Station Staffing Changes (again!)

 
  Re-Unification Express Station Staff

Some correspondents may be aware that Sydney Trains station staff are going through another 'Staff Review" with new rosters due to commence in October.

Once again we see a reduction in staff at most stations with small stations having reduced opening and closing times and larger stations losing staff. The arguement is that with no ticket sales a reduced number of staff is needed. So much for the previous nonsense that management pushed regarding 'customer service'.

Of course reduced staff means fewer people to asist customers in the case of an emergency. Many stations now have no staff at night for example. How long before they are closed completely?

The push to convert fulltime positions to part time is continuing with long term fulltime staff finding themselves losing their fixed positions and rejoining the 'relief' pool.

Most station staff I have talked to say that their job is basically cleaning. Not the job they applied for. They are not happy. That seems to be all that management is interested in anyway.

Apparently the original plan was to get rid of all Station Duty Managers (in the same way that they got rid of all Station Managers with the implementation of Sydney Trains). This has now been put on hold and the current 'reform' (sic) will see large numbers of backroom staff disappear.

There is now no carreer path on Sydney Trains stations with even long term staff concerned for their jobs. Funny way to run a rail system.

Of course if I was a conspiracy theorist I'm sure I could make an arguement that Sydney Trains (or at least parts of it) are not too far away from being privatised.

This is of course the ultimate aim. The Metro's are/will be privately operated as is the light rail. Privatisation by stealth anyone?

Whether you see it as good or bad( and I believe it's bad) I just get the feeling that complete privatisation is much closer than we think.

David.

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  msct095 Station Master

Personally I have noticed that there are a lot of staff standing around doing not much. This is not meant to be a statement about how well they work, just an observation that there are probably more staff than necessary most of the time. The staff are quite helpful for new train users, and quite informative when there are delays. Of course when things go wrong, we always want thousands of highly trained staff ready to spring into action. But are all these staff really the best use of resources?

The point of the rail system is surely to move passengers efficiently, not to give staff job security and career paths. Job security and career paths are useful in retaining trained staff, but if we have more than we need, then that isn't an end in and of itself.
  smithagain Junior Train Controller

Personally I have noticed that there are a lot of staff standing around doing not much. This is not meant to be a statement about how well they work, just an observation that there are probably more staff than necessary most of the time. The staff are quite helpful for new train users, and quite informative when there are delays. Of course when things go wrong, we always want thousands of highly trained staff ready to spring into action. But are all these staff really the best use of resources?

The point of the rail system is surely to move passengers efficiently, not to give staff job security and career paths. Job security and career paths are useful in retaining trained staff, but if we have more than we need, then that isn't an end in and of itself.
msct095
Less staff but more visible staff . Staff cannot go into the office or control room anymore, control rooms on platforms have been shut and stripped of their computers etc. Now it's all about using the "hub"  (that's the setup with computer screens you may have noticed at barriers and on platforms).  If that gives the impression that staff are "standing around doing not much"  blame management. Not sure what you want staff to be doing? Cartwheels?
  Throughwestmail Train Controller

Personally I have noticed that there are a lot of staff standing around doing not much. This is not meant to be a statement about how well they work, just an observation that there are probably more staff than necessary most of the time. The staff are quite helpful for new train users, and quite informative when there are delays. Of course when things go wrong, we always want thousands of highly trained staff ready to spring into action. But are all these staff really the best use of resources?

The point of the rail system is surely to move passengers efficiently, not to give staff job security and career paths. Job security and career paths are useful in retaining trained staff, but if we have more than we need, then that isn't an end in and of itself.
msct095
At what locations and at what time of the day? How do you know they are not train crew waiting to relieve the crew of an arriving train? There are plenty of people who make similar comments to yours, who have absolutely no idea of what the staff do. How about refraining from making comments that the government lap up as proof of too many staff until you have some idea of what happens. If there is an incident involving you, you would probably be the first to moan about "there was no one to help, we need more staff"
  msct095 Station Master

Personally I have noticed that there are a lot of staff standing around doing not much. This is not meant to be a statement about how well they work, just an observation that there are probably more staff than necessary most of the time. The staff are quite helpful for new train users, and quite informative when there are delays. Of course when things go wrong, we always want thousands of highly trained staff ready to spring into action. But are all these staff really the best use of resources?

The point of the rail system is surely to move passengers efficiently, not to give staff job security and career paths. Job security and career paths are useful in retaining trained staff, but if we have more than we need, then that isn't an end in and of itself.
At what locations and at what time of the day? How do you know they are not train crew waiting to relieve the crew of an arriving train? There are plenty of people who make similar comments to yours, who have absolutely no idea of what the staff do. How about refraining from making comments that the government lap up as proof of too many staff until you have some idea of what happens. If there is an incident involving you, you would probably be the first to moan about "there was no one to help, we need more staff"
Throughwestmail
Usually just inside or outside ticket gates during the day between the peaks. I can't be sure that they aren't waiting for a train, but I have seen staff doing that, and this isn't the same thing. If an incident involved me, I would be grateful for any help that was on hand, but I can't expect staff to be everywhere all the time. Mostly I'm responding to the general emphasis of the OP on the effects on staff rather than the effects of staff. I admit I don't know all the things that the staff do, so I'll ask, what effects are we likely to see if we have less staff?
  msct095 Station Master

Personally I have noticed that there are a lot of staff standing around doing not much. This is not meant to be a statement about how well they work, just an observation that there are probably more staff than necessary most of the time. The staff are quite helpful for new train users, and quite informative when there are delays. Of course when things go wrong, we always want thousands of highly trained staff ready to spring into action. But are all these staff really the best use of resources?

The point of the rail system is surely to move passengers efficiently, not to give staff job security and career paths. Job security and career paths are useful in retaining trained staff, but if we have more than we need, then that isn't an end in and of itself.
Less staff but more visible staff . Staff cannot go into the office or control room anymore, control rooms on platforms have been shut and stripped of their computers etc. Now it's all about using the "hub"  (that's the setup with computer screens you may have noticed at barriers and on platforms).  If that gives the impression that staff are "standing around doing not much"  blame management. Not sure what you want staff to be doing? Cartwheels?
smithagain
I'm not saying the staff should be doing something else, but if cartwheels are the best use of their time, then I think that says we have too many staff.
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

Personally I have noticed that there are a lot of staff standing around doing not much. This is not meant to be a statement about how well they work, just an observation that there are probably more staff than necessary most of the time. The staff are quite helpful for new train users, and quite informative when there are delays. Of course when things go wrong, we always want thousands of highly trained staff ready to spring into action. But are all these staff really the best use of resources?

The point of the rail system is surely to move passengers efficiently, not to give staff job security and career paths. Job security and career paths are useful in retaining trained staff, but if we have more than we need, then that isn't an end in and of itself.
Less staff but more visible staff . Staff cannot go into the office or control room anymore, control rooms on platforms have been shut and stripped of their computers etc. Now it's all about using the "hub"  (that's the setup with computer screens you may have noticed at barriers and on platforms).  If that gives the impression that staff are "standing around doing not much"  blame management. Not sure what you want staff to be doing? Cartwheels?
I'm not saying the staff should be doing something else, but if cartwheels are the best use of their time, then I think that says we have too many staff.
msct095
Are you a Baird stooge? You have absolutely no idea of what you are talking about. If you cannot do better rack off.
  smithagain Junior Train Controller

I'm not saying the staff should be doing something else, but if cartwheels are the best use of their time, then I think that says we have too many staff.
msct095
One of the duties of station staff is to observe and monitor . I suppose to the general public this may look like staff are not doing anything important. But staff are monitoring: customer flow, train running, cleanliness, customer behaviour, safety, equipment, etc. Basically everything that has potential to cause problems to you the customer. We are trained to observe and act.  Staff "standing around" at barriers and on platforms are there to help you have a clean safe functional station.
  Transtopic Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
I'm not saying the staff should be doing something else, but if cartwheels are the best use of their time, then I think that says we have too many staff.
One of the duties of station staff is to observe and monitor . I suppose to the general public this may look like staff are not doing anything important. But staff are monitoring: customer flow, train running, cleanliness, customer behaviour, safety, equipment, etc. Basically everything that has potential to cause problems to you the customer. We are trained to observe and act.  Staff "standing around" at barriers and on platforms are there to help you have a clean safe functional station.
smithagain
Totally agree.  Imagine what it would be like if there were no staff at all at the busier stations, particularly at night.  Having staff can be a deterrent to anti-social behaviour, meaning a safer environment for passengers. I won't travel on trains late at night because of safety issues.  While the government prattles on about customer service, this seems to be the least of their priorities.  I would imagine that a privatised service would also have customer service as a low priority as they would be operating a monopoly service with no competition.  They would just get the government to top up any shortfall.  You only have to look at the failure of the privatised Melbourne Metro to provide an acceptable service.
  gordon_s1942 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Tablelands of NSW
By closing off any advancement paths for Staff enables those running the system to mold those they do employ without any preconceived ideas.
I started off as a JSA aged 15 and then I 'learnt' from those around me all the good but mostly bad habits they had so as I grew older and sought advancement, I took all I had learnt with me.
Now by having everyone do these tests today, they can pick and choose who they want and insist on those picked for the positions offered to strictly abide by the dictates of the management.

In the past most senior station staff needed to qualify in Safeworking but thats all gone now along with Ticket sales so all they need is as few as possible to maintain the premises.
It wouldnt be too hard to see stations in the future being maintained by a group who travel from Station to Station on a regular basis and more use of CCTV for surveillance.


I have been convinced for many years that Rail Management were great followers of the Basil Fawlty premise that running a Railway would be better if there were no Trains or Passengers clogging up the system !!!

I cite as an example of one place where the 'Station Managers' last job was as a manager at a Kentucky Fried outlet and he couldnt understand why the Signalman couldnt go out and do cleaning or gardening between Trains.

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