RTBU New Intercity Fleet (NIF) Tour 2nd – 6th July 2018
To: All RTBU NSW Trains Members,
Today we completed the RTBU five day off-site tour where we were able to brief members who attended in their own time to hear from the Secretary the status of the NIF project and the latest ideas from NSW Trains project management.
The RTBU remains firmly opposed to Driver Only Operation (DOO) on safety grounds and is committed to the retention of two person crewing on all trains.
Our RTBU NIF project representatives have exhaustively worked through every possible scenario relating to train operations in the 3 modes proposed in the MOU, normal as well as degraded and have provided in excess of 900 questions back to NSW Trains management, to date only half of those have been answered.
- NSW trains preferred option is still Driver Only Operation (DOO) which will mean the current 300 guards positions on electric rolling stock will no longer be required however they are still saying that 80 guards positions will be retained for diesel rolling stock. Of the 300 guard’s positions to go, 145 have expressed interest in redundancy, 95 wish to become drivers and the remaining 60 would seek other roles.
- The RTBU has continued to put forward its opposition to DOO as being unsafe and detrimental to on-time running and has discussed the Single Manning option which has been operating on CountryLink services. NSW Trains has rejected this position as it doesn’t deliver the required savings i.e. 300 guard’s jobs.
- As a counter proposal to our option of Single Manning and in light of the numerous safety and operational concerns tabled by the RTBU regarding DOO, NSW Trains have now tabled a new proposal which is to crew the NIF train with a station staff employee in a new classification of Customer Service Attendant-Mobile (CSA-M). The CSA-M will have no safeworking qualifications and will perform customer service duties in a roving capacity within the train i.e. provide boarding assistance and passenger information etc.
- Their proposal also suggests that they will crew the NIF train with the CSA-M outside of the suburban area only. This means that the NIF train would be full DOO inside the suburban area. Additionally, non-revenue services (empty trains) would be DOO as well.
- NSW Trains have stated that there will be approximately 150-200 positions available for the CSA-M role.
- When taken in context, there are 330 station staff positions within NSW Trains and, as we know, 300 guard’s positions are at stake. With only 150-200 CSA-M positions available, obviously more positions in NSW Trains are likely to be at stake.
- 95 guards have indicated that they wish to become drivers, and we made it very clear that we will continue to stand by ALL of our agreements which includes the current drivers Transfer and Roster Placement Policy, so don’t be misled, if you are guard and if you intend to train to become a driver you will probably have to transfer to Sydney. In the event that we are unsuccessful at stopping the DOO proposal we will then assess all options.
- It has also come to light during these discussions that other areas of the RTBU’s membership may be directly be impacted by the NIF trains DOO introduction, these positions are as follows;
- CSO/Booker On
- Shift Managers
NSW Trains have sought to amend the existing MOU to reflect the current discussions but we have not agreed to do so as we have a current signed MOU and Enterprise Agreement, so why would we?
We believe that NSW Trains should honour their original commitment in the existing MOU to enter into a legally binding Deed of Agreement to deal with all NIF related matters. At this point they have alluded that they will however, much work remains to be undertaken to satisfy that commitment.
Now that the EA negotiations are behind us we will now commence our media campaign and let the community know what the government is trying to do.
We have a commitment from a future Labor Government to keep guards on our trains and we now need to all work hard to convince the Liberal Government it’s too hard and reverse their decision.
We will keep you posted and we anticipate that there will be another joint tour to update Customer Service staff on stations what this latest idea from the NSW Trains Project Management team means for them.