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ACTION goes full circle

June 21st, 2010 at 04:09pm

The regular four-year cycle of ACTION staff rostering has made a full revolution a few months ahead of schedule. On Friday, ACTION’s drivers will be on strike all day. Funnily enough, the reasons for this strike are pretty much the same as the reasons for the last strike. The biggest difference that I can see though is that this time around, the strike is being conducted with a few days notice rather than a few hours…otherwise we seem to be going around in ever-repeating circles.

As I said to 2CC’s Mark Parton a few weeks ago, this ongoing pattern seems to be mostly due to ACTION being a government department which, like all other government department, shuffles all of its decision makers around as often as possible so as to prevent anybody maintaining any corporate knowledge, and therefore causing the new bosses to make the same old mistakes all over again each and every time the pay negotiations come around.

Case in point, the big boss at the time of the last strike, Mike Zissler, has long since escaped the public service and the man now at the top, James Roncon, was the general manager of Cowra Shire Council as recently as last year (scroll down linked page about three quarters to see the article). In other words, today’s boss wasn’t even in the ACT to see the news articles, let alone receive an in-depth inside understanding of the issues at play when we last went through this circus. To make matters worse (and exemplify my point) James didn’t even start off in Canberra at ACTION…last year he worked for the Land Development Agency (page 11).

Unlike the last strike, I won’t be working when this one occurs as I have Friday off, however I will admit that things like this did then, and do now, make me thankful to have access to a car. The fact that I often finish work after midnight makes me even more thankful for this. I do, at the very least, hope that the advance warning of this strike will allow people to plan ahead more than they were able to do last time.

And on that note, I leave you with The ACTION Song, to the tune of Herman’s Hermit’s No Milk Today.

No ACTION today, they took my bus away
The busses are just fine, but there’s a picket line
No ACTION today, the drivers are on strike
But people at the stop, don’t know the reason why

How could they know that there is a strike
There’s no signs around, media just catching up
How could they know that there is a strike
They’re all stuck there, at the bus stop

No ACTION today, they took my bus away
the shifts on offer are, very very poor

But all that’s left is a bus stop filled with people
looking very con-fu-used
They’ll all need to arrange other transport
Like a taxi

No ACTION today, they took my bus away
The drivers might be fined, but they don’t really mind
No ACTION today, they took my bus away
Services could be halved, but the drivers won’t take part

Stanhope’s regime has caused this
massive budget cuts, and lots less busses
How will people get from A to B
If there’s no bus, in the middle of the day

No ACTION today, they took my bus away
The drivers are on strike, fighting the good fight

All they want’s a decent roster
without split shifts and poor service
They want people to use the busses
And keep them in a job

No ACTION today, they took my bus away
Things are looking up, the talks have resumed
No ACTION today, they took my bus away
The split shifts are gone, the union is pleased

Who knows what might be next
What tricks are left, and who will win
Will we have another strike
Only time will tell, we shall wait and see

No ACTION today, they took my bus away
We play the waiting game, and let the talks go on

Who knows what might be next
Will services be intact, and who will win
Who knows what might be next
Will services be intact, and who will win
Who knows what might be next
Will services be intact, and who will win

Samuel

Entry Filed under: Canberra Stories

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