maintainers, Terminal Operators, and Administration / Network Control.
The Pacific National proposal doesn't provide for clearly defined career paths, and there is no automatic range.
The RTBU proposal provides for Drivers to progress automatically to Level 11 of the new structure, which is the same as Driver Level 3 in ex-National Rail and Driver A in FreightCorp. Similarly the RTBU proposes that NRC Terminal Operators employed before the sale to Pacific National are to retain their right to progress to the highest point in the automatic range for their Classification.
In summary, the RTBU proposes that career progression be automatic to:
Changes to Classification Structures have occurred in the RTBU proposal which have resulted in broadbanding of similar classifications in the old NRC and FreightCorp structures.
While the percentage relativities have changed between the Levels, the dollar amounts paid to each Level are similar to existing pay rates.
The RTBU proposes that ex-FreightCorp Maintainers be paid a 5% increase when they obtain and use major competencies outside of their normal classifications.
Hours of Work
The parties agree to 4 weekly duty cycles. A major difference is that the RTBU proposes that Drivers and other classifications on forecast rostering with defined sign-on sign-off times, will have 4 week duty cycles with ordinary hours at 152.
The Pacific National proposal allows for forecast rostered employees to work up to 168 hours at ordinary time and blank line up to 192 for train crew. Pacific National wants a Locomotive Depot to work up to 192 ordinary hours each 4 week period if work is highly variable and / or work is seasonal e.g. Grain.
The RTBU proposes that for hours worked above 152, the employee has the choice of receiving the applicable penalty payment or having the hours (at the penalty rate applied) added to the employee's bank of hours.
Rostering Principles - Non Train Crew
Maximum ordinary hours of work are 38 per week / 76 over a two-week period, and may be worked over a 19 day month where such arrangements already apply.
Intervals between shifts
The RTBU proposes that Terminal Operator's / Maintainers /Admin - Network have 12 hours rest between shifts.
The union proposes that Drivers have 12 hours at home; 10 hours at rest between 0400 and 2200; 8 hours at rest between 2200 and 0400 hrs; and 10 hours at rest - Driver Only Operation
Pacific National proposes that the minimum shift break for non-train crew is 8 hours, and for drivers:
Maximum Shift Length
The parties currently agree that Driver Only Operations shifts can be 8 hours (8.50 by agreement). Pacific National proposes that the maximum shift length for driver only is to be 9 hours and for all other workers to be 12 hours.
Over the last ten years, the workforce in the rail freight industry has been reduced by 70 per cent, from 10,000 to just 3000. NSW has had the largest decrease in employee numbers. In 1993 there were 10,426 NSW rail freight employees. In 2002 this had dropped approximately 80 per cent, to just 2,200 employees.
Productivity in the industry has increased dramatically. In 1993 the NTK (net tonne kilometres) per employee was 1,500. By 2000, it was more than 5000 NTK per employee and increasing.
This increased productivity is reflected in the profitability of the industry. In 1993 the interstate rail freight sector had an annual $350 million deficit. Now the industry is turning a profit.
According to the Productivity Commission, between 1990/91 and 2000/01, real freight rates for the transport of export coal in the Hunter Valley fell by 61%.
Between 1996/97 and 2000/01, 'average rail freight rates for the transport of coal' fell in real terms in NSW by 52 per cent and in Queensland by 26 per cent.
Between 1996/97 and 2000/01, average rail freight charges in NSW for the transport of wheat to ports by rail fell in real terms by 22 per cent.
http://www.rtbu.asn.au/139.html - printed 22/5/2013