Bus and train drivers in Sydney will strike today alongside their comrades in the state’s teaching workforce in an attempt to secure more pay, safer conditions and less bad vibes.
This jam-packed day of union organising means that Sydney’s commuters will today be packed like jam inside the few remaining public transport services.
NSW teachers are making their case for a 7.5% pay increase in what will be their first strike in a decade.
If you’ve ever spoken to a teacher about how many unpaid overtime hours they work, you’ll know exactly where they’re coming from.
NSW primary school teacher and rally attendee Ally Moulis told PEDESTRIAN.TV she felt her workload was unmanageable.
“As someone who has recently entered the teaching profession, I have already witnessed first-hand the intensity of teachers’ workloads outside the classroom and the impact these demands have on student learning.
“Teachers deserve a competitive salary and increased release time so that students can be afforded a high quality education and so that intelligent, motivated and caring young people are enticed to enter the teaching profession with the promise of more than thanks.”
We bloody agree with Ally.
In an interview with the Daily Mail, the president of the NSW Teachers Federation, Angelo Gavrielatos said the current salary of teachers does not “reflect the skills or responsibilities they have”.
Additionally, the Rail Tram and Bus union told the ABC that one of their reasons for strike is a refusal to operate foreign-made trains which currently comprise 75% of the total fleet in New South Wales.
The issue becomes abundantly clear when comparing train manufacturing in NSW to that of their southern neighbour, Victoria.
Last year, the NSW government was harshly criticised for spending nearly $900 million importing 17 trains from China.
Meanwhile in Victoria, the state government commissioned the construction of 300 locally built trams and trains which began being built in 2015.
Union secretary Alex Claassens said the government “can stop this action by simply agreeing to workers’ basic asks around safety, hygiene and privatisation”.
Sydney Trains chief executive Matthew Longland told Guardian Australia that he had conducted over 40 meetings with Sydney Trains, NSW TrainLink and the union.
What were you doing in those meetings, Matty, playing with model trains instead of giving your workers better conditions? Yikes.
He added that public transport employees had been offered a pay increase of 2.5% including superannuation which is stingy af considering public transport workers did us all a massive solid during lockdowns by keeping the state movin’ and groovin’.
Commuters have been advised to plan ahead but it sounds like maybe Sydney Trains shoulda’ done some planning ahead of its own.
We reckon more money for our teaching and public transport mates, pls @Dominic Perrottet and co.