24 May 2023

Transport Canberra bus services to be suspended for four hours on Thursday for union meeting

| Lizzie Waymouth
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Transport Canberra bus

Bus services in Canberra will be disrupted for four hours tomorrow for an all-driver meeting. Photo: Transport Canberra Facebook.

There will be no Transport Canberra bus services between 10 am and 2 pm on Thursday (25 May) so drivers can attend a Transport Workers’ Union meeting to vote on a new enterprise bargaining agreement.

The meeting, which has been authorised by the ACT Government, is a “necessary step” towards finalising the new deal, Transport Canberra said.

“We apologise for this disruption in service and thank the Canberra community for their understanding and cooperation.”

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Transport Minister Chris Steel said that the ACT government has been working alongside transport workers to negotiate a deal and deliver better bus services in Canberra.

“We’ve been working with the Transport Workers’ Union’s employee representatives of the Transport Canberra workforce in an interest-based bargaining process over the last couple of years,” he said.

“As part of that we’ve been talking with them about how we can deliver more reliable services right across the week, including on the weekend.”

“We’ve put forward an offer which they will be considering at their meeting on Thursday, and we’re looking forward to hearing their response about the government’s offer, and then we’ll be working together on how we can deliver the services that Canberrans expect with this new enterprise agreement in place.”

In its recent budget submission to the ACT government, the Public Transport Association of Canberra expressed its hopes that the enterprise agreement will provide for a full week’s roster, allowing the government-run bus service to operate a true seven-day service with frequent and reliable routes every day, including at weekends.

“The new Enterprise Agreement must provide a sound basis for reversing the poor weekend and steadily worsening weekday bus frequencies that have developed in recent years,” PTCBR said in its submission, calling for “more buses, more often”.

“The more often a service comes, the more choice people have about when they travel and where they go. When services come every 10 minutes or less, people don’t have to worry about timetables. They feel confident they can rely on public transport to get them around on their own schedule.”

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Transport Canberra has asked passengers to plan ahead on Thursday to avoid any inconvenience. Limited services will be available between 9:30 am and 10 am and between 2 pm and 2:30 pm as drivers transition from their shifts to attend the all-driver meeting.

The suspension of services will not affect peak time morning and afternoon travel or school bus services. Special Needs Transport and Flexible Bus Services will also operate as usual.

Passengers can still travel by light rail or using CDC buses, which are not affected by tomorrow’s TWU meeting.

For more information on tomorrow’s disruption, visit Transport Canberra or call 13 17 10.

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These clowns making us suffer for their demands. Give them nothing. Don’t even discuss anything with them whilst they strike

@L Angers
At least those clowns can read – unlike you.

It’s not a strike – “The meeting, which has been authorised by the ACT Government, is a “necessary step” towards finalising the new deal, Transport Canberra said.”

Clever Interrobang7:24 pm 24 May 23

We pay for these services with our taxes so that they can run all day at a loss, and now they’re being cancelled for a large chunk of the day

This is effectively theft from taxpayers (who pay them to run all day), why not have several smaller meeting with select groups staggered throughout the day so that people still have access to the bus?

At least if we privatised the bus system (as was recommended to the government a few years ago), we wouldn’t have to deal with this type of nonsense

GrumpyGrandpa9:04 pm 24 May 23

Several smaller meetings though out the day, would still mean taking drivers off the road to attend those meetings. It wouldn’t make it any better. It’d just mean day long restricted services like what we get on a Sunday; itd be hopeless.

@(not very)Clever interrobang
What you don’t think employees in the private transport industry belong to a union?

Welcome to the 1970s where all union work meetings had to be in person, can’t be done online or staggered across multiple meetings at all…

GrumpyGrandpa5:35 pm 24 May 23

This is a Government sanctioned meeting. Do you seriously expect that a bus driver could go online or How do you expect a bus driver to go online

GrumpyGrandpa5:36 pm 24 May 23

Pretty hard for a bus driver to go online, without copping a fine from the police.

Then why can’t they have multiple meetings and vote online if needed.

This is an anachronistic joke from the 1970s.

Inefficient public transport service stops work to be more inefficient

John Koundouzis5:01 pm 24 May 23

They don’t have to worry about no service, the new timetable has removed enough services so they can go to their meeting.

John Koundouzis5:13 pm 24 May 23

So totally inefficient for Australia’s Capital city

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