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Here we go again - more strikes ahead. Surely there's a better way?

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Here we go again. Like clockwork, we face looming transport strikes. Staff at both Metro Trains and Yarra Trams are poised over the next few weeks to take lawful industrial action that will no doubt leave commuters struggling and seething.

It’s all part of a broader picture that is frustrating as much because of the lessons that go unheeded as for the inconvenience visited on millions just trying to go about their daily lives.

Illustration: Matt DavidsonCredit:

The veritable merry-go-round of industrial disputes across the public sector, including the delivery of essential public services, has been telling us over many years that we need a better way of smoothing out the resolution of wage increases and achieving improvements in service delivery.

The problem is not unique to public transport. Right now, the state government is gearing up for disputes with public servants represented by the Community and Public Sector Union, as it grapples with the fallout from the years-long scandal over the two fire services enterprise agreements with the United Firefighters Union.

Meanwhile, reports last week that doctors in public hospitals are likely to take action in the face of alleged underpayments suggest a system of public sector workplace relations that is not serving either public servants or the community.

The kernel of the problem with protracted........

© The Age