New Deal For Sydney Ferries

MUA crew vote to work harder to keep ferries in public hands

MUA workers, who crew Sydney Ferries have voted up a new agreement today to help keep the iconic harbour ferries in public hands.

The new EBA delivers major reform in line with the recommendations of the Walker Inquiry.

"We've worked with management and other unions to really deliver for the publicly owned Sydney Ferries," said MUA Sydney Branch Secretary Warren Smith. "Our guys have forgone a big pay rise and given everything they've got to keep the ferries afloat."

Key to the new deal are crew-based rosters which create work teams so people pull together to make the job more efficient and safer. Another key recommendation of the Walker Inquiry included in the EBA is a single agreement covering all workers in all three maritime unions. Both reforms help save on operating costs and pave the way for more services and better services.

"We are now confident that we are in a position to deliver a best practice ferry service and keep it in public hands
," said Warren Smith.

Mr Smith said the union would continue to work with the community to oppose privatisation of Sydney Ferries and the inevitable ticket price hikes, service and safety cut backs, which would come with it.

"Today's agreement negates any need for any further industrial reform
," he said. "It's been nine months of negotiations and the workers delivered in good faith with no industrial action
. We are looking towards a new era of best practice.

"Twice before Sydney Ferries has been in private hands and twice before - in 1951 and again with the Manly Ferry in 1974 the state governments have had to bail them out. Let's not let it happen again."

The MUA has produced a short film on the ferries and the battle to keep them in public hands. (

"The workers have done their bit," he said. "Now it's time for the government to invest in new ferries and ensure they are part of an integrated transport system."

CONTACT: Warren Smith 04003 68945