NSW train workers have been offered a three per cent annual pay rise for the next three years as part of a fresh offer from the state government - but it could come at a cost.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian hinted that some jobs might be lost, with savings needed to fund the new deal, and as better technology was rolled out across the network.
The package put forward by Sydney and NSW Trains management to rail unions includes a one-off $1000 payment, free bus travel and additional benefits - putting its total value at about 4.06 per cent a year.
Ms Berejiklian insisted the deal still fell in line with the government's fair wages policy which caps public sector wage increases at 2.5 per cent.
"If any class of employees want more than that they have to give things up - and that's what's happened in this case," she told reporters in Sydney on Thursday.
Asked if efficiencies the union might have agreed to included potential job cuts, the premier replied: "I understand there are some. I understand there are issues around that."
The Rail Tram and Bus Union accepted there would be job cuts when new technology was introduced but believes the latest offer requires proper consultation.
"I don't want to see any job cuts. I would love it if they got their numbers all wrong and we didn't lose anybody," RTBU NSW secretary Alex Claassens told reporters.
"But I am confident there is a range of conditions in these documents, now, which give us a measure of protection."
The RTBU will present the deal to members in coming weeks while management plans to put it direct to 9500 rail workers across the state at depot meetings.
Mr Claassens said he would be reviewing every word in the documents and had hired an independent economist to double check the figures.
The union expected to have a good indication of how its members feel about the new package by next week.
Members would then vote via a postal ballot carried out by an independent voting body and not via text message, the union boss said.
The deal compares with a previous offer of a 2.75 per cent annual pay rise, free bus travel and a one-off $1000 payment. That was rejected by members.
The premier was pleased with the new package but admitted the public spat that broke out between the various unions involved and government frustrated her.
"Normally these (negotiations) play out behind closed doors and I regret that on this occasion they played out publicly," Ms Berejiklian said.
The Fair Work Commission last month ordered planned industrial action by the unions - threatened after a controversial SMS ballot - be suspended for six weeks while negotiations continued.
Mr Claassens maintained the key was not money but rostering, job security and working conditions.
Unions accused Transport Minister Andrew Constance of being extremely difficult to deal with.