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STA Privatisation / Franchising

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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby Stu » Fri May 25, 2018 1:09 am

There are currectoy 244 outbound transfers from Region 6 of which have been frozen for the past 9 months. The RTBU have been fighting STA with regards to the freeze on transfers, a depot must have 95% staffing level before transfers are allowed and STA have been falling back on this policy. However, STA have been ordered to freeze all incoming transfers beteeen Regions 7, 8 & 9 respectively and accept transfers from Region 6 only.

There are only 67 vacancies at the moment. :shock:
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby Swift » Fri May 25, 2018 1:54 am

It does seem unfair to make current STA employees suddenly become employees of another organisation altogether, they are being treated as just assets to be passed on instead of the STA employees they are. It's up to TSA to offer an inducement to become their employees or find their own drivers. Is this non consensual transfer of drivers to another employer even lawful?
What about a golden handshake as an option?
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby Campbelltown busboy » Fri May 25, 2018 8:39 am

Swift wrote:It does seem unfair to make current STA employees suddenly become employees of another organisation altogether, they are being treated as just assets to be passed on instead of the STA employees they are. It's up to TSA to offer an inducement to become their employees or find their own drivers. Is this non consensual transfer of drivers to another employer even lawful?
What about a golden handshake as an option?
Westbus and Hawkesbruy Valley Buses had to transfer drivers to Busways when Busways took full control of region 1 the Westbus Hopkinsons MetroLink Busabout and Western Sydney Buses had to transfer drivers to Transit Systems Sydney when Transit Systems took over region 3 Busabout had to transfer to Interline when Interline took full control of region 2 and Busways had to transfer drivers to Busabout when Busabout took over region 15 so the contracted requirement of drivers transferring between operators has happened before
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby tonyp » Fri May 25, 2018 11:43 am

Swift wrote:It does seem unfair to make current STA employees suddenly become employees of another organisation altogether, they are being treated as just assets to be passed on instead of the STA employees they are. It's up to TSA to offer an inducement to become their employees or find their own drivers. Is this non consensual transfer of drivers to another employer even lawful?
What about a golden handshake as an option?

Is it non-consensual or is it actually voluntary termination of employment with one employer and commencement of employment with a new employer in a guaranteed position, with the proviso that the employee is not required to join the new employer if he/she doesn't want to?
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby Free Lance » Fri May 25, 2018 12:39 pm

If memory serves me correctly, I recall that when Busabout took over the Campbelltown services from Busways a vast number of drivers stayed in the district working for a new employer. I have no details to verify this only what was "hearsay'
On separate issue when the ownership on Manly Bus Service (inc Manly Coaches) happen early this century all drivers were told that they had to apply to the new owner, to secure employment, some of us just jumped ship whilst those who weren't wanted simply weren't employed. I believe it did cause some staffing issues, didn't effect me as I had moved on in the days before "the take-over"
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby boronia » Fri May 25, 2018 1:06 pm

Swift wrote:It does seem unfair to make current STA employees suddenly become employees of another organisation altogether, they are being treated as just assets to be passed on instead of the STA employees they are. It's up to TSA to offer an inducement to become their employees or find their own drivers. Is this non consensual transfer of drivers to another employer even lawful?
What about a golden handshake as an option?

It is usually common (maybe compulsory?) in company takeovers that employees who choose to stay on have all their leave entitlements (annual, sick leave, LSL, etc) migrate with them without loss of benefit.

I doubt there could be "nonconsensual" transfers, any dissenting employee can just quit if they don't like it. TSA would have to negotiate with each individual driver in advance. If ALL R6 drivers refused to transfer, STA might have to find jobs for them elsewhere, or offer voluntary redundancy?

What happened at WSB and Newcastle?
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby Campbelltown busboy » Fri May 25, 2018 1:20 pm

Free Lance wrote:If memory serves me correctly, I recall that when Busabout took over the Campbelltown services from Busways a vast number of drivers stayed in the district working for a new employer. I have no details to verify this only what was "hearsay'
Most of drivers currently at Busabout are from the Busways Campbelltown operation
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby Stu » Fri May 25, 2018 11:52 pm

boronia wrote:It is usually common (maybe compulsory?) in company takeovers that employees who choose to stay on have all their leave entitlements (annual, sick leave, LSL, etc) migrate with them without loss of benefit.

I doubt there could be "nonconsensual" transfers, any dissenting employee can just quit if they don't like it. TSA would have to negotiate with each individual driver in advance. If ALL R6 drivers refused to transfer, STA might have to find jobs for them elsewhere, or offer voluntary redundancy?

What happened at WSB and Newcastle?


Drivers from both WSB and Newcastle were able to transfer up until the last weekday of operation under STA. This was because there was room for transfers in other depots where the policy is that an individual depot must be at 95% staffing capacity before permitting transfers - this would include taking into consideration who wants to transfer into one particular depot and who wants to transfer out of the same depot.

There will be no voluntary redundancy for drivers, only salaried staff are eligible for VR.
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby Stu » Sat May 26, 2018 12:17 am

During April there was a TSA representative at each depot given the task of handing out special envelopes. One from TfNSW (white A3 with two colour logo - very expensive) and an envelope from TSA (golden, no print with a white sticker affixed - fiscally responsible). The paper work was in the form of an offer of employement and each driver was required to read, sign and send back to TSA only if they wanted to work for TSA. If a driver does not want to work for TSA and subsequently declines the offer, the TSA would presume that the driver will be either transferring or initiating a resignation from STA.

There is a rather unique conundrum that has enveloped in recent times relating to continued employment and transfers with STA. There are a group of drivers of whom have refused to sign the paper work of the following reasons:
- STA must keep them employed at STA.
- STA must transfer these drivers out of R6 regardless of how full another depot may or may not be).
- STA cannot unlawfully sack these drivers.

Come July 1st, what will the employment status of these drivers be? Will they be in pergatoty, the wilderness, no mans labd or another dimension so to speak?
- These drivers will not be employed by TSA as the drivers declined the offer of employment.
- STA cannot sack these drivers.
- STA cannot provide an offer of voluntary redundancy to these drivers.
- STA cannot provide enough work to these drivers if they are transferred to R7, R8 or R9 as there are currently only 67 vacancies in the othe three regions out of 244 transfer requests from R6 alone.
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby Swift » Sat May 26, 2018 1:03 am

^^They will probably make the news somewhere. As much as common sense tells me they should just surrender and give TSA a try, I can't help feeling they have a genuine grievance here. This is not the same as one private company taking over another, as the STA as an employer is quite a distinct category from private bus companies in general. Yes, they will continue to be represented by the RTBU in the foreseeable future, but what about beyond this timeframe? It's the implication of what the long range holds that is the real concern and I salute these rather brave people in being prepared to put it to the test instead of rolling over and conforming to the expected action.
Aren't drivers also 'salaried staff'?
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby swtt » Sat May 26, 2018 1:11 pm

Swift wrote:^^They will probably make the news somewhere. As much as common sense tells me they should just surrender and give TSA a try, I can't help feeling they have a genuine grievance here. This is not the same as one private company taking over another, as the STA as an employer is quite a distinct category from private bus companies in general. Yes, they will continue to be represented by the RTBU in the foreseeable future, but what about beyond this timeframe? It's the implication of what the long range holds that is the real concern and I salute these rather brave people in being prepared to put it to the test instead of rolling over and conforming to the expected action.
Aren't drivers also 'salaried staff'?
Drivers are paid by the hour.

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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby boronia » Sat May 26, 2018 1:40 pm

I know of a few people who were "wages" staff in the railways who have been given redundancy packages over the years. Do bus drivers get a better deal?
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby J_Busworth » Sat May 26, 2018 1:45 pm

These drivers could have a case for a lawsuit against the government if they don't have a job come July 1st. They cannot legally be forced to work for TSA and STA must keep them on regardless of their ability to find jobs for these drivers. If the drivers are sacked ill be looking forward to see what kind of unlawful termination suit they bring. I wonder how their employment contracts were worded and if they explicitly allowed for movements between depots. If they did they could already be breaching their contracts, but I presume TfNSW would have looked into that and other employment issues, right?

This will only serve to exacerbate the exisiting issues surrounding driver shortages in R6. If they do not have enough drivers in R6 and an excess of drivers in other regions what would happen? They wouldn't consider giving a route or two back to STA would they? The 389 really would be better off run by W and the M50 could be run by R and Y just as efficiently if not more efficiently than by L and T.
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby swtt » Sat May 26, 2018 2:42 pm

J_Busworth wrote:These drivers could have a case for a lawsuit against the government if they don't have a job come July 1st. They cannot legally be forced to work for TSA and STA must keep them on regardless of their ability to find jobs for these drivers. If the drivers are sacked ill be looking forward to see what kind of unlawful termination suit they bring. I wonder how their employment contracts were worded and if they explicitly allowed for movements between depots. If they did they could already be breaching their contracts, but I presume TfNSW would have looked into that and other employment issues, right?


To be honest, they could just be "redeployed" to do something else but on the same pay etc. Boredom/lack of job satisfaction will soon set in and they might realise their errors.
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby tonyp » Sat May 26, 2018 3:13 pm

swtt wrote:
To be honest, they could just be "redeployed" to do something else but on the same pay etc. Boredom/lack of job satisfaction will soon set in and they might realise their errors.

This is the traditional public service method in such cases. Such people just get put in a room somewhere with a pen and piece of paper to doodle on until they give up and leave or some other job is eventually found for them
Last edited by tonyp on Sat May 26, 2018 3:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby OKO » Sat May 26, 2018 3:16 pm

J_Busworth wrote: The 389 really would be better off run by W and the M50 could be run by R and Y just as efficiently if not more efficiently than by L and T.


Now is the ideal time for TfNSW to admit that the cross regional trips are not working. They do not work due to traffic issues right along the networks. The 343, 389, 400, M20/50 sand several others should be split back into two each.
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby rogf24 » Sat May 26, 2018 3:24 pm

The relatively long cross-regional routes don't work well but I wouldn't put 389 into that category. It only starts from Bondi Junction now, not North Bondi, and it only continues a little bit past the city into Pyrmont in the other region.

swtt wrote:To be honest, they could just be "redeployed" to do something else but on the same pay etc. Boredom/lack of job satisfaction will soon set in and they might realise their errors.


I take it that you have experience in a Japanese style banishment room.
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby J_Busworth » Sat May 26, 2018 4:16 pm

OKO wrote:
J_Busworth wrote: The 389 really would be better off run by W and the M50 could be run by R and Y just as efficiently if not more efficiently than by L and T.


Now is the ideal time for TfNSW to admit that the cross regional trips are not working. They do not work due to traffic issues right along the networks. The 343, 389, 400, M20/50 sand several others should be split back into two each.


I agree that cross city services should be cut back in half, all the original Metrobus plus the likes of the 343, 389, etc. I really don't think the CBD is that lacking in terminus space. Make a new terminus if the current ones are full, I really think there should be no on street parking in the City, just bus lanes, loading zones and bus layovers. I disagree with the notion that routes such the 400 should be spilt though. They offer a cross regional service that is very valuable and actually is better off as one route. Despite their unreliability, the 370, 400, etc are fine as they are.
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby Stu » Sat May 26, 2018 4:56 pm

J_Busworth wrote:These drivers could have a case for a lawsuit against the government if they don't have a job come July 1st. They cannot legally be forced to work for TSA and STA must keep them on regardless of their ability to find jobs for these drivers. If the drivers are sacked ill be looking forward to see what kind of unlawful termination suit they bring. I wonder how their employment contracts were worded and if they explicitly allowed for movements between depots. If they did they could already be breaching their contracts, but I presume TfNSW would have looked into that and other employment issues, right?

This will only serve to exacerbate the exisiting issues surrounding driver shortages in R6. If they do not have enough drivers in R6 and an excess of drivers in other regions what would happen? They wouldn't consider giving a route or two back to STA would they? The 389 really would be better off run by W and the M50 could be run by R and Y just as efficiently if not more efficiently than by L and T.


TSA have been recruiting heavily in the past few months. The 3 x training buses have been out each weekday since April to train new drivers and provide route familiarisation as well, these buses have been traversing across all of R6, also out to BJI in R9.
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby boeing » Sat May 26, 2018 5:49 pm

J_Busworth wrote:I agree that cross city services should be cut back in half, all the original Metrobus plus the likes of the 343, 389, etc.


343 is an interesting route for two reasons.

One, its path appears to me to have the most bus unfriendly roundabout (Harcourt Parade and Dunning Avenue) in Sydney.
Two, it is hugely popular between Rosberry and Central in one direction, and Martin Place and Roseberry in the other.

I don't know about splitting it. Seems the above choke points are already catered for with services originating at Martin Place (to Kingsford) and originating in Rothschild Avenue (to Central).

No doubt late running due to traffic on the other side of Sydney comes into play, but what other considerations should be taken into account for cross regional routes?
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby Swift » Sat May 26, 2018 5:56 pm

People need to consider the value of a feeling of a job well done. There is more to life than getting the most money you can and indulgent conditions.
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby Frosty » Sat May 26, 2018 6:25 pm

^ But in this day in age with high cost of living pressures income takes over the feeling over of doing a job well. Reminds me of a case of a group of teachers who really didn’t care about their job and just did it since it offered a decent income & job security.
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby Swift » Sat May 26, 2018 7:19 pm

Frosty wrote:^ But in this day in age with high cost of living pressures income takes over the feeling over of doing a job well. Reminds me of a case of a group of teachers who really didn’t care about their job and just did it since it offered a decent income & job security.

I never liked many teachers. In retrospect, most were uncaring and arrogant people. Now I see why with those empty people you described..
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby Linto63 » Sat May 26, 2018 7:21 pm

Whilst the discussion to date has by and large been civil, as D Day approaches we probably all should step back and remember we are talking about people's livelihoods and shouldn't engage in idle speculation.

Sure there are probably a few bad eggs in State Transit as in any organisation, but most of the employees affected are just good folk trying to go about their business with a minimum of fuss. And while it may appear from the outside looking in to be a fairly seamless transition, as anybody who has seen this type of regime change will know, some will find it more daunting than others.

Many here have firm and differing opinions on privatisation, unions etc, but given that this thread has been running for 12 months, the cases for and against must have been exhausted. Many of us are armchair experts who are not at the coalface and not aware of all the facts, and I think it is important that we remain respectful of the people involved and not add flames to the fire by engaging in speculation.

The reason I mention is that in a similar situation in another country, I witnessed a civil war break out on a forum when a journalist from an industry publication (who should have known better) speculated (wrongly as it turned out) that an incoming owner was going to implement a large restructure resulting in a blood bath with bans, topics being locked etc.

Not advocating censorship, getting stuck into TfNSW, State Transit, Transit Systems, the minister etc is fair game, but not individuals.
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Re: STA Privatisation / Franchising

Postby burrumbus » Sat May 26, 2018 9:03 pm

Very nicely said Linto.
As you said many of us have different opinions of the franchising-for and against.
What I have appreciated is the civil and respectful way we have conducted the debate on this forum.
The government have made their decision re region 6 and it won't change.It will be hard for many STA employees,especially ones who have been at STA for many years.The biggest change for many will be the cultural change from a government business to a private enterprise.TSA seem to be very good at managing transitions from government operation to private operation.Let's hope that it and STA will manage the transition well.
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