Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Staff vote YES to accept ONRSR Enterprise Agreement

Staff vote YES to accept ONRSR Enterprise Agreement – March 2018 (PDF version)

A clear majority of Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR) staff have voted to endorse the agency’s enterprise agreement offer.

Obviously it is not the result I was hoping for, but I respect that staff have exercised their rights and have endorsed the package by a significant margin.

Key elements of the new package include:

  • A $1000 cash payment on approval of the enterprise agreement
  • An annual two per cent or CPI pay rise (whichever is greatest)
  • New arrangements for incremental progression
  • New six-step salary scales across all classification below MRSO
  • A new Trainee Rail Safety Officer Classification
  • A $300 bi-annual reimbursement for prescription safety glasses
  • An increase in the daily Duty Officer Allowance to $20
  • A uniform 7:00am-7:00pm operating bandwidth
  • Changes to TOIL accrual for Duty Officer “limited initial response” situations.

I would like to acknowledge the other bargaining representatives involved, thank them for their contribution and congratulate those who successfully argued in favour of the new package.

For those who are disappointed with the outcome, I want to assure you the new agreement retains many excellent employment conditions that have been won by the CPSU through collective bargaining. Many of the core conditions staff will continue to enjoy are directly a result of the work of Australian unions – secure employment, annual leave, long service leave, sick leave, parental leave, flexitime and penalty rates.

However, to protect and improve employment conditions in future, the challenge for us is to improve our bargaining position by being better organised, more active and growing our membership. Nothing should be taken for granted. Everything has at some point been fought for and won. It can just as easily be lost.

Whether we agree with it or not, the current workplace relations system is by its very nature adversarial. Collective (enterprise) agreements are made by majority decision. Numbers equals influence. Influence equals power. Power equals outcomes.

If you want to protect and improve your working conditions and pay, then join the CPSU and get active. If you’re already a member, get active and ask a colleague who’s not in the union to join.

For information on CPSU membership, click on your state branch link:

For any other workplace matters, please do not hesitate to contact me at .

Thane Pearce
Senior Industrial Advocate