The union is pleased to report that, since early 2012, the PTA branch (State Union) membership has increased from the low 400s to around 620.
The increase is likely due to two factors:
- In October 2012, the State Union was formally recognised in the WAIRC. This led to confidence of members that the Union was heading in the right direction with the assistance of the national office and the members were feeling they were receiving solid representation by the Union.
- The public sector rail transport system in Perth is starting to grow. This is largely due the mining boom in Western Australia, which has brought around 50,000 people to the state to live for at least the last five or six years. This has put enormous strain on the public transport system and has forced the government to dramatically increase the investment in services to public transport.
Traditionally, Liberal governments in WA have never placed any money into the rail industry because their focus has always been road transport – generally for public passenger transport or freight services.
Public rail transport is in demand and there are several future projects that will increase public transport rail services. The current Liberal government has committed to the Perth Airport rail link (due for completion in or around 2020), the new Perth Stadium, which is being built where there is a major “fans first” focus to encourage patrons to commute to/from the stadium via rail.
All these projects will result in large increases in rollingstock, rail services and an increase in employees to deliver the services.
The union’s current membership density is approximately 65% and we are hoping to dramatically increase that in future years, especially given the increases in services and employees in the coming years, by educating the workforce of the benefits of being in a union and what unions have achieved for workers in the past.