Metro Bargaining Commences - Fix Metro

03 April 2024

Metro Tasmania’s spend on consultants and lawyers have skyrocketed in the past five years at the same time wages of front-line workers are not enough to fix recruitment and retention issues.

According to Metro Tasmania’s Annual Reports, in 2018 the spend on consultants and lawyers was just over $258,000 and in 2023 the total payments of consultants and law firms increased to a staggering $1.47 million.

In five years payments to consultants and law firms per year have increased by an astonishing 470% or $1.21 million.

The disclosed spend on legal firms alone has risen from just over $75,000 to over $500,000 – a dramatic 561% increase from 2018 figures.

This exuberant increase in spending comes at a time when bus services are being cancelled due to low wages, causing a recruitment and retention crisis for Metro Tasmania. It would seem the priorities of Metro are to double the number of expensive consultants and lawyers instead of supporting their own workers and this has to change.

Operations, customer service, network planning and administration staff at Metro have begun bargaining for their new Enterprise Agreement supported by the ASU.

High turnover and vacancies are not isolated to drivers and mechanics – this is also the case for administrative and operational staff. If you can't roster or support the operations of a bus, you can't keep buses on the road. If you can't staff the Metro shop or answer the calls, you can't service the public’s needs.

Improvements in pay and conditions needs to be for all workers at Metro to ensure services can be restored and Tasmanians can receive a public transport system they deserve.

Addressing the staffing issues for administrative and operational staff and reigning in consultancy and legal spends at Metro is critical to restoring cut public bus routes and delivering a service Tasmanians can rely on.

As we initiate enterprise agreement negotiations covering pay and conditions for the Metro administrative staff we need to ensure that these workers get a fair deal and routes can be restored.