The fight continues between the Brisbane City Council and the Rail, Tram and Bus Union over a new enterprise bargaining agreement for council bus drivers.
The RTBU’s latest move? Fare-free Friday. All day today, union drivers won’t be collecting fares from commuters.
It comes after continued EBA talks yesterday, which have seemingly stalled over pay increases. The RTBU wants a 3.5 percent increase over three years; the council is offering a 2.5 percent increase.
Today’s move follows three previous rounds of strikes across the last two weeks, and a fare-free day last Thursday (which the council estimates cost ratepayers $515,000).
Lord Mayor Graham Quirk warned that only union drivers would take part in the action. “Not all drivers are performing that, that non-payment of fares, so we would ask that passengers continue to expect to have to pay a fare when they get to the bus,” he told The Brisbane Times.
In short, keep your Go Card handy.
The RTBU is not ruling out further strike action. Quirk, meanwhile, is talking tough, telling the Times: “Why should I budge? Why should the ratepayers be asked to fork out more?”
Expect this one to keeping rolling for a little while yet.