The first step in the Tasmanian Government’s $8.1 million support package for Metro is taking effect, with bus drivers receiving a pay rise effective today.
“The Rockliff Liberal Government announced the support package for Metro to help overcome its driver shortage and restore full service delivery as soon as possible,” Minister Ferguson said.
“Rather than delaying payment to negotiate a new enterprise agreement, Metro has worked with the Rail, Tram and Bus Union to pay this increase now in recognition of cost of living pressures and the contribution of bus operators to the business.
“In order to deliver this temporary pay rise as quickly as possible, it will occur in two payments.
- Bus operators will receive a temporary pay increase from today’s pay date (21 November); and
- will then receive back pay to 1 November as part of the 5 December 2023 pay date.
“In addition to the pay rise for bus drivers, the support package will see the acceleration of phase two of the transit officer deployment, with individual officers to be authorised by the Transport Commissioner to undertake new, tougher powers including issuing infringement notices and removing disorderly passengers.
“The regulations allowing for these extra powers have been developed and the Department of State Growth is now working through the practical implementation of the regulations, including a training package, to progress to the Transport Commissioner for approval.
“The pilot of transit officers in the south of the State has been met with positive feedback since their introduction in early April, bringing comfort to drivers and passengers.
“The deployment of body-worn cameras acts as a deterrent and provides crucial evidence when passengers do the wrong thing.
“Importantly, this is no longer a trial – transit officers will be deployed permanently, on other operators’ buses as well, and in the major centres Statewide.
“We’re also providing about $2 million to Metro to implement security screens across its fleet – knowing that the vast majority of bus drivers want these on buses to feel safe at work.
“Metro is currently investigating security screens to provide a protective barrier for drivers, and is now considering how to mitigate a visual impediment identified through its recent trial process.
“In addition, the Rockliff Liberal Government will provide a further $2 million to enable Metro to implement an improved IT system to replace its ageing rostering system which limits flexible working arrangements.
“This will enable Metro to be more agile in its rostering, and able to offer flexible and attractive shifts.
“We fully understand that reliability and access are crucial to ensuring more people use our buses – and to ensure the full benefits of our $81.5 million investment in public transport over four years – which includes more park and rides, more bus shelters and better access, more services, and a common ticketing system.”