High Capacity Metro Train plans at risk due to carriage-moving dispute

 

News article: High Capacity Metro Train plans at risk due to carriage-moving dispute

PLANS for new high capacity trains that will carry up to 1100 people risk going off the rails because of a dispute about who is allowed to move carriages around a maintenance facility.

  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
Someone who has not been "qualified" on the new rollingstock cannot move a train within the yards?

if this is not allowed to continue it means the train can only be moved by a qualified person which means who?

High Capacity Metro Train plans at risk due to carriage-moving dispute

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  jakar Assistant Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
Do we really need yet another thread on HCMT/Metro?

In the context of the article, qualified = train driver. Non-qualified = fitter or other maintenance personnel.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
You can have people trained to move a plane on the ground without passengers around selective areas of the airport only.

Likewise I'm sure there is no reason you cannot have qualified people, such as maintenance staff to move the train from the shed into the yard or around the yard, but not enter the main line or carry passengers and are not fully qualified train drivers as they don't need to be.

I'm guessing this is more a dispute by the union that the people moving the trains in the yard are not part of their union.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
The matter is going to the commission so it must be a dispute between the Union and Metro Trains or the constructor?  I guess what they are looking for is a person to move the trains within the storage area without the need to have a metro driver to do it.

This is a union dispute not not really about the HCT as such.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

This is part of the union’s ongoing disputes with Metro and the Government over the HCMT project. It is the latest in a series of concerns for them. Basically the fear is that the HCMT contracts represent the thin end of the wedge for automation of the train fleet (which of course it does).  

Remember the 2015 strike? That was a protest against “sectorising” driver qualifications as is best practice on metro services around the world i.e. drivers do not have to be rostered in a complex way in order to maintain route knowledge on the entire network. Metro backed down.

Then in the HCMT build contracts a distinction was noticed between Driver and Operator. The contracts outlined that the trains had to be capable of being shunted by Operators (even by remote control), whereas for mainline ops it referred to Drivers. The union (correctly, in my view) interpreted this as an attempt to introduce a new qualification somewhere between Shunter and Driver, qualified to move sparks around yards. Clearly this means less work for unionised Drivers and so the union opposed it. Metro claimed no such thing was going on.

Now a new EBA has been offered writing up precisely this arrangement. In the union’s view this move will eventually lead to Operators taking over mainline duties with the HCMTs when HCS is implemented. Overblown? Possibly, but certainly the direction things are headed.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
The matter is going to the commission so it must be a dispute between the Union and Metro Trains or the constructor?  I guess what they are looking for is a person to move the trains within the storage area without the need to have a metro driver to do it.

This is a union dispute not not really about the HCT as such.
bevans
Correction

"I guess what they are looking for is a person to move the trains within the storage area without the need to have a UNION MEMBER QUALIFIED driver to do it."

As these days most people would see this for what it is (a pile of union BS), they are trying this behind a "safety" banner.

Regards
Shane
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Trapped in a meeting with Rhonda and Karsten
Remember the 2015 strike? That was a protest against “sectorising” driver qualifications as is best practice on metro services around the world i.e. drivers do not have to be rostered in a complex way in order to maintain route knowledge on the entire network. Metro backed down.
potatoinmymouth
Metro actually won that battle in the last EBA negotiation. There is a de facto sectorisation now; drivers are now only trained and rostered on half of the network - either the Caulfield + Northern Groups (aka old 'Bayside') or Clifton Hill + Burnley Groups (aka old 'Hillside'), with a reserve of drivers based out of Flinders St that can drive on both (for now).


Then in the HCMT build contracts a distinction was noticed between Driver and Operator. The contracts outlined that the trains had to be capable of being shunted by Operators (even by remote control), whereas for mainline ops it referred to Drivers. The union (correctly, in my view) interpreted this as an attempt to introduce a new qualification somewhere between Shunter and Driver, qualified to move sparks around yards. Clearly this means less work for unionised Drivers and so the union opposed it. Metro claimed no such thing was going on.
potatoinmymouth
You're almost there. The Train Operator position is contentious because it supposedly only applies to trains being moved within Pakenham East depot. The RTBU lost that particular battle during the greenfields EBA negotiations for Pakenham East employees (greenfields = throw away the existing EBA and write a new one, usually with eroded pay and conditions). Now the RTBU is fighting an attempt to allow Train Operators to move the HCMTS within the Calder Park sidings (which is an existing site and hence covered by the existing Metro EBA). The logical next fight for Metro will be to get Train Operators to drive the trains from the depots to the stations where revenue services will begin from - i.e Pakenham East to Pakenham station and Calder Park to Watergardens.
And of course Metro will try to play off the Train Operators against the Union during EBA negotiations to erode solidarity and break the union.
  Radioman Chief Train Controller

Hello All,

I would draw the analogy between a non licensed person driving a B triple around a yard compared to a qualified heavy vehicle licensed truck driver. In an area where other people are present one would expect a qualified, as opposed to a non qualified person to make that move,

Regards, Radioman.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

Should be simple to set up a new company which would have powers over all operations within the depots and handle empty movements between depots and terminus stations.

Industrial relations with existing Metro drivers would not come into it.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Hello All,

I would draw the analogy between a non licensed person driving a B triple around a yard compared to a qualified heavy vehicle licensed truck driver. In an area where other people are present one would expect a qualified, as opposed to a non qualified person to make that move,

Regards, Radioman.
Radioman
Put someone without recognised training at the head of a B-double to move it around the yard and your insurance company and the WHS will have something to say to you and likely a judge if it all goes pear shaped.

These days qualification for trucks is usually simply, "do you have a license". Trains are a bit different as its industry specific training. Still provided as the individual has the min recognised training to move the empty set around the yard as per the SOP, then they should be allowed too, union member or not.

As for moving an empty set on the main to a platform. I think this opens a new can of worms as far as protection for the public and other trains. Hence, I doubt this will ever happen on a reduced level of training. ie not a Train Driver.
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
In past years (long past?) Hostlers used to move locomotives around the shed area during light up etc. I'm not sure what their training and limits were, nor do I know what their union status was, but no doubt someone can enlighten us.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Should be simple to set up a new company which would have powers over all operations within the depots and handle empty movements between depots and terminus stations.

Industrial relations with existing Metro drivers would not come into it.
justapassenger
I think you could do what you like, but the union still wants their piece of the cake, ie the driver is a union member.
  jakar Assistant Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
Should be simple to set up a new company which would have powers over all operations within the depots and handle empty movements between depots and terminus stations.

Industrial relations with existing Metro drivers would not come into it.
I think you could do what you like, but the union still wants their piece of the cake, ie the driver is a union member.
RTT_Rules
RTT_Rules i'm not sure why you're so fixated on the notion that this is all about requiring the people who move the trains be members of the RTBU? Its not. The potential 'operator' or whoever they want to shift them around can also be a member of the RTBU or other union such as the ETU. Its about the potential watering down of the driving grade as a whole. It would be very naive not to think that if you give them (Metro etc) an inch that they wouldn't take a mile. The RTBU is doing their duty by looking after the conditions of current and future drivers, it would be remiss of them if they didn't.
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Its about the potential watering down of the driving grade as a whole. It would be very naive not to think that if you give them (Metro etc) an inch that they wouldn't take a mile. The RTBU is doing their duty by looking after the conditions of current and future drivers, it would be remiss of them if they didn't.
"jakar"
Exactly. Metro is there for one reason and one reason only - Maximum Profit. The more it can screw wages and entitlements down, the more it makes.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Its about the potential watering down of the driving grade as a whole. It would be very naive not to think that if you give them (Metro etc) an inch that they wouldn't take a mile. The RTBU is doing their duty by looking after the conditions of current and future drivers, it would be remiss of them if they didn't.
Exactly. Metro is there for one reason and one reason only - Maximum Profit. The more it can screw wages and entitlements down, the more it makes.
Valvegear
So tell me

Your an employer,
your company makes trains and you need a person to move from the shed into the yard, never enters the mainline. Never carries passengers. Simply shunting.

Do you expect to
A) Spend the time (how long does this take?) and money to have one of your maintenance or production line people to undergo full driver training as per your comment regarding RTBU which means capable of operating a train anywhere in Melbourne, yet never will.

B) Spend far less time (how much time is saved?) and money having your people qualified to operate a true under yard conditions only.

Its your budget!

???

Why spend time and money training people to do a job they will never do while in your service?
Its called productivity!!!
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Your an employer,

your company makes trains and you need a person to move from the shed into the yard, never enters the mainline. Never carries passengers. Simply shunting.

Do you expect to

A) Spend the time (how long does this take?) and money to have one of your maintenance or production line people to undergo full driver training as per your comment regarding RTBU which means capable of operating a train anywhere in Melbourne, yet never will.

B) Spend far less time (how much time is saved?) and money having your people qualified to operate a true under yard conditions only.

Its your budget!

???

Why spend time and money training people to do a job they will never do while in your service?

Its called productivity!!!
"RTT_Rules"


NO - You're an employer.

As an employer I don't assume people will never progress anywhere else. I encourage them to develop skills which make them more versatile. In this case, if we are suddenly in need of a driver, we've got one, and he can do a little more.

You may call it productivity; I call it short-sighted profiteering.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Back in the days there were a number of 'Yard Drivers'. Not everyone was a Big Wheel or Mainline Driver. In some cases this may have been part of their training but there were also those men who were restricted to yard work for disciplinary reasons, ill health or for family illness etc when they were unable to travel far from home.

I don't know what happened to this grade come privatisation but perhaps it was 'one of the babies that went out with the bathwater'.

I would have imagined that Metro would have drivers in this position who would be happy to have a yard job in lieu of no job. That was certainly the case in years gone by.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Your an employer,

your company makes trains and you need a person to move from the shed into the yard, never enters the mainline. Never carries passengers. Simply shunting.

Do you expect to

A) Spend the time (how long does this take?) and money to have one of your maintenance or production line people to undergo full driver training as per your comment regarding RTBU which means capable of operating a train anywhere in Melbourne, yet never will.

B) Spend far less time (how much time is saved?) and money having your people qualified to operate a true under yard conditions only.

Its your budget!

???

Why spend time and money training people to do a job they will never do while in your service?

Its called productivity!!!


NO - You're an employer.

As an employer I don't assume people will never progress anywhere else. I encourage them to develop skills which make them more versatile. In this case, if we are suddenly in need of a driver, we've got one, and he can do a little more.

You may call it productivity; I call it short-sighted profiteering.
Valvegear
Valvegear, what an absurd response

Correct if I'm wrong but this dispute is about the building of the trains using mechanics or what ever to move the finished or near finished production into and around the yard.

- Does Boeing train its Mechanics or whoever who move planes from assembly area to paint shop to where ever else to be fully qualified pilots?

- Does Qantas train its pilots to fly planes it doesn't have to to places its doesn't go?

- Do guys driving small trucks around town have B-double licenses funded by the company?

One of the things Bluebird Rail Wine train Manager said to me was to move a rail car 1m, he had to pay G&W(?) to send over a fully qualified driver ~$50/h, in 2000! Wasn't possible to train up his own people for yard shunting. (yes real discussion)

Understand undertaking higher level of training for career progression within the organisation, but if the company doesn't need it or has no scope for progression due to the nature of the business, then why pay for something you don't need or want. Just adding cost and bureaucracy to Australian Manufacturing where it doesn't need it. And we wonder why most trains are no longer local made anymore!

Metro wasn't wrong when it wanted to have drivers trained for only part of the network, saves time and alot of money getting people from class room to driving. This is no different, just smaller scale.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

Should be simple to set up a new company which would have powers over all operations within the depots and handle empty movements between depots and terminus stations.

Industrial relations with existing Metro drivers would not come into it.
I think you could do what you like, but the union still wants their piece of the cake, ie the driver is a union member.
RTT_Rules
Closed shops are illegal in Australia.

I make the suggestion not on the basis of keeping the union out of it, but on the basis of allowing the negotiations regarding the new roles to be conducted in a 'clean' manner without unrelated matters being brought into it for the purpose of holding one side hostage.

The employees of the new train maintenance company could unionise if they so wished, but that would have nothing to do with the union membership of Metro train drivers.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Airlines have been using ground crews to move planes around the airport never flying them and this has worked.

Why can’t this approach be used for the HCT ?
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
The employees of the new train maintenance company could unionise if they so wished, but that would have nothing to do with the union membership of Metro train drivers.
justapassenger
Yes but remember the RTBU has divisions. Drivers fall within the Locomotive division. Employees at yards fall into one of the others, maybe Fleet Manufacture, Overhaul, Maintenance and Service or one of the others.

The Loco division will be pretty keen to preserve it's numbers and yes, as @jakar said it is the unions job to look after the interests of current and future members. It is the companies job to look after their interests and it is the government's job to look after everyone's interests (as if).

I think some of the stuff that goes on is pretty silly but I can certainly see why the Loco division would do it, for starters they need to be seen by their membership as going all out for the member's interests. Even if they lose they can say that they gave it a good crack.

It will all work out in the wash, storm in a teacup stuff.

BG
  jakar Assistant Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
Correct if I'm wrong but this dispute is about the building of the trains using mechanics or what ever to move the finished or near finished production into and around the yard.
RTT_Rules
No, this is about all movements now and into the future for stabling and preps etc.

I don't think you understand what the issue is here or the significance of negotiated conditions. Have a look at clause 1.9 in the Metro EA. It was agreed to between Metro and the RTBU that with exception of 12 employees at Bayswater all train movements in all environments (mainline, depot, maintenance) would be conducted ONLY by the locomotive driving grade and Metro would not train anyone else to do so. Its there in black and white for all to see.

Metro are trying to get around this by saying that the Pakenham East facility is a greenfields site and is controlled by Downer so that clause does not apply. This may or may not be true and they may have found a loop hole in the EA. It gets a little murkier as there will also be a drivers depot at Pakenham East as well.

LancedDenrite has already covered this well previously which you seem to have missed/ignored but Metro are also trying this on at Calder Park where there is already an existing Metro yard, hence the EA very much applies to it. You may be happy to roll over and lose conditions and ignore the EA every time management has a thought bubble, that is your prerogative, however most would not like to see something that they have negotiated and given up conditions for (whether that be pay or meal break time and so on) be pushed to the side just because Metro 'want to'. It simply does not and should not work like that.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Correct if I'm wrong but this dispute is about the building of the trains using mechanics or what ever to move the finished or near finished production into and around the yard.
No, this is about all movements now and into the future for stabling and preps etc.

I don't think you understand what the issue is here or the significance of negotiated conditions. Have a look at clause 1.9 in the Metro EA. It was agreed to between Metro and the RTBU that with exception of 12 employees at Bayswater all train movements in all environments (mainline, depot, maintenance) would be conducted ONLY by the locomotive driving grade and Metro would not train anyone else to do so. Its there in black and white for all to see.

Metro are trying to get around this by saying that the Pakenham East facility is a greenfields site and is controlled by Downer so that clause does not apply. This may or may not be true and they may have found a loop hole in the EA. It gets a little murkier as there will also be a drivers depot at Pakenham East as well.

LancedDenrite has already covered this well previously which you seem to have missed/ignored but Metro are also trying this on at Calder Park where there is already an existing Metro yard, hence the EA very much applies to it. You may be happy to roll over and lose conditions and ignore the EA every time management has a thought bubble, that is your prerogative, however most would not like to see something that they have negotiated and given up conditions for (whether that be pay or meal break time and so on) be pushed to the side just because Metro 'want to'. It simply does not and should not work like that.
jakar
Roll over and loose what conditions?

If I need to move a 2 axle Ridge Truck around my truck construction yard a few times a month, why would I hire or pay for training of a Road Train qualified driver? I'd simply get one of my existing maintenance staff rated to move a Ridge Truck.

The Ridge Training over Road Train should equal faster and lower cost training and the staff member on a lower rate of pay, but at the end of the day I'm paying for what I need, not want I don't need. Call Business Common Sense 101 and why manufacturing sector is leaving Vic! Too much BS to get a basic job done. This shouldn't even be going to court or even a  discussion, just get on with the bloody job and let them make their trains.
  speedemon08 Mary

Location: I think by now you should have figured it out
Someone who has not been "qualified" on the new rollingstock cannot move a train within the yards?

if this is not allowed to continue it means the train can only be moved by a qualified person which means who?

High Capacity Metro Train plans at risk due to carriage-moving dispute
x31
I mean if they really wanted to they could make the trains move themselves from what I hear......
  jakar Assistant Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
Roll over and loose what conditions?
RTT_Rules
You have completely missed the crux of the argument yet again.

Here are some links to read and learn what an EBA is:

https://www.fairwork.gov.au/how-we-will-help/templates-and-guides/fact-sheets/rights-and-obligations/enterprise-bargaining

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enterprise_bargaining_agreement

http://www.cwu.org.au/what-is-an-enterprise-agreement.html

Rightly or wrongly (and i'm not arguing for either way on the situation) Metro and the RTBU (as the representative of Metro's employees) agreed to and signed off on the condition that only qualified drivers would move trains. Metro are now trying to circumvent that condition.

You are kidding yourself if you think that Metro agreed to clause 1.9 out of the goodness of their heart. Something would have been traded/bargained for to get it in there, which possibly could have been overtime rates or leave entitlements, things with real world consequences for their employees.

Too much BS to get a basic job done. This shouldn't even be going to court or even a discussion, just get on with the bloody job and let them make their trains.
RTT_Rules

No one is stopping them from making their trains.

If you negotiated a certain condition with your boss which meant you had to give up something (such as take half an hour for lunch instead of an hour) in order to achieve that condition, but then down the track your boss ignores that condition but still expects you to take only a half hour lunch break, are you saying you wouldn't be annoyed at that? I know I would be as would most others. That is why this is going to court.

I feel sorry for any employees you may have if you think it is acceptable to ignore or change legally binding contracts and conditions when ever you feel like it just 'to get the bloody job done'. I'm by no means a staunch unionist but your comments and attitude show why they are still relevant today.

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