Another head rolls in QR driver shortage

 
  theanimal Chief Commissioner

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/senior-queensland-rail-executive-resigns/news-story/f8b27dc7048c5e20015230b92f10c0d0


The man in charge of rostering for Queensland Rail has resigned amid an ongoing crisis at the rail operator that most recently resulted in hundreds of services being cancelled on Christmas day.

QR's chief operating officer, Kevin Wright, resigned from the role on Wednesday evening after emergency meetings were held to ensure services would be in place for the traditionally busy New Year's Eve.
AAP understands as a result of the meetings, Mr Wright was asked to tender his resignation.
Queensland Rail acting chief executive Jim Benstead sent a memo to all QR staff on Wednesday night informing them of the decision.
"As many of you know, Kevin has a long-standing career at Queensland Rail with more than 16 years of service culminating as head of our operations function," Mr Benstead wrote.
"I know many of you have met Kevin and have personally worked with him in some role or form."
QR executive Marty Ryan will take over Mr Wright's role from January 3, while the rail operator looks for a permanent replacement.
Mr Wright is the fourth executive to have paid a price for the crisis.
Former chief executive Helen Gluer and board chairman Michael Klug had resigned while the head of train service delivery was stood down since the initial staffing crisis in late September.
A lack of qualified drivers was sparked by the opening of the Redcliffe Peninsula rail line, leading to increasing pressure on the rosters, culminating in a series of service cancellations, most recently on Christmas Day when a third of the state's southeast services were cancelled.
At the height of the crisis in October, Mr Wright reportedly received a $77,000 performance bonus.
The department Mr Wright oversaw is the focus of the Strachan inquiry into the debacle and Transport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe has also commissioned a separate report into the crisis.




Mr Hinchliffe, who is facing continued opposition calls to resign over the rail debacle, has stopped short of committing to releasing that report publicly, saying he'll review it when it's handed to him.
"I'll then be making decisions about what information is appropriate to be made available out of the report," he said on Wednesday.

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  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Norda Fittazroy
At the height of the crisis in October, Mr Wright reportedly received a $77,000 performance bonus.
theanimal

Presumably the Queensland Government will demand the return of the 77 grand, on the basis of non-performance.
Anyway, how the hell can there be any bonus for doing the job you're paid to do?
I have an alternative to the whole idea of performance bonuses - you get well paid and, if you do your job properly, you get to keep it.
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
Here's a thought, just sack everybody and close QR down. Looks like that's the way they are headed...
  Mufreight Train Controller

Location: North Ipswich
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/senior-queensland-rail-executive-resigns/news-story/f8b27dc7048c5e20015230b92f10c0d0


The man in charge of rostering for Queensland Rail has resigned amid an ongoing crisis at the rail operator that most recently resulted in hundreds of services being cancelled on Christmas day.
QR's chief operating officer, Kevin Wright, resigned from the role on Wednesday evening after emergency meetings were held to ensure services would be in place for the traditionally busy New Year's Eve.
AAP understands as a result of the meetings, Mr Wright was asked to tender his resignation.
Queensland Rail acting chief executive Jim Benstead sent a memo to all QR staff on Wednesday night informing them of the decision.
"As many of you know, Kevin has a long-standing career at Queensland Rail with more than 16 years of service culminating as head of our operations function," Mr Benstead wrote.
"I know many of you have met Kevin and have personally worked with him in some role or form."
QR executive Marty Ryan will take over Mr Wright's role from January 3, while the rail operator looks for a permanent replacement.
Mr Wright is the fourth executive to have paid a price for the crisis.
Former chief executive Helen Gluer and board chairman Michael Klug had resigned while the head of train service delivery was stood down since the initial staffing crisis in late September.
A lack of qualified drivers was sparked by the opening of the Redcliffe Peninsula rail line, leading to increasing pressure on the rosters, culminating in a series of service cancellations, most recently on Christmas Day when a third of the state's southeast services were cancelled.
At the height of the crisis in October, Mr Wright reportedly received a $77,000 performance bonus.
The department Mr Wright oversaw is the focus of the Strachan inquiry into the debacle and Transport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe has also commissioned a separate report into the crisis.



Mr Hinchliffe, who is facing continued opposition calls to resign over the rail debacle, has stopped short of committing to releasing that report publicly, saying he'll review it when it's handed to him.
"I'll then be making decisions about what information is appropriate to be made available out of the report," he said on Wednesday.
theanimal
Kevin Wright was not dismissed despite how the political spin merchants might like to spin things, Mr Wright resigned I would think as a result of being held responsible for a situation that the politicians would not either allow him resolve or provide the resources to allow him to resolve a problem that the politicians were well aware of.
  locojoe67 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Gen X purgatory/urban Joh-land
QR seems to have been set up to fail with the staff cuts by the Newman administration, designed to lead to privatisation. The change to a Labour administration appears to have had no influence on training staffing and QR warnings of pending trouble. In the present, we can speculate all we want as to how it is that pending driver shortages somehow escaped the attention of the minister for up to a year.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
At the height of the crisis in October, Mr Wright reportedly received a $77,000 performance bonus.

Presumably the Queensland Government will demand the return of the 77 grand, on the basis of non-performance.
Anyway, how the hell can there be any bonus for doing the job you're paid to do?
I have an alternative to the whole idea of performance bonuses - you get well paid and, if you do your job properly, you get to keep it.
Valvegear
A far too simplistic and old fashioned concept.
How was he given the $77,000 in the first place? Perhaps by someone who got a $100,000 bonus for successfully giving out bonuses.
  br30453 Chief Train Controller

At the height of the crisis in October, Mr Wright reportedly received a $77,000 performance bonus.

Presumably the Queensland Government will demand the return of the 77 grand, on the basis of non-performance.
Anyway, how the hell can there be any bonus for doing the job you're paid to do?
I have an alternative to the whole idea of performance bonuses - you get well paid and, if you do your job properly, you get to keep it.
Valvegear
Which was what John Whitton, Chief Engineer of the NSWGR said to the government back in the 1860s.
  NBP Junior Train Controller

Location: Brisbane
Here's a thought, just sack everybody and close QR down. Looks like that's the way they are headed...
Graham4405
Sure Graham...

What an immature thing to say.
  Exqr Locomotive Driver

Location: Gympie Q.
NBP, a bit of "tongue-in-cheek" could be applied here.
  Expost Deputy Commissioner

Wow, some of the rubbish being sprouted by uneducated members of the public in various media outlets about the situation is truly amazing. Someone suggested they could get a drivers job, and be fully trained and out driving in 2 weeks. Lol.
  gordon_s1942 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Tablelands of NSW
There are so many variables in this to have caused the meltdown in the rostering.
Anybody who has ever been remotely associated in critical staff rostering knows just how fine the line is between it working or crashing.
I am sure most will have heard a Guard or Driver say they had been 'shanghied' from their rostered job because someone has failed or a situation has delayed a person from being available.
I saw a situation one time where I think the Guard had been on duty over hours because of no relief and had 'busted' and refused to go any further and the ASM on duty at the Station was 'Press Ganged' into taking the train on which didnt please him as he had no way of returning 'home', not that the Railway cared so long as the train went on.
Another time was where 2 signalman were rostered on duty at one signalbox at the same time by mistake and one was sent home only to find out an hour later he was supposed to have been rostered to work at the other nearby Signalbox.
He then refused to return to work so they had to find another to relieve the one still duty which was difficult because they were short staffed and it was too complex a place to just put anyone in.

I feel there is far more to this story than has been made public ranging from gross incompetence to being 'set up' by others who could see flaws in the rostering that only needed the merest hiccup for it to fail completely and did nothing to prevent it.
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
gordon_ s 1942,

I think you are on the money there.   As you maybe aware, the design and construction of the Redcliffe Peninsula Rail Line Project was taken out of the hands of QR by the former Government in terms of design, construction and project management.    QR to the best of my knowledge has prior to this project almost exclusively been totally responsible for the design and contract supervision of all major rail works on its network.

Whether it was either through spitting the dummy at not being the project lead, or the consortium not engaging with QR as a key stakeholder, the upshot of this was the major signaling systems incompatibility problem that emerged at basically the 11th hour forcing the project to be significantly delayed.    I would contend that the meltdown in relation to shortage of train crews would have been even worse if the project had been on track which is a scary thought.

It would not be the first time either internationally or even within Australia that an organization that normally would manage such projects entirely in-house,  on being forced or directed to outsource such a project or be forced to have to engage and consult in the wider world has ended up with a catastrophic result to the point that some "might contend" that there was some payback for having their toys taken away from them.   Its happened in a number of sectors and is not confined to rail.

In this day and age many large-scale projects funded by Government are fully outsourced and it generally works well.    The investigation that has been set up to review the whole saga of this project should be looking at all the issues that have arisen both technical, cultural and contractual as to how this all ended up completely unraveling with quite serious disruption that will be ongoing for sometime to come.

Without bashing up QR, I think there has to be a serious review of its structure and culture.   It has fundamentally gone from a reasonably well managed, reliable and efficient operator to what is almost a nightmare for passengers.   It has to address the loss of expertise and corporate knowledge (not easy) but also drastically improve service frequencies etc which given the huge investment that has been made in the system are quite poor.

There was a time for a decade or so after electrification that it was a bit of a jewel in the crown as far as Metro services went but it really hasn't moved all that much since those times in the big picture of things.
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
I think you are on the money there.   As you maybe aware, the design and construction of the Redcliffe Peninsula Rail Line Project was taken out of the hands of QR by the former Government in terms of design, construction and project management.    QR to the best of my knowledge has prior to this project almost exclusively been totally responsible for the design and contract supervision of all major rail works on its network.

Whether it was either through spitting the dummy at not being the project lead, or the consortium not engaging with QR as a key stakeholder, the upshot of this was the major signaling systems incompatibility problem that emerged at basically the 11th hour forcing the project to be significantly delayed.    I would contend that the meltdown in relation to shortage of train crews would have been even worse if the project had been on track which is a scary thought.
Trainplanner
But QR knew they needed to have trained up extra crews and have them ready to crew trains for the extra Redcliffe trains regardless of who built the line.
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
Here's a thought, just sack everybody and close QR down. Looks like that's the way they are headed...
Sure Graham...

What an immature thing to say.
NBP
It's sarcasm Sheldon...
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
Yes Petan,    You are right but the investigation into how the project came to grief in the first place followed up by the lack of crews to work all needs to be investigated.   This to my mind is not 2 unrelated events.   We had all the technical interface and other problems on the project and then immediately all the service meltdown stuff on the operational side.   I think they are all part of a bigger picture problem that needs to be run to ground.
  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Really wonder, with all the resginations, sackings etc in the system, will there be anyone left to do the work, and if they need to employ new people, who, and how long before they even get to aposition to start "fixing" the system.

Getting scapegoata sound great but when you have several people leave, there is a void.

To me it seems to make things worse.

Regards,
David Head
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
' but when you have several people leave, there is a void.'

Not necessarily always! Smile
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
' but when you have several people leave, there is a void.'

Not necessarily always! Smile
YM-Mundrabilla
I just cleared out 1/3 of my new workforce and they now work faster and more efficiently and we do 85% of the work we did before with the other 15% canned or off-loaded to others.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
ABC radio PM program reporting that Stirling Hinchliffe has resigned today.

BG
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Why is the union still causing problems by opposing external advertising? Why is QR still operating as a closed shop? You need drivers, recruit train drivers from elsewhere, surely this has to be fastest route.
  phil_48 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Wynnum North
Power and control.
  phil_48 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Wynnum North
Power and control.
  NBP Junior Train Controller

Location: Brisbane
Here's a thought, just sack everybody and close QR down. Looks like that's the way they are headed...
Sure Graham...

What an immature thing to say.
It's sarcasm Sheldon...
Graham4405
I do not see any relation to what you wrote and sarcasm/irony, as you've hinted similar opinion prior with little emotion.  But that is just an opinion formed from observation, Graham.  That said, it could be somewhat inaccurate.  Comes with the territory of online forums I'm afraid.

I have no sense of humour, particularly when "sarcasm" is involved with regard to this topic.  I am more than sick of all the misinformation, truth-twisting, etc, about this whole debacle.
  KRviator Moderator

Location: Up the front
Why is the union still causing problems by opposing external advertising? Why is QR still operating as a closed shop? You need drivers, recruit train drivers from elsewhere, surely this has to be fastest route.
RTT_Rules


The ironic thing is I work with a number of drivers who have recently (last couple of years) left QR/QRN and would like to go back to CityTrain, but because they are now "external applicants", they are ineligible to apply, even though their Qld safeworking and Brisbane route knowledge is still current...

From a trainers point of view, once a qualified driver gets through the initial safeworking, if you can't learn the Ferny Grove line (the first one they sign you off on) in under a week, you shouldn't be up the front.
  locojoe67 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Gen X purgatory/urban Joh-land
Qr are now advertising externally for drivers:

http://careers.pageuppeople.com/mob/544/caw/en/job/669078/train-drivers

http://au.indeed.com/m/viewjob?jk=503b195602c0305b&from=serp

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