Buses driving Brisbane Council crazy

LAUREN BERICHON

Last week, bus drivers joined council employees in industrial actions as the Rail, Tram and Bus and the Australian Workers’ Unions feud with the Brisbane City Council continued.

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Buses not in service during the strikes drove past often. Photo: Lauren Berichon

Commuters did not have to pay for their journey on Friday as the Rail, Tram and Bus Union bus drivers drove without charge.

RBTU secretary Tom Brown  estimated up to 600 drivers participated in the strike.  Mr Brown said the possibility of further industrial actions is highly likely to occur.

“We think 3.5 per cent is modest…It’s not going to boost wages a great deal. We have members who are already struggling to pay bills. That’s what it really comes down to,” Mr Brown said.

Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said there was no financial shortage to Council over the actions. Instead he states that it would be Queensland taxpayers that would suffer, due to Brisbane buses fares being used to help fund the state government.

Cr Quirk stated he was not going to move on his decision to have the rise remain at 2.5. The RTBU have demanded a 3.5 percent pay rise instead of 2.5, but the council refuses to change their rate increase because the raise would cost taxpayers and extra $52 million, according to the Lord Mayor.

In an article for Brisbane Times, the Lord Mayor said that it would cost taxpayers too much money.

“Why should I budge? Why should the ratepayers be asked to fork out more?” Cr Quirk said.

The RTBU have also requested for a new rostering system that helps to make it easier for drivers so they don’t suffer from driver fatigue.

However the council refused, concerned that the proposal would trigger a similar instance that Queensland Rail.

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