Public and Active Transport Chairman Adrian Schrinner said he had met with representatives from the Rail, Tram and Bus Union earlier today, to discuss their planned industrial action, which would leave 35,000 early morning commuters high and dry tomorrow and Wednesday.
“Council is warning bus passengers to make alternative plans for Tuesday and Wednesday, as bus driver strikes are expected to cause widespread impacts to morning bus services, with potential flow-on impacts throughout the day,” Cr Schrinner said.
“This action will leave up to 5,000 Brisbane primary and high school students without school bus services and is in direct contravention of TransLink’s Child Left Behind Policy, Council is extremely concerned about the possible risk to student safety.
“Council will be offering additional ferry and CityCat services and strongly advises passengers to make use of rail, ferry or private transport tomorrow and Wednesday.”
Cr Schrinner said that during his lengthy meeting with RTBU representatives today, it was clear that union concerns varied from claims made last week.
“It is now clear that the union strike is not really about driver safety, contrary to media reports on Friday,” he said
“Council has today announced that it will double its Council-funded security guards deployed across the network, with further security still the subject of the State Government review. Council will also survey drivers to determine if they want protective screens, and their preferred option for this measure.
“It is extremely disappointing that the RTBU would choose to proceed with its disruptive action, risking chaos across Brisbane’s transport network, despite Council’s willingness to work with drivers on concerns about safety and pay.
“Council has put a generous pay offer on the table, with a 2.5% payrise, back-pay and a signing bonus of $400. This offer has been made to all Council employees, including bus drivers.
“Additionally, Council has no plans to give unions control of rostering which determines which drivers drive what routes. Council will not cede operational control of bus driver rostering to the union. We’ve all seen how this has worked for Queensland Rail and the impacts on commuters.”
Cr Schrinner said the safety of bus drivers and passengers has always been a priority for Council, which is why an independent expert review was commissioned late last year and the recommendations are now being implemented.
CSA – Bus driver industrial action
The Rail, Tram and Bus Union has advised that Brisbane City Council bus drivers will be participating in industrial action on Tuesday 18 and Wednesday 19 July from 4.30am to 6.30am.
Major impacts to bus services across the network are expected, including all school services, until approximately 7.30am as services start returning to normal.
Commuters who normally travel during these times are advised to plan ahead and make alternative arrangements. Council encourages employers to consider later starting times for potentially affected employees.
Commuters are urged to check the TransLink app, website or contact 13 12 30 for up to date information as there may be flow-on impacts throughout the entire day on both Tuesday and Wednesday.