But about two-thirds of workers voted in favour of the agreement, which was also approved by the many unions representing railway workers. Employees of Sydney Trains and NSW TrainLink voted in favour of a new labour agreement that, for the first time recently, concludes a clause to prevent forced redundancies. In a statement, Alex Claassens, secretary of the railway, tram and bus union, said: „The workers in Sydney and NSW Trains have faced an unprecedented attack on their labour rights, but they have been very united and have finally reached an agreement that they believe meets their needs. The vote on the agreement, which also promised workers a higher wage increase than inflation of about 3.1% per year for the next three years, was expected to be tight. In a statement Friday night, Ms. Berejiklian said the enterprise agreement would represent an annual saving of $20 million for taxpayers. In addition to the removal of the clause to prevent forced dismissals, the agreement also removes a „wage maintenance clause“. „There is no doubt that this was a very difficult decision for the workers, but at the end of the day they are confident that they have reached an agreement that protects their working conditions,“ Claassens said. Under the clause, employees who changed positions automatically retained their existing wages. Jacob Saulwick is the city`s publisher for the Sydney Morning Herald. Rail organizations were „paralyzed by this ridiculous clause“: Gladys Berejiklian.Credit:Lisa McMahon The vote is a big industrial victory for Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian. „I am pleased that about two-thirds of workers have voted „yes“ to the EA in the last two weeks,“ the minister said.
The days of employment on Sydney`s railways are officially over. Ms Berejiklian said: „Meanwhile, NSW`s railway organisations have been paralyzed by this ridiculous clause that does not exist in any comparable NSW government agency.“