News State New South Wales Peak hour Sydney Trains cancellations over ‘rostering issues’
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Peak hour Sydney Trains cancellations over ‘rostering issues’

Train workers have been offered a three per cent annual increase.
Sydney Trains cancelled 13 out of its 336 peak evening services on Monday. Photo: AAP
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Commuters have endured yet another evening of service cancellations on the Sydney train network “due to rostering issues”.

Sydney Trains apologised to commuters on Monday after 13 of its 336 peak evening services were cancelled.

All lines, except for T4 Eastern Suburbs & Illawarra, experienced “slight service disruption”.

Sydney Trains advised commuters to “defer travel to ease congestion” in the CBD where possible.

“Regular services are being provided however we advise customers to plan ahead, allow extra travel time, listen to announcements and check indicator boards and real time travel apps,” it said.

“Sydney Trains would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

Services on Tuesday were not expected to be impacted.

It comes following sustained chaos on the system and ongoing pressure on Transport Minister Andrew Constance.

A report into the January 8 and 9 network meltdowns said the “tangled” rail lines and a shortage of train crew made it vulnerable to disruptions.

Rostering issues were also blamed over the summer period when more workers are on leave.

The Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) had also blamed the disruptions on the new and more intensive timetable, rolled out in November.

Dispute over pay and conditions

Union members will this week begin voting on the proposed new enterprise agreement, which was the source of a bitter dispute that almost culminated in a 24-hour statewide strike.

Sydney and NSW Trains management began touring depots about three weeks ago to present the proposed new agreement.

A postal vote will be conducted from this week, and members are expected to return their ballots later this month.

The offer on the table includes a 3 per cent annual raise, with a total package value of 4 per cent.

Mr Constance had previously said he would not budge above the 2.5 per cent cap for public service workers.

A spokesperson for Mr Constance last month said the new offer was within the state’s wages policy.

In a members update on Monday, the union said it was clear “there was a mixed view from RTBU members concerning the proposed EAs [enterprise agreements]”.

The RTBU said it was bound by the decision of the delegates last month that the minimum wage increase was to be no less than 4 per cent each year.

“Additionally, there are a number of clauses that were not agreed between the parties prior to Sydney and NSW Trains conducting an EA tour: the disciplinary matters clause (particularly concerning how employees are paid when stood down pending a disciplinary investigation), the deed of release (as management have refused to allow the priority assessment process to be disputed) and the facilitation clause,” the members update said.

The RTBU said it would not endorse the proposed agreement and would not recommend a ‘yes’ vote because the offer did not meet original expectations.

“This is not to say that the pay increase, along with all of the other changes to the EAs, is not a bad deal – simply put, the package does not reflect what the RTBU was instructed to achieve.”

The union warned a ‘no’ vote would not guarantee a better outcome.

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