Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) Tasmanian Branch Secretary Ric Bean today welcomed the Tasmanian Government’s support package for bus drivers, saying it was a positive step towards arresting the crisis in Tasmania’s public transport system.
“Today’s announcement addresses two of the three key issues that we have raised.
“Firstly, the commitment to a pay rise outside of the Enterprise Agreement is a recognition that in a competitive labour market for bus drivers, employers have to offer competitive wages if they are to attract and retain staff.
“Secondly, the package delivers funding for safety screens for drivers, and for long-awaited roll-out of Transit Officers on the bus network.
“These are important initiatives that the RTBU has been campaigning for, and come on top of the ‘It’s not OK’ joint public awareness campaign between Metro Tasmania and the RTBU.”
Ric Bean said the RTBU would continue working with the State Government to address the third issue of concern to drivers: the workplace culture at Metro Tasmania.
“Drivers need to feel that Metro management supports them. This is an intangible thing that can’t be solved by money alone - it requires people to work together in a cooperative and constructive manner, and to build trust.
“The high level of turnover in Metro’s management hasn’t helped, but we’re hopeful that today’s announcement will be a turning point.”
Ric Bean thanked the Tasmanian community for their continued support of bus drivers, and for rallying behind their public buses.
“It is clear that Tasmanians value their public bus services and want to have access to frequent, reliable and safe public transport.
“There’s still a lot of work to do, but we are hopeful that Metro can once again be the publicly-owned bus company that Tasmanians want and deserve.”