Hundreds of Sydney bus drivers walked off the job this week. 

Members of the Transport Workers Union (TWU) NSW and the Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) have taken strike action, demanding a pay rise, capped driving shifts, mandated breaks and violence training.

The drivers taking part in the strike mostly work for private operators in Sydney, and are arguing that they receive substantially lower pay and conditions than others even in the same depot, driving the same routes.

The industrial action comes alongside union negotiations over new wage agreements with Transit Systems, ComfortDelGro and Transdev.

TWU NSW secretary Richard Olsen says the government has ignored the workers. 

“Drivers are driving buses owned by the NSW government, the bus routes and the bus stops are set by the NSW government, yet the government claims no responsibility for safety and the conditions of the workers who operate the buses,” Mr Olsen said this week. 

Drivers marched along Macquarie St in Sydney holding signs including: “Same job, same pay” and “safe work”. 

The NSW Government is currently embroiled in fierce negotiations with the rail union over a new enterprise bargaining agreement, and has had to wrangle with nurses and teachers taking industrial action in recent months over pay and working conditions too.