Sydney Trains workers have announced they will be going on strike following a breakdown in negotiations between the train union and rail management. This means train services are about to experience major delays - including during the peak hour rush. Here's what you need to know.
If you were one of the thousands of commuters stranded in peak hour last week, we have some bad news for you: things are about to get even worse. NSW's train union has confirmed that train workers across the network will go on strike for 24 hours next week. Below, we break down the main points commuters need to know about.
When is the Sydney Trains strike?
The Sydney Trains strike is scheduled to run from Monday 12.01am, January 29 to Tuesday 12.01am, January 30. This is in addition to an indefinite ban on overtime that will commence from today (January 25).
Approximately 1300 train services have been cut across the network today due to the aforementioned ban on overtime. Find out how it has been affecting commuters this morning here.
Why are train workers going on strike?
Sydney's controversial new timetable (which was implemented in November) combined with staff shortages and a failure by train management to guarantee fair conditions and pay led to the industrial action. Train workers want a six per cent yearly pay rise in each of the next four years to put them in line with other state train workers.
Which services will be affected?
Mass delays are expected across Sydney's entire train and tram networks. You can also expect major rescheduling of services and cancellations. Sydney Trains has promised to keep commuters updated with as much information as possible during the fallout.
What can I do about it?
If you are able to work from home, do so. If this isn't an option, keep yourself well informed and allow for plenty of extra travel time. Apps that should be on your phone right now include TransportNSW.info, TripView and the dedicated Twitter accounts for the train lines you regularly use.
Alternatively, it might be a good idea to take annual leave on January 29 and January 30. The strike coincides with the first day back to work after Australia Day, so you're basically getting three days off for the price of two.
Sydney Trains are under siege. A new timetable coupled with understaffing issues has already resulted in a Nightmare Scenario where peak hour services are being cancelled and commuters left stranded. The drivers are overworked and exhausted and commuters are angry. With the Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) announcing they will be taking industrial action from Friday, January 19, the problems are likely to get worse before they get any better.