But it's very hard for me - as someone who has experienced deteriorating conditions in my own industry over the years, simply because of increased competition from new graduates and overseas entrants - to have sympathy for train drivers who are (on the surface of it) asking for a very generous increase in wages at time of extremely low inflation.
IT isn't all about the money
. As I said earlier, if all that had changed was the pay offer, I suggest the agreement would have been accepted months ago.
Some of the conditions Metro offered include:
- poorer overtime provisions
- dispute resolution procedures which ask to shift more power to managers
- unwillingness to introduce a robust and equal trauma leave scheme.
So, if you are being asked to work longer shifts away from home, why should you not be compensated for it, notwithstanding you may be doing the same annual hours? The company is asking for something, what are they offering to get you to agree to it? Carrot and stick....
IF they are removing overtime provisions, yet still 'expect' Driver's to actually work
overtime, why should they not fight to keep what they currently have? Trauma leave? At PN you got 2 days off if you killed someone.
. However, that was a carryover from the EBA years ago, and you could take much longer if you went off sick with a note from your GP/Psych, but the minimum PN was obligated to give was a mere 2 days.
Sectorised running is a hard one. Generally speaking, most Driver's enjoy what they do. Some are simply in it for the money, of course, but most of us like playing trains. Let's say you're a chef, you're good at your job, and proudly enjoy serving up a 3-course meal to a diner. But now Management has decided that, although you're qualified in the whole kitchen, all you can do is flip a steak. Chef 2 over there -> will cook the veges, Chef 3 over yonder -> will plate up and the Work Experience Boy will carry the plate to the diner.
Bit of a slap in the face isn't it? But the side effects of this also include fewer opportunities for overtime, as presumably it'll go to Sector A Driver's and if you're in Sector B, even though you're on your RDO's, you're outta luck. Personally, I enjoy learning a new road, as it breaks up the monotony and you actually have to think about what you're doing. For the same reason I enjoy work trains, or a shorter than usual rake, as you have to think about what to do to get a smooth ride. IT's a challenge, and when it pays off the results are satisfying. But if all you're going to be doing is A-B-A-B-A and sign off, where's the skill in that? Where's the reward for the effort someone has put in in learning the entirety of the Melbourne network?
It isn't always about the money folks. There are several other factors at play.