Bus drivers threaten more industrial action next week

Torrens Transit bus drivers have threatened more industrial action from next week after the Transport Workers Union said negotiations with their employer had stalled.

Jan 12, 2023, updated Jan 12, 2023
An Adelaide Metro bus. Photo: Nat Rogers/InDaily

An Adelaide Metro bus. Photo: Nat Rogers/InDaily

Unless their demands are met, bus drivers at Torrens Transit will not collect passenger fares from next Tuesday and will not work any un-rostered overtime on Wednesday.

A statement from the union said “talks with the company on Tuesday failed to provide a reasonable position on terms and conditions for drivers”.

“Further stoppages have not been ruled out if the company does not present a reasonable position at a meeting scheduled for Monday,” a statement read.

The union also revealed that a survey of more than 350 bus drivers showed that without change, 81 per cent would consider leaving the industry.

TWU SA/NT Secretary Ian Smith said that while there had been some positive progress on safety talks, he was disappointed that Torrens Transit had not taken on drivers’ concerns.

“Fare free days are a way that our drivers can show our thanks to the community for their support in our fight for a better, safer and fairer industry. We’ve been overwhelmed by the response,” Smith said.

“Torrens Transit showed very clearly its unwillingness to provide drivers who service our community with terms and conditions that would take our industry forward, presenting a woefully inadequate position at Tuesday’s meeting.

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“At our further meeting on Monday, the company must come back to the table with a fair and reasonable offer. Without a genuine offer, drivers can’t rule out further industrial action.”

It comes after officials from the Transport Workers Union (TWU), bus operator Torrens Transit and the Department for Infrastructure and Transport were locked in talks for more than six hours on Tuesday as the union pressed its demands for better pay and conditions in Torrens Transit’s next enterprise bargaining agreement.

Following the talks Smith said “a little bit of backpay was put on the table” by Torrens Transit but there was still “very little movement” in negotiations with the company.

Asked by InDaily whether the union was weighing up strike action when schools return on January 30, Smith said: “Anything’s possible.”

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