Australian Rail Tram & Bus Industry Union

The Rail Tram & Bus Union is one of Australia's major industry-based unions, able to cover all employees in the rail, tram and bus industries.  It is organised into National Divisions, covering infrastructure (Perway), Rail Operations, Tram and Bus, Locomotive, Workshops and Administrative, Supervisory and Technical.

The RTBU was formed on 1st March 1993, through an historic amalgamation of three railway unions and one tram and bus union.  The RTBU is the workers response to a decade of massive change in public transport, often motivated by anti-union and privatisation ideology.

The RTBU works to promote public transport as an essential element in a fair and environmentally-sustainable Australian Society, and to promote the interests of public transport workers as a key to achieving that goal.

The RTBU is affiliated with the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) and the Australian Labor Party (ALP).

The RTBU has a National Office in Sydney and six State Branch offices.  State Branches handle the bulk of day-to-day needs of union members, including trade union training, grievances, legal support and provision of financial, medical and other support.  National and Branch Officers co-ordinate and lead negotiations and working parties around enterprise bargaining.

Branches are mainly organised on Divisional lines, though in small Branches, some Divisions are combined for efficiency reasons.  Elections are held for Officers at each level, based on proportional representation, with a minimum representation for small Branches and Divisions.

The National Council is the supreme governing body of the RTBU.  It is made up of all elected National Officers, Branch Secretaries and elected Branch Delegates, plus one delegate from each state Division for each 1,000 members.

The next level of decision-making is the National Executive, comprised of the elected National Officers, Branch Secretaries and Branch Delegates.

As well as these two structures, there are also National Divisional Committees, made up of the  Branch Divisions Secretaries and the Divisional Delegates from the Branch to the National Council.

As well as the national and branch structures, there are also sub-division and sub-branch structures for all RTBU members within a division or geographical area.


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