Guarded optimism over train negotiations
Despite significant progress in EBA (enterprise bargaining agreement) negotiations this week, the Public Transport Authority cannot rule out the possibility of tomorrow afternoon’s stop-work meeting by Transperth train drivers extending into peak hour.
PTA Acting Chief Executive Officer Reece Waldock today expressed satisfaction with the progress to date of ongoing EBA discussions between the Rail, Bus and Tram Union and the authority.
Mr Waldock said positive progress had been made since a meeting at the WA Industrial Relations Commission on Wednesday.
The PTA’s offer has been enhanced to about seven per cent over two years, plus a range of additional improvements to allowances and conditions.
While recognising the need for the union to report back to its members, Mr Waldock expressed concern at the implications for commuters in the event that tomorrow’s scheduled stoppage spills over into the afternoon peak.
“Given the enhanced offer now before the union, any industrial action would be completely unjustified and most unfair to the travelling public,” Mr Waldock said.
“By holding the meeting on a Friday afternoon the union has not left us much room to move – nearly all our buses are already deployed in the work-day afternoon peak and, with the meeting scheduled to finish at 3pm, we have virtually no time to organise replacement buses even if we can find them.
“I think it is reasonable for the public to expect that, if they catch a train to work in the morning, they will be able to get home at the end of the day.
“I would expect the union to recognise that public expectation.”
Trains on all lines will stop from about 11am to about 4pm tomorrow. The union meeting is scheduled to take place between noon and 3pm.
Last train services tomorrow morning are:
• Perth to Armadale at 10.15am; Armadale to Perth at 10.46am
• Perth to Currambine at 10.30am; Currambine to Perth at 10.58am
• Perth to Fremantle at 10.30am; Fremantle to Perth at 10.57am
• Perth to Midland at 10.45am; Midland to Perth 11am
Rail replacement bus services 707 (on the Armadale line), 404 (Joondalup line), 606 (Fremantle line) and 505 (Midland line) will pick up and drop commuters at the red rail replacement stops near train stations, for the duration of the stop-work meeting.
The bus trips take longer than the respective rail journeys, so commuters should allow extra travelling time. Surfboards and bicycles are not permitted on Transperth buses.
Further information is available through the Transperth InfoLine on 13 62 13 (TTY:9428 1999) or from the website, www.transperth.wa.gov.au