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.

  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
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
I mean if they really wanted to they could make the trains move themselves from what I hear......
speedemon08
Yep and this is the sort of BS that encourages these technologies to be rolled out faster.

A computer doesn't need a court case to decide if it can move the train or not.

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  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Roll over and loose what conditions?
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.

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.
jakar
I haven't missed the point and your description of the problem only makes this whole argument seem even more pathetic.

Why on earth should there be an agreement to decide what qualification is required to operate a piece of machinery?
- If I want my employee to drive a ute for work, I don't negotiate about what qualification is required. The law says I need a Class 1A, so I employee or train to a Class 1A.

Imagine if the TWA required its members in the light truck transport industry to have B-double licenses to deliver the local bread run?

Conditions is things like lunch hours, hours per week, standard of lunch room, Annual Leave, Sick Leave etc. Condition of employment is not about having people over qualified and paid accordingly to do a job.

Welcome to Victoria, where the date is 1960 before the advent of common sense!!!
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

Why on earth should there be an agreement to decide what qualification is required to operate a piece of machinery? - If I want my employee to drive a ute for work, I don't negotiate about what qualification is required. The law says I need a Class 1A, so I employee or train to a Class 1A. Imagine if the TWA required its members in the light truck transport industry to have B-double licenses to deliver the local bread run?
RTT_Rules

Proof by analogy is usually disastrous and in this case I think you are completely missing the point.

The Driver grade are entitled to a set of conditions and pay which have been built up over many hard fought years - just like any class of workers. It is a reasonable expectation, and indeed, the law, that new Drivers are entitled to the same conditions as existing ones (exceptions apply, but this is by and large the intent of the system). So when Metro attempt to introduce a new class of worker, not covered by an existing EBA, it’s a blatant attempt to circumvent the expenses of having to adhere to the conditions those workers are entitled to.
  justarider Chief Commissioner

Location: Released again, maybe for the last time??
Why on earth should there be an agreement to decide what qualification is required to operate a piece of machinery? - If I want my employee to drive a ute for work, I don't negotiate about what qualification is required. The law says I need a Class 1A, so I employee or train to a Class 1A. Imagine if the TWA required its members in the light truck transport industry to have B-double licenses to deliver the local bread run?

Proof by analogy is usually disastrous and in this case I think you are completely missing the point.

The Driver grade are entitled to a set of conditions and pay which have been built up over many hard fought years - just like any class of workers. It is a reasonable expectation, and indeed, the law, that new Drivers are entitled to the same conditions as existing ones (exceptions apply, but this is by and large the intent of the system). So when Metro attempt to introduce a new class of worker, not covered by an existing EBA, it’s a blatant attempt to circumvent the expenses of having to adhere to the conditions those workers are entitled to.
potatoinmymouth
thank you Potato,
I have held back saying anything because some of the posts have made me so angry. Not a good time to write!

You've put into few words an accurate description of a very complex issue (Industrial Relations).
Many of the writers have failed to grasp the meaning of BARGAINING and AGREEMENT. (EBA)

Metro and their army of weasel word lawyers are just looking for a back door to break the contract with their workers. Remember Managers' and Lawyers' bonuses are paid by the amount of money they can take out of other people's pockets.

Whether the Union wins the argument is anybody's guess.
The suggestions here of "Greenfield site" and "New Company", are just lawyer tricks of avoidance. It's just the same deviousness as Phoenix businesses.  Sadly FWA often fall for it.

cheers
John
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
Whether the Union wins the argument is anybody's guess.
The suggestions here of "Greenfield site" and "New Company", are just lawyer tricks of avoidance. It's just the same deviousness as Phoenix businesses.  Sadly FWA often fall for it.
justarider
The Pakenham East Train Maintenance Facility is a greenfields site that will be run by Project Co, a company owned and run by Evolution Trains who are the consortium that won the HCMT contract. They're a totally different company to Metro Trains Melbourne. This is because the HCMT contract is not a contract just to build the trains but also a 30-year maintenance contract for them, based on a certain number of train sets being available for use at any one time. This is now a common form of large Government contract. For those familiar with the rail industry it's a lot like the ReadyPower contract that Freight Rail/FreightCorp had, where a certain number of NSW 82 & 90 Class locos were available for use at any one time.

So Project Co provides the trains and Metro provides the drivers and the network to run them on. The idea of the Train Operator position is that HCMTs will be moved often enough within the Pakenham East TMF, sometimes remotely, to justify a permanent roster of depot-based drivers. Slightly different set of skills to a regular Metro driver on a depot shift, but there's enough overlap to piss off the RTBU. But where this all starts to get contentious (and the lawyers start ordering the champagne and lobsters) is how stabling is managed, including moving the trains in, out and within the stabling yards. At Pakenham East the argument has been that Metro will request a trainset and Project Co will assign one to them from within the stabling yard - not the train maintenance depot. Ergo, Train Operators move the trains from the arrival sidings to the train wash, maintenance depot and finally to the stabling siding, all under the aegis of Project Co.

You can see why Calder Park look like a can of worms - will it be run by Project Co or Metro in 2026 once the HCMTs start running on the Sunbury line? It's going to be the lynchpin of Metro's campaign to abolish depot shifts for Drivers throughout the network and to replace them with 'lower grade' Train Operators under their own EBA.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
This is because the HCMT contract is not a contract just to build the trains but also a 30-year maintenance contract for them, based on a certain number of train sets being available for use at any one time. This is now a common form of large Government contract. For those familiar with the rail industry it's a lot like the ReadyPower contract that Freight Rail/FreightCorp had, where a certain number of NSW 82 & 90 Class locos were available for use at any one time.
LancedDendrite
LdD is that a BOOT (Build, Own, Operate, Transfer) contract?

BG
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
RTT just doesn't like multi-skilling. I, and others I know, do like it.
Nothing much else one can say.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
This is because the HCMT contract is not a contract just to build the trains but also a 30-year maintenance contract for them, based on a certain number of train sets being available for use at any one time. This is now a common form of large Government contract. For those familiar with the rail industry it's a lot like the ReadyPower contract that Freight Rail/FreightCorp had, where a certain number of NSW 82 & 90 Class locos were available for use at any one time.
LdD is that a BOOT (Build, Own, Operate, Transfer) contract?

BG
BrentonGolding
The above being the case what does Metro have to do with the movement of trains within the depot.

Contractor builds/maintains the train and presents it at the TR Point where Metro takes it over?

Must have missed something along the way! QuestionRolling Eyes
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Why on earth should there be an agreement to decide what qualification is required to operate a piece of machinery? - If I want my employee to drive a ute for work, I don't negotiate about what qualification is required. The law says I need a Class 1A, so I employee or train to a Class 1A. Imagine if the TWA required its members in the light truck transport industry to have B-double licenses to deliver the local bread run?

Proof by analogy is usually disastrous and in this case I think you are completely missing the point.

The Driver grade are entitled to a set of conditions and pay which have been built up over many hard fought years - just like any class of workers. It is a reasonable expectation, and indeed, the law, that new Drivers are entitled to the same conditions as existing ones (exceptions apply, but this is by and large the intent of the system). So when Metro attempt to introduce a new class of worker, not covered by an existing EBA, it’s a blatant attempt to circumvent the expenses of having to adhere to the conditions those workers are entitled to.
potatoinmymouth
My point is that its not about changing standards or reducing conditions or going against EBA etc.

My point is simply that any almost job has a minimum level of training required to undertake the task safely and competently as required by EHS legislation under any state govt today. What is the minimum level of training required for the task is not or at least should not be something that is "negotiated" as part of employment conditions EBA or likewise, its a minimum standard requirement. The fact that its actually in the EBA just reeks of the bad old days I thought we moved away from.

This should not be seen as attack on conditions of those driving trains in revenue service or other outside the yard conditions.

I've used the examples before, why have someone trained as a B-double driver is you only need light rigid vehicle driver training. The same should apply to any job. To over train adds more cost, more time and reduces productivity, thus making Australia just that little bit less competitive against external suppliers who don't have to deal with such bureaucratic systems.  

For those who still think this is wrong, think about your own situation at home. Do you want to pay more for a tradesman to do a job in your house because he has extra qualifications that you don't need? Of course not!
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
This is because the HCMT contract is not a contract just to build the trains but also a 30-year maintenance contract for them, based on a certain number of train sets being available for use at any one time. This is now a common form of large Government contract. For those familiar with the rail industry it's a lot like the ReadyPower contract that Freight Rail/FreightCorp had, where a certain number of NSW 82 & 90 Class locos were available for use at any one time.
LdD is that a BOOT (Build, Own, Operate, Transfer) contract?

BG
BrentonGolding
Very similar, but not all aspects of operation are covered in the contract as the Franchisee (aka Metro) operates the trains for revenue services on behalf of the State, not Project Co/Evolution Rail. So it's more like an Availability PPP with a phase at the end of the contract where the the train sets and other defined assets are transferred over to the State.
  justarider Chief Commissioner

Location: Released again, maybe for the last time??
LD

I don't dispute that Pakenham is a greenfield.
How you describe the contact that has been written to operate it,  just confirms my opinion that it is a lawyers device to allow Metro to circumvent the EBA. Thin edge of the wedge.

That's the difference between Awards and EBA, that we have all been stuck with.
Awards cover everybody in the same industry, regardless of which employer.
EBA set up chinese walls between each separate company (including subsidiaries of the same parent) and pretend that they are different. Champagne for lawyers.

cheers
John
  justarider Chief Commissioner

Location: Released again, maybe for the last time??

Proof by analogy is usually disastrous and in this case I think you are completely missing the point.

..it’s a blatant attempt to circumvent the expenses of having to adhere to the conditions those workers are entitled to.My point is that its not about changing standards or reducing conditions or going against EBA etc.
---potatoinmouth

My point is simply that any almost job has a minimum level of training required to undertake the task safely and competently as required by EHS legislation under any state govt today. What is the minimum level of training required for the task is not or at least should not be something that is "negotiated" as part of employment conditions EBA or likewise, its a minimum standard requirement. The fact that its actually in the EBA just reeks of the bad old days I thought we moved away from.

This should not be seen as attack on conditions of those driving trains in revenue service or other outside the yard conditions.

I've used the examples before, why have someone trained as a B-double driver is you only need light rigid vehicle driver training. The same should apply to any job. To over train adds more cost, more time and reduces productivity, thus making Australia just that little bit less competitive against external suppliers who don't have to deal with such bureaucratic systems.  

For those who still think this is wrong, think about your own situation at home. Do you want to pay more for a tradesman to do a job in your house because he has extra qualifications that you don't need? Of course not!
RTT_Rules
RTT
you keep making the point about trucks and training.

The only relevance between trains and trucks and planes, is that they are all dangerous places to work or visit.

EHS (or equivalent) legislation does enforce that appropriate training (among other things) is used to sustain a safe working environment.

That begs the question "what is appropriate training?" , EHS legislation doesn't describe it - it cannot cover every possible eventuality.
Worksafe (or equivalent) refer to the relevant Award or EBA to determine what is expected work practice.
Just the same as Worksafe looks at Engineering standards and professional bodies to determine safe constructions.

That is why all these things are in the EBA. Without Union insistence there would be very few, if any, standards to comply with.

PS: you could always negotiate your own EBA with your workforce to describe who does what in your own yard.
Good luck, it is a painful, exhausting and expensive process - not for the faint hearted.

cheers
John
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

This should not be seen as attack on conditions of those driving trains in revenue service or other outside the yard conditions.
RTT_Rules

Utter bollocks.

The status quo in Victoria is that the rail system manager (just avoiding the term Operator for clarity here) employs Drivers for all tasks that involve moving trains. Doesn't matter whether you like this arrangement or not, that's the way it is and has been for a long time. All the pay, conditions and other bits of the present EBA have evolved from this status quo over generations.

So, when it comes to the introduction of a new train fleet, where are the motives? How could the parties involved have protected these rights if that was really their aim?

The state government could have insisted that Project Co hand over the depot to Metro for operation.

Metro could have insisted that its drivers drive trains within the depot.

The state government could have insisted that depot operators be contracted from Metro by some complex arrangement.

None of this occurred. The status quo has been deliberately and selectively undermined in order to shoehorn in a new class of worker under a new company and a new EBA so FWA can be convinced it is within the law.

If it works, you can bet your bottom dollar the trick will be repeated with the Metro Tunnel, the airport rail line, pretty much any new infrastructure.

What's the end result? Those hard fought conditions are completely worthless.

If you think I'm being alarmist, this is precisely how Qantas began to employ flight attendants under less generous contracts after their privatisation. Shell companies were set up, WorkChoices was exploited, EBAs were rewritten, and now only a few staff retain that their competitors fought for decades to build up.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
The status quo in Victoria is that the rail system manager (just avoiding the term Operator for clarity here) employs Drivers for all tasks that involve moving trains. Doesn't matter whether you like this arrangement or not, that's the way it is and has been for a long time. All the pay, conditions and other bits of the present EBA have evolved from this status quo over generations.
potatoinmymouth
While not wanting to disagree with the majority of your post it is worth remembering that back in the steam era Hostlers handled locomotives within yard limits and at maintenance depots not drivers. This was still the case in the mid to late 60s from what I have read.

The B end of an S class and similar Diesel loco is often referred to as the "Hostler's End" and we still use the qualification in heritage circles (at least up until recent years when I last checked)

I would be really interested in an answer to the question raised by another poster about when the Hostler's grade was abolished in Victoria.

BG
  jakar Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
back in the steam era Hostlers handled locomotives within yard limits and at maintenance depots not drivers.
BrentonGolding
I always thought the Hostlers position was a stepping stone to becoming a fully qualified driver, such as once you reached a certain level as a fireman you could perform the Hostlers duties of moving loco's around even though you weren't a driver?
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
back in the steam era Hostlers handled locomotives within yard limits and at maintenance depots not drivers.
I always thought the Hostlers position was a stepping stone to becoming a fully qualified driver, such as once you reached a certain level as a fireman you could perform the Hostlers duties of moving loco's around even though you weren't a driver?
jakar
That is how I understand it, yes. The interesting thing about it in the context of this discussion is purely that they would have been paid less than a driver.

In historical context I can't remember if there was also a Fireman Q ie a Fireman qualified as a driver but not yet assigned a driver's position? If so did the seniority go Fireman > Hostler > Fireman Q > Driver?

I wish I had my book library close at hand, I remember reading about Cleaner Q positions at places like Ararat but I cannot remember if there was a Fireman Q

BG

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