Well there were some awkward, emotional but nevertheless happy smiles at Path Transit on June 8 when news came that they had won the new Kalamunda contract (previously Belmont & Kalamunda) which will now take in the Welshpool and Kalamunda depots.
Having been on the receiving end last time around it was good for Path Management to score a win. Believe me they have been through their grieving with the loss of big chunks of their contract areas last year.
Terry Scott over at Veolia (Southern Coast Transit) was obviously also chuffed that they had retained their Fremantle (previously Fremantle & Cockburn) contract.
So, before we all get ourselves into a tizzy over what lies in store in the lead up to the October 6 & 7 change over, lets get a few things straight.
A lot of lessons have been learned since last year's changes at Karrinyup, Joondalup, Wangara and Nowergup. Things certainly didn't go to plan for some drivers and there are still some lingering issues from that experience.
We have worked closely with the companies that were tendering to ensure that the same mistakes will not happen again....hopefully!
But some things are impossible to predict as we saw. This time should be easier as it is only Path and Swan, not a three way tussle for drivers.
Path Transit have said that they will offer all existing Swan Transit drivers jobs. Basically, a pay and conditions agreement will be sorted in the next few weeks, and it will be extremely similar to what is already in place at Swan.
We will re-form the Enterprise Agreement Committee to talk over any issues with Path and the TWU will provide information conduits between the bus firms and from drivers.
Exact details will be given to all drivers as part of the application package. The big ticket items, 5 weeks leave, additional super and Monday to Friday rostering will all remain as you have them now.
As for who will and will not get jobs, if it's anything like the last changeover, more drivers will be required around the network than there are currently. And it may be a good opportunity for a bit of a reshuffle for those drivers that aren't happy where they are.
There will be Swan drivers who prefer to move to Path and some that will stay with Swan. There may be Swan drivers from other depots who will transfer into Welshpool and Kalamunda depots to take up positions with Path.
Neil Smith himself has stated that there may well be more opportunities for those drivers seeking full time positions if they go to Path. Also a strange suggestions from Neil that Swan drivers, who have maybe drawn the ire of the company of late, might like to seek positions elsewhere??
The details are still in the very early stages but depot meetings of staff are already being planned by Swan. Path will also set up an information office at Welshpool and Kalamunda depots or somewhere appropriate for drivers to visit.
Your TWU delegates, the EA Committee members and Path and Swan staff should be available for answering questions over the coming weeks.
We are told no personal details will be swapped. ALL drivers intending to go to Path will be required to fill in an application form, take a medical and Drug and Alcohol check. Good idea to bring your driving licence, Working with Children Card, a payslip and also your banking details as well to streamline the process.
We will work to keep our members fully informed and will endeavour to ensure our members have every opportunity to have jobs with the company of their choice.