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Transport Minister: ‘Overtime is part of the roster… it always has been, always will be.’

NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance admits train drivers must continue working overtime to keep Sydney Trains running.

Drivers are complaining the new timetable is unworkable, due to staff shortages.

The Fair Work Commission suspended a strike, planned for today, to allow negotiations over pay and conditions to continue.

However at least seven services have still been cancelled.

Mr Constance has told Alan Jones, overtime is required to make the schedule work.

“Overtime is part of the roster… it always has been, always will be and some of the drivers rely on it.

“The numbers that I’m seeing has not seen a marked shift in terms of the percentage of shifts that overtime is required to deliver the new timetable.

“But what we’ve said is, we’ll work with the union bosses reasonably.”

Click PLAY below for the full interview

NSW Rail, Tram and Bus Union State Secretary Alex Claassens responds, saying he’s been making progress in negotiations.

“I’ve been busting my chops trying to get everyone to agree to a range of conditions.

“I can report that on Thursday night we walked out of that meeting with two documents that go a long way to addressing the conditions we want.

“We’re having more talks today, we’re in the commission again this afternoon.

“I’ve asked Howard [Sydney Trains CEO], with the minister, to come forward on Thursday to a mass delegates meeting to present their best offer.”

Click PLAY below for the union’s response