Guards, train drivers fight urine tests

General news0

There has always been controversy over the duties of sign-on staff at depots respecting the sobriety or fitness of staff. Sign- on clerks are not medically trained and this has often led to stoppages and other union actions.


Guards, train drivers fight urine tests

Josephine Tovey

March 30, 2012

NSW STATE ELECTION 2011NSW Transport Minister, John Robertson and Shadow Transport Minister, Gladys Berejiklian at a forum on transport by The Sydney Morning Herald at Epping.  10th March 2011Photo by Dallas Kilponen

Gladys Berejiklian … no apologies for being tough on drug testing. Photo: Dallas Kilponen

TRAIN drivers, prison guards and firefighters are calling on the state government not to force them to submit to urine tests for drugs in the light of the Fair Work Australia decision this week that the practice was unjust.

The Herald reported yesterday on a Fair Work Australia ruling that urine tests should not be conducted on employees of state-owned Endeavour Energy, as the tests could register a positive result for drug use from days earlier and were therefore ”unjust and unreasonable”.

The arbitrator said oral swab tests, which pick up drug use in the preceding hours, were a more appropriate test of impairment.

Last night Unions NSW passed a motion stating it would help ensure ”the precedent set by the Endeavour decision flows through to workers throughout the state of NSW.”

RailCorp workers – from frontline staff to senior management – are subject to random urine drug tests.

Bob Hayden, from the Rail, Tram and Bus Union, said: ”We don’t condone drug use … but the debate needs to be about impairment.”

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