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Police Association responds to RTBU newsletter

It’s today been brought to our attention that earlier this week, the Railway Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) published a newsletter to its members in relation to PSOs travelling on trains.

The newsletter advises RTBU members that PSOs are “not permitted to travel on trains under any circumstance”.

Moreover, the newsletter goes on to say that I, on behalf of The Police Association, advised the RTBU that the Association “will not support PSOs travelling on trains”.

I can confirm that this position, which is attributed to me, is totally false, as is the implication in the newsletter that I am somehow a party to a ‘deal’ with the RTBU to keep PSOs off trains.

We are extremely disappointed to have been misrepresented in this way, and in a conversation earlier today, I have expressed my concerns to the RTBU’s State Secretary, Ms Luba Grigorovitch, whose name appears on the newsletter.

Ms Grigorovitch has subsequently written a letter that, in part, reads as follows:

“I need to apologise to you as it seems I have clouded the waters in the way I described our discussion. Obviously PSOs travelling on trains, or performing any function of work is a decision of the State Government.”

We would like to take this opportunity to make our position crystal clear to all PSO members on where we actually stand when it comes to PSOs and the work that they do.

As Ms Grigorovitch has clarified in her statement, the fact that PSOs are restricted in performing their duty on trains is a decision of the government and the parliament as this position is legislated.

I can also categorically confirm that I have not been – and nor will I ever be - a party to any supposed agreement with the RTBU, or with anyone else, that would prevent PSO members from performing duty on trains.

The Police Association has always respected the work that all our PSO members do in very difficult circumstances and we will continue to advocate for their profession, and work towards the continual improvement of their professional development and career structure, as the Association has done in the past.

The skills, abilities and professionalism of our PSO members should never be undersold and as the new Secretary of The Police Association I will always seek to promote these positive attributes whenever the opportunity arises.

In the event that the government changes direction to legislate and allow PSOs to perform duty on trains, the Association will naturally seek to directly engage with members and other key stakeholders like the RTBU to ensure how this could be best implemented.

Given that Authorised Officers (AOs) work closely with our Transit PSO members on a daily basis, we obviously respect the work they do and that of the RTBU which represents them – notwithstanding today’s misunderstanding.

At the end of the day, our PSO members, together with AOs all work hard every day to serve the travelling public. In this regard, we have much in common.

For this reason, we look forward to working with the RTBU in the future to explore ways in which we can work together to advance the mutual interests of our members.

Wayne Gatt
Secretary 

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