Pay Cap Scrapped, New Policy Must Deliver



After nearly seven years of restrictive and damaging wages policy caps, the Australian Rail, Tram and Bus Industry Union (RTBU) welcomes the Cook Government’s announcement of a return to genuine public sector bargaining.

The Public Transport Authority/ARTBIU (Transit Officers) Industrial Agreement 2022 expired on 6 October 2023, and discussions with members across the system have already occurred and bargaining suspended awaiting the release of a new Wages Policy. With today’s announcement of a new Wages Policy, bargaining will now be able to recommence in January 2024.

With a Log of Claims for the replacement agreement of the Public Transport Authority/ARTBIU Railway Employees (Transperth Train Operations) Industrial Agreement 2022 just submitted, we expect bargaining to commence in February 2024 (agreement to expire 21 May 2024).

The Public Transport Authority/ARTBIU Railway Employees (Network and Infrastructure) Industrial Agreement 2022 expires on 18 May 2024, and discussions with members across the system are currently underway to build their Log of Claims for the replacement agreement.

With the upcoming expiry in early 2025 for the Public Transport Authority/ARTBIU (Transwa) Industrial Agreement 2023 and the Public Transport Authority/ARTBIU (Transperth Train Operations Railcar Drivers) Industrial Agreement 2023, discussions with members across these agreements to build their Log of Claims for their respective replacement agreements will commence mid next year.

The RTBU is adamant that the return to genuine bargaining must facilitate the negotiation of real wage increases that enable public sector workers to catch up and keep up with cost of living pressures.

I as Branch Secretary welcome the return to genuine bargaining for public sector wages and conditions and looks forward to working collaboratively with the WA Cook Labor Government to ensure the ongoing delivery of crucial public services by adequately paying public sector workers.

Today marks an important win – the end of restrictive wage rise caps as a key feature of the WA Government’s public sector wages policy.

Public sector staff across Western Australia can today thank union members of the Alliance who have spent years taking action, sharing their stories and explaining to the WA Government how restrictive wages policies have harmed their home lives and put the public delivery of services at risk.

Critical WA public services ranging from train and road coach services to network, infrastructure, security and customer service, are losing skilled, dedicated workers to other sectors and failing to attract new staff to fill vacant positions as a result of uncompetitive wages. This hurts our communities and our economy.

It is now imperative that the Government and Unions come to the bargaining table ready to negotiate agreements that deliver real wage growth for public sector workers.

The RTBU stands united with its Public Sector Alliance partners in calling on the Government to deliver wages growth of 7% and 5% over the next two years to begin to repair the damage of years of low wages growth under suppressive government policies.

For more on the recent announcement and the Public Sector Alliance click here.

In unity,

Joshua Dekuyer | Branch Secretary

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