The Union has a history on very publicly taking on some fights it shouldn't including opposing removal of guards from freight trains, Random Breath Testing, single driver in XPT etc. If however I recall they did force the Monorail to have a driver when it was designed not to have and personally I feel TNT caved too easy on that one.
Hi all, I've been notified by an Anonymous person from Railpage that the Mariyung Trains will end testing today and will NOT be going into Passenger service. This is due apparently due to the recent Industrial Action. Does anybody have any sources, or know that it's true? I know I've had problems with this before and don't want to make the same mistakes again. Thanks!The 'quick' version is the Mariyung have been designed and built for driver-only operation. To say the RBTU is opposed to DOO is an understatement.
They are fighting and fighting hard for the retention of a full guard position on all trains.
That the trains were specified and built for DOO operation has been known since the contract was signed, and in that time TfNSW and the Union have not come to any sort of agreement on a new operating model, both have just tried to stare each other down.
Now that the general Sydney Trains EBA is up for renegotiation and it isn't going well, the Union can now take 'protected' industrial action. They couldn't do much public about the DOO issue earlier.
I can't see how the union can win long term. If they win short term, all they will do is accelerate the program for GTo3/4 automation and the trains won't have drivers either sooner than otherwise would have happened.
(Ultimately most urban passenger trains will be automatically driven, that technology is inevitable now. It's just a matter of timing.)
Interurban trains need drivers because of the interworking with freights and the costs involved to automate out and the numerous very small and very lightly used stations they service makes the guards less required.
For Suburban trains its more the driver that is easier to automate as even the Metro has a CSO on the train although with Metro's flat very tiny gap platform doors a guard isn't required to clear the train and the "gap" and hence for Suburbans the difference in height issues will require a staff member for years to come.
Interesting to see how this all pans out.
RTT, were you involved in the times you mentioned regarding what the union did, opposing guards from Freight train, Random Breath testing, single driver in XPT, & what are the ETC's?
The issue with the vans removal/guards was brought on by the ARU when they negotiated with the SRA at the time before there was any discussions with the AFULE at the time, the people on the SRA side, W Irvine, in particular, then the former head of another group and one other took the propossals they had agreed with the ARU with to the AFULE divisional council meeting and dumped it onto the councilors and then to the various branch depots, in regards to the propossal. A second meeting with the bosses & Irvine at Cooge of the councilors had an evening going through the drafts in an informal way then it went to the branches. All the branches had a say and a large meeting at Adamstown RSL with enginemen and the DC had two officers, one a former Union official turned politition and another head of the SRA at the time really put a program that was non negotiable and enginemen of each grade & AFULE members had a vote on the decision which was a huge no vote across the state.
The aspect of the change took the vans off an the guards replaced the observors position in the cab at the ratio of 2:1 depending on the depot and the working, when they came into the cab they tried in many locations to usurp the driver and demand to do the driving, that was never in the propossal but they caused big problems until the whole system was changed and the two unions combined. The removal of the vans from goods trains was the catalyst for the guards job to be removed but, as I mention, they got deals with the rail bosses before the AFULE was told of the decisions.
The random breath testing was initial opposed owing to the SRA flying squads, made up in many positions for both Traffic branch inspectors and Locomotive inspectors for enginemen that went out in flying squads, trying the "catch" the men drinking on duty. Being random was for their job securities which ended up being made defunct in the longer term, it was agreed and accepted that drivers and guards, the guards prostested more though that in any area of derailments, of need on trains, and other areas, the crews would be stood down then breath tested, and only when tests were clear did they go back to their job positions.
I was a divisional councilor at that time, and involved in various working parties that dealt with the issues.