Skilled recruiting for crews to work FIFO on a 2/1 pattern

  craigd Deputy Commissioner

Location: A Thinktank near you
It seems a fundamental change is starting to happen with FIFO working. There's been a lot of talk of the Pilbara miners looking to change from 2/2 to 2/1 FIFO rostering, and that seems to be turning into a reality with Skilled now advertising for loco drivers to work FIFO on a 2/1 pattern (presuming this means 2 weeks on, 1 week off, not the other way around?).

Assuming a 2/1 pattern as 2 on then 1 off, that almost eradicates it being any use to east coast people as you'd get 5 days at home in every 3-week rotation, instead of 12 days in every 4-week rotation. That's discounting 2 days out of the off-time for travel each way.

I wonder if the pay being offered is the same as what's offered for the people currently doing the 2/2 pattern for the same client... It's a significant change and one that majorly erodes the attractiveness of FIFO compared to the 2/2 pattern.

With 2/2 working, you get 13 fortnights off over 52 weeks (totalling 182 days off-duty) so take away 26 days for travel to/from, that's 156 days off duty clear of travel.

With 2/1 working, you get about 17 weeks off over 52 weeks (totalling only 119 days off duty), so take away 34 days for travel to/from, that's only 85 days off duty clear of travel. The 52 weeks actually is about 17 and a third 3 week blocks btw.

That's a lot more expense on travel (an extra 8 units at least) also, and lot more work in the same space of time compared to 2/2 pattern.

Without knowing the actual pay rate that the miners pay their onboarded full-time FIFO drivers in various patterns, or what skilled pays 'full-time casual' FIFO drivers contracted to clients, the miners have obviously figured out that changing from 2/2 to 2/1 pattern automatically gets them drivers on site for at least an extra 63 days a year (not counting the changeover day in the middle of each 2-week working block)!

So lets say for the sake of easy calculation that there 50 extra days of work out of each train crew employee on 2/1 pattern compared to the 2/2 pattern because there will be more changeover days. All of the differences should equate to a significantly higher pay 'package' offering for someone being asked to work an extra 50 (approx) 12 hour shifts a year.

The shift from a 2/2 pattern to 2/1 pattern can also mean that a significantly lower number of train crew are needed to fulfil the same tasking requirements as are needed with a 2/2 pattern.

Anyone done more in-depth analysis of the differences between 2/2 and 2/1 pattern FIFO working?

Some people may think it's a good deal until it's compared to the 2/2 pattern mostly used for FIFO train crew in the Pilbara operations at the moment.

If I've got my working out methodolgy wrong, I'm happy to be corrected.

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  darsamalx Locomotive Fireman

Hi Craig, without sounding cheeky it may pay to read the advert again, later on it states a 2 & 2 roster is on offer. I think you may find that the 2 & 1 will only be whilst you go through the initial (upto 6 months) training, once completed that's when the 2 & 2 starts or certainly used to. I could be wrong on this but it may be worth your while enquiring about it for clarification.
  seb2351 Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
I went to check the ad, and the position has already been closed. I am figuring there must have been a lot of interest.

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