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A UNION has claimed that V/Line will be hit hard by a $20 million cost-cutting drive.
The public transport operator has been ordered to find the savings after shaving a similar amount off its bottom line last year.
Management consultants have been called in to identify inefficient work practices and examples of waste as part of a month-long trial that started this week.
In a memo to staff, V/Line boss Theo Taifalos said he wanted everyone to focus on three things over the next year.
“What we must do; what’s nice to do; and what we can stop doing (such as those annoying things we often ask ourselves, ‘why do we do this? or why do we do it this way?’” he said.
Mr Taifalos said that consultants Partners in Performance would help staff work smarter “while ensuring we all stay focused on providing safe customer service”.
“As such, many of you will be asked to participate, sharing your opinion ... this is not a ‘secret squirrel’ project,” he said.
Rail, Tram and Bus Union state secretary Luba Grigorovitch accused the government of “attacking the most vital services that our regional and rural Victorians rely on”.
“V/Line is already under resourced and demand for V/Line services is high. Our members are already spread too thin before this next round of cuts has even occurred,” she said.
Ms Grigorovitch claimed the Government had made no investment in V/Line over the past four years beyond the former Labor government’s commitments.
Mr Taifalos said that V/Line’s savings had not impacted on service delivery and staff numbers grew by 23 to 1516 during 2013-14.
“We have lifted our reliability and punctuality while maintaining overall customer trips around the 14.5 million mark,” he said.
“V/Line’s owners are the people of Victoria so we want to ensure best value for every dollar of taxpayers’ funds invested in our train and coach services.”
This article first appeared on www.heraldsun.com.au
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