Sydney Trains proposed changes would affect passengers with disability
Representatives from the Locomotive and Operations Divisions met with Sydney Trains yesterday regarding a recently resurrected project to amend OSP 25.
The proposed changes would see station staff required to use Emergency Help Points to inform train guards of the location of passengers with disability when providing boarding assistance. This would replace the current practice of station staff verbally informing the guard of a passenger’s location.
The new practise would equate to a carriage-wide broadcast of a disabled passenger’s information, exposing them to an increased safety risk and trivialising a dedicated safety system introduced to support our disabled passengers and not treat them as if they are just another unnecessary operational challenge.
This project has been lingering in the Sydney Trains “Change Space” since 2014; perceivably being shuffled from one portfolio to the next as the business continues a revolving door approach to its management structure.
Disappointingly, it appears that when the business did not receive the desired support for this project from the RTBU they sought to circumvent their consultation obligations by engaging HSR’s to support these changes. This is unacceptable. The Locomotive Division will continue to strictly enforce the consultation provisions of the Enterprise Agreement.
We strongly oppose these proposed changes as they will directly and adversely affect the safety of our passengers.
The Emergency Help Points are a dedicated safety resource, crucial to the safe operation of our trains. This project would see them reduced to nothing more than a passenger intercom simply to support an “On Time Running at all costs” mandate.
Finally the Loco Division offers the following to Sydney Trains: if on time running is the ultimate priority surely there are many more appropriate and more reasonable avenues to pursue before focusing on passengers that should be supported, not identified and singled out as the source of train delays.
Members will continue to be informed as meetings occur.