News, Culture & Society

Sydney trains: Are staff paid too much or too little?

Sydney train staff dissatisfied with working conditions and pay began a mutiny against their employer, sending the city’s transport system into chaos. 

Train timetables were drastically reduced and a full-scale shutdown was threatened in a lengthy industrial action as part of a pay dispute.

But commuters thrown into disarray due to the crippling train strikes have questioned the validity of the walkout – as details of their enviable taxpayer salaries which can reach up to $100,000 a year come into light.

Train timetables were drastically reduced and a full-scale shutdown was threatened in a lengthy industrial action as part of a pay dispute

But commuters thrown into disarray due to the crippling train strikes have questioned the validity of the walkout as details of their enviable government salaries come into light

But commuters thrown into disarray due to the crippling train strikes have questioned the validity of the walkout as details of their enviable government salaries come into light

The 24-hour strike – which was planned for Monday – has been delayed for six weeks while rail workers continue to demand a six per cent yearly pay rise for the next four years.

But despite the questionable employer reputation of Sydney Trains, vacancies for train drivers, guards, customer service attendants and maintenance workers are still being posted online.

The attractive remuneration for train staff, which can see train drivers earn up to $100,000 a year, has raised eyebrows among frustrated commuters.  

Trainee train drivers earn an impressive starting salary package of $70,000 p.a. including free travel, with the potential to earn six-figure salaries as they gain experience.  

The pay for part-time customer service attendants is advertised as between $1000-$1088 a week while maintenance coordinators can earn $92,536 p.a. 

The attractive remuneration for train staff, which can see train drivers (pictured) earn up to $100,000 a year, has raised eyebrows among frustrated commuters

The attractive remuneration for train staff, which can see train drivers (pictured) earn up to $100,000 a year, has raised eyebrows among frustrated commuters

Trainee train drivers earn an impressive starting salary package of $70,000 p.a. including free travel, with the potential to earn six-figure salaries as they gain experience

Trainee train drivers earn an impressive starting salary package of $70,000 p.a. including free travel, with the potential to earn six-figure salaries as they gain experience

The pay for part-time customer service attendants is advertised as between $1000-$1088 a week while maintenance coordinators can earn $92,536 p.a

The pay for part-time customer service attendants is advertised as between $1000-$1088 a week while maintenance coordinators can earn $92,536 p.a

Despite the questionable employer reputation of Sydney Trains, vacancies for train drivers, guards, customer service attendants and maintenance workers are still being posted online

Despite the questionable employer reputation of Sydney Trains, vacancies for train drivers, guards, customer service attendants and maintenance workers are still being posted online

Trainee train guards are also offered desirable compensation for their hard work, with the starting salary at $62,567.36 p.a. and free travel on all NSW transport.

However the sky-high pay packets are not enough compensation for train staff who claim they are overworked.

According to Sydney Trains employee Krystle Barry, train staff can be forced to work up to 12 hours in overtime in emergency situations.

Ms Barry said disgruntled train employees are also made to work on their days off with little to no financial back pay.   

‘Andrew Constance said in his press conference today that the railway always has overtime, and that is true, it will always have [overtime],’ she said. 

‘If they need to reduce services by almost half in order to cope with people not coming in on their days off then this shows that THIS IS A SERIOUS PROBLEM.

I will reiterate, we will still be working overtime (longer than the 7’36”), we just are not coming in if it is our day off.’

According to Sydney Trains employee Krystle Barry, train staff can be forced to work up to 12 hours in overtime in emergency situations

According to Sydney Trains employee Krystle Barry, train staff can be forced to work up to 12 hours in overtime in emergency situations

Ms Barry said disgruntled train employees are also made to work on their days off with little to no financial back pay

Ms Barry said disgruntled train employees are also made to work on their days off with little to no financial back pay

Sydney trains ran to a Saturday timetable on Thursday, drastically cutting the amount of services

Sydney trains ran to a Saturday timetable on Thursday, drastically cutting the amount of services

Marathon meetings this week failed to resolve the bitter wage dispute and workers on Wednesday voted overwhelmingly to reject a 3.45 per cent pay rise.

The NSW Government took the matter to the FWC arguing the one-day strike alone would cost the state’s economy $50-90 million.

Rail Tram and Bus Union lawyers said that economic impact was ‘minuscule’ compared to the size of the $600 billion NSW economy, but lost the argument.

‘I am satisfied that this industrial action… threatens to endanger the welfare of a part of the population,’ FWC senior deputy president Jonathan Hamberger ruled. 

Trains were running on Thursday to a Saturday timetable with services slashed from 2,900 to 1,600 as a million people tried to get to work in Sydney.

Social media was flooded with long lines of frustrated commuters standing on platforms waiting for trains that only ran every 15 minutes. 



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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