The TWU (VIC/TAS) Branch confirms that industrial action planned for this afternoon will proceed after Fair Work Commission (FWC) mediation held this morning failed to progress discussions.
The point should be reinforced that CDC itself applied to the FWC for mediation.
However, CDC not only failed to improve its current offer but used the mediation session to re-table a previously-rejected offer.
That offer had been put to the TWU by CDC CEO Nicholas Yap in a meeting on Monday 9 July and was rejected by the TWU during that same meeting on Monday 9 July.
It should be pointed out that CDC Victoria issued a press release yesterday quoting Mr Yap as saying: “We continue to appeal to the TWU to progress discussions instead of impacting commuters.”
TWU (VIC/TAS Branch) Secretary John Berger apologised to commuters for any inconvenience the Victorian bus driver industrial actions may personally cause.
“However, many bus drivers, like many bus passengers, pay mortgages or rent, taxes, rates and school fees and have continually increasing grocery and utility bills. They want wage certainty and the current annual wage growth system has been too unreliable,” Mr Berger said.
Victorian bus driver pay rises are currently determined – and have been for the past 15 years – by the unreliable Annual Wage Growth system.
The current CDC wage offer is actually less than all previous 12 average annual wage increases.
“I ask the question of bus passengers – would you happily and quietly accept a deal from your employer that is less than previous years while in the meantime all of your other expenses have remained unchanged or increased?,” Mr Berger said.
“If the answer is ‘no’, and that you would try to fight for what is fair, then you would understand why hard-working Victorian bus drivers have made this stand against a rich, powerful, multinational who in 2017 had an annual global revenue of $400 billion and an Australian revenue of $420 million.
“Victorian bus drivers have not taken strike action for 20 years but there comes a time when you have to look after yourself and these drivers have drawn a line in the sand.
“The fact they have gathered in great numbers out in the cold to picket tells you how serious this issue is, how insulted they were by the company’s sub-standard wage offer and how determined they are to dig in.
“We have also signed-up many new members from CDC in recent days who want to join their colleagues in the fight for a decent wage.”