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Dated: 15th December, 2010

 

 

Mr Wayne Neatte

Southlink Pty Ltd,

Lonsdale

 

Subject: Regarding the voting for new pay structure

 

Dear Sir,

 

I am a driver attached to Pooraka Depot and the reason for me writing this letter is to express my resentment regarding the voting process that was conducted a few days ago to thrash out the new pay structure. As we are all aware of the fact that the South Australian government is going to float the tender for the Adelaide Metro Bus Services again in the coming year, it was imperative that a new pay structure had to be settled with the drivers. Irrespective of what the company proposed and what the Union guys were demanding (I may mention over here that I am not a member of the Union due to personal preferences) the entire voting process left a bitter taste in my mouth. I feel like I have been cheated.

 

Sir, first of all let me assure you that I am the kind of guy who never checks how much salary has been credited to his account. So as such it doesn’t matter to me if my contract was to be renewed at the pay package that I am already working on. However, what hurt me was the fact that what the drivers were asking was marginally better than what the company was proposing. Honestly Sir, I think we need to be payed atleast ten dollars more than what a tram or train driver gets paid and I have my reasons which I would like to explain first before I explain what particularly was wrong with the voting process.

 

Compared to a train and a tram driver whose only job is to drive, we bus drivers are doing the work of three people, namely the driver, the ticket seller and the ticket checker. Compared to a tram or train driver who sits secure of any harm by physical assault we are positioned in open, easy targets of assault. A few days back one of our drivers was assaulted and threatened en route to Adelaide on Bridge Road doing a 206 service. A few months ago one of our drivers was assaulted in Mawson Interchange while on 411 service. Two years ago when I joined Southlink two assault cases were still making news on the notice boards across all our depots, one from Deep South area and the other from Outer North area, both police cases after the driver was physically assaulted. Compared to train and tram drivers whose only job is to drive on empty tracks, we drive in real time traffic constantly at risk of hitting or getting hit by another vehicle, we drive around crazy bends and roundabouts and all sorts of traffic hazards including road works. We start and finish at different times every day, our meal breaks are at different times and of different duration everyday, upsetting our biological cycles. Sir if you still feel we are working lesser than the train and tram drivers then in that case the present pay structure as well as the new one proposed are completely justified. I’ll leave it to your better judgement.

 

Now coming to the point of voting, Sir, I have voted atleast twice in less than a month’s time to decide the subsequent pay structure. The purpose of voting on an issue is to see if everyone agrees with it or not. If the majority disagrees then that automatically warrants a new proposition. But in present circumstance on both the instances we voted for the same proposition. In the first instance the proposition was cleanly defeated. It should have been re done before coming for a vote but that wasn’t the case. The same proposition was put forward again for voting with a rider that a lot of drivers have change their minds requiring a re-vote on the same. I voted “No” the first time as when I asked drivers the majority said the offer wasn’t good. The second time I voted “yes” because I felt under pressure to oblige the administration. Who doesn’t need his job in today’s world? But that incident has hurt my conscience and I can’t take the issue lying down anymore and that is the reason for me writing this letter to you.

 

Sir, this whole process was a shame on the basic principles of Democracy, a blot on the voting system and a right to vote. If every poll is going to be revoted again and again until a favourable result is achieved for the once promoting the poll then what is the use of polling in the first place? Sir, if a lot of drivers have changed their mind again, will the company conduct the same poll again?

 

Sir, the way I see it, the poll was just a means of pushing the company offer down the throats of the drivers legally, as now the company can say it’s the drivers who voted in the favour of this offer. Sir, it was a below the belt hit.

 

Sir, this letter is a registration of protest against the said situation and I will be sharing a copy of this letter with my fellow colleagues. And please Sir, if the poll has been decided on the difference of one vote by any chance, then please consider this letter as a change of mind on my part and I would like to vote “No”.

 

Sincerely,

 

Amanpreet Singh Rai,

Website: www.fatalurgecarefreekiss.com

Email: fatalurgecarefreekiss@yahoo.com

 

 

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