NSW nurses, teachers and rail workers all set to take action this week

By Anna Macdonald

June 28, 2022

Alex Claassens
RTBU state secretary Alex Claassens has said the industrial action will be escalated if the government does not change its position. (AAP Image/Steven Saphore)

Strikes from several different areas of the public sector are planned for most of this week in Sydney, with teachers, nurses and rail workers all taking various actions. 

Both public and Catholic school teachers have planned a strike for Thursday; nurses and midwives have planned a mass meeting for Tuesday; NSW rail workers have planned industrial action throughout the week.

In a statement on its website, the Rail Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) has said trains are limited to 60 kilometres an hour in the metropolitan area on Tuesday. The action is planned to ramp up throughout the week until Friday, when drivers will refuse to drive foreign-made trains, with the union having safety concerns about a new fleet of trains. 

RTBU state secretary Alex Claassens has said the industrial action will be escalated if the government does not change its position.

“We are escalating because we are just fed up with the constant promises and backflips.

“This week is bad, but next week will be worse. We are that angry [about the government’s latest offer] that we will keep escalating unless our delegates and members tell us something different,” Claasens said as quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Transport NSW has cautioned commuters about delays, predicting Sydney Trains services could be reduced by up to 70%.

On Tuesday afternoon, members of the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) will meet at Sydney’s Town Hall over a variety of issues, including the impact of the recently handed down state budget on the sector.

“There’s widespread dissatisfaction amongst our members over the NSW government’s refusal to even consider safe staffing ratios, what’s been outlined in the budget, and serious transparency concerns about the announced workforce enhancements and regional incentives,” NSWNMA acting general secretary Shaye Candish said in a statement. 

The teachers’ strike by both public and Catholic teachers on Thursday, June 30 with the NSW Teachers Federation and the Independent Education Union of Australia (NSW/ACT) is in protest of issues such as uncompetitive wages and increased workloads. 

The industrial actions come as the state government is introducing harsher penalties for unlawful strike action, including an increase in fines.

Demonstrations by activist group Blockade Australia are also ongoing this week in Sydney, protesting against climate destruction during peak hour both on Monday and Tuesday. The group plans to demonstrate for the week. 


READ MORE:

Estimated 15,000 turn up in Sydney for NSW teacher strike

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