NSW's rail network will come to a halt on the day students head back to school and commuters return to work as rail workers strike for better conditions.
NSW commuters have been warned of a 24-hour rail strike which will shut the city down on the same day thousands of students return to school.
The Rail, Tram and Bus Union state secretary Alex Claassens urged commuters to put pressure on the government and if "worse came to worse" don't go to work and stay home on January 29.
The RTBU announced the strike after lengthy discussions with members who claim they are "fed up" with the NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance.
The work stoppage will begin at 12.01am on Monday, January 29 - the start of the new school year for many.
"Trains will go to bed on Sunday night and won't come out on Monday morning," Mr Claassens told reporters in Sydney on Tuesday.
"My members are telling me they are fed up with this guy ... we just won't stand here and cop the crap that he's thrown at us."
The strike announcement comes after a horror week for the city's rail network, which left thousands of commuters stranded in peak hour.
In addition to the 24-hour strike, rail workers will wear campaign clothing and badges from Friday before implementing an indefinite ban on overtime that would begin on January 25, the day before the Australia Day long weekend.
Rail workers are unhappy about the current enterprise agreement and have voted to take industrial action as they continue to fight for a six per cent pay rise and improved working conditions including rostering and claiming days off.
While Mr Claassens acknowledges the proposed six per cent rise is "a bit out there," he says members want decent recognition for their work.
"Since 2013, we have only employed an extra 22 train staff and by their (management) own admission we are driving more and more trains every day," he said.
The union met with Sydney Trains management on Tuesday to discuss another gripe - the new train timetable implemented in November last year.
This meeting had a positive outcome, with Mr Claassens saying he's hopeful the discussions will result in an improved timetable.
Mr Constance labelled the union's behaviour to take strike action "bizarre" and warned it would bring thousands of commuters to a grinding halt.
"They will shut down the city," he told reporters in Sydney.
"This is not putting customers first. This is putting the interest of union bosses first, well ahead of the customers."
He said the government was willing to give a 2.5 per cent pay rise to Sydney and NSW train drivers, in accordance with its wages policy.
He wouldn't rule out taking the matter to court to protect customers.
NSW opposition leader Luke Foley used the debacle to call for Mr Constance to be sidelined and the NSW premier to step in and take charge.
"His (Mr Constance's) constant denigration of train drivers has resulted in the announcement of Sydney's first passenger rail strike this century," Mr Foley said in a statement on Tuesday.
"The premier must sideline this hapless minister and take charge of negotiations in order to resolve this dispute."
Earlier in the day, Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she was confident the union and rail management would reach an agreement and avoid industrial action.