Firstly, we need to correct some lies and deliberate mis-truths here.
Aleks Devic of the Herald Sun has gradually inflated a Train Drivers payrate as weeks have gone by, just as he has deflated the amount of work that Train Drivers do.
In the latest article he claims that Train Drivers earn on average $140,000, drives 124km in 3.58 hours and is able to go home, but is still paid for an eight-hour shift. (Once again deliberately misleading the public as to the conditions applicable)
Before that he claimed that Train Drivers earn on average $120,000.
Back on the Tenth of August he mentioned one of Metro’s claims being that they want to “wind back a union rule that stops drivers riding more than 200km a day, allowing some to knock off after just five hours’ work.”
Way back in one of our first articles Fact Checking The Propaganda Machine of Metro Trains we thought that we had put paid to his 200km claim.
After all, once you publish an exert from the Train Driver’s EBA, that should be it… shouldn’t it?
Maybe Aleks can’t read, unless it’s being dictated to him by Metro Management?
We even published a ‘slip’ from a Train Drivers job book that shows a shift in excess of 8 hours and greatly in excess of 200km.
So… How about we look at Alek’s fictitious $140,000 claim?
This is what a Train Driver would earn if they worked Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.
Anything earned more than this figure is done so by sacrificing early mornings, late nights, weekends and days off. To compare wages any differently than using base wage is like comparing apples and oranges.
To earn $140,000 a train driver would have to work every single day off and every single Saturday and Sunday.
So…. Are the Strikes all about money?
Ask a random Train Driver if they would be happy with a payrise in line with CPI if it meant keeping all of their conditions.
Most would say “yes”.
The Strikes by Train Drivers are about Conditions.
68 weeks training for Train Drivers
Metro want to reduce the 68 week training scheme for Train Drivers. (They have already mismanaged a decreased training scheme that has seen some trainee drivers on their 120th week without being qualified). Reduction of the training means a huge de-skilling of drivers and a huge saving for Metro. Metro put forward an offer of 41 weeks training. The RTBU responded with counter-offer that Metro have refused to respond to.
The pre-Metro training scheme saw Train Drivers come out with 1500 hours of supervised driving experience. Metro’s bungled “shorter” scheme saw Train Drivers qualify with less than 700 hours. This has resulted in a huge increase in the number of SPADS (Signal Passed At Danger) by newly qualified drivers and other extremely dangerous situations.
There is a reason that the training scheme is long, and that is for the safety of the traveling public. I shudder to think what sort of mistakes would occur with Jon Faine’s 22 week training scheme.
Maybe THIS sort of incident?
Familiarity Across the Entire Network
Flexibility is the main reason. If you have a driver who is competent for the entire network than it allows them to be more greatly utilized anywhere in the system this becomes crucial in the case of emergencies as previous experience has shown.
Who knows how best to run the Melbourne Rail System: The men and women who have worked it for the past 60 odd years, or the English CEO who ran the failed MetroNet in London (Ripping off millions of pounds from the English Government).
What do Conditions do Metro want to remove from the Agreement?
From a drivers perspective Metro has deleted all conditions of rostering and conditions that manage shift work, their position is a blank sheet of paper as a start point. There are rules in place to ensure drivers can balance work and family life.
A driver might start at 1.00am one day, and then 3.30am the next day changing daily over a fortnight. You have the added difficulty of the erratic nature of the start times for shifts which is not constant. This is a challenge to drivers health and their family responsibilities
The rules in place are there so drivers can maintain a family life and deal with ever altering shift work that is around a 24hour period . There is no static start times, it is ever changing.
These conditions that have been fought for over decades are in place so these factors can be managed. Metro was aware of these conditions when it bid for the franchise in 2009 and in 2012 Metro negotiated and agreed to have additional conditions put in place to manage train drivers and roster requirements. It’s a hollow cry that the Metro CEO makes that he can’t run the system unless we change to what he wants. If Andrew can’t run the Metropolitan system with the conditions that he was well aware of and increased and endorsed 3 years ago in the current Enterprise Agreement maybe it’s time for MTM to move on.
METRO WAS AWARE OF THESE CONDITIONS WHEN THEY BID FOR THE FRANCHISE IN 2009 AND IN 2012 METRO NEGOTIATED AND AGREED TO HAVE ADDITIONAL CONDITIONS PUT IN PLACE TO MANAGE TRAIN DRIVERS AND ROSTER REQUIREMENTS.