Bridget Davies from the Herald Scum wrote an article on Friday the 5th of August about a large number of cancellations on that evening’s peak services. It involved a person attempting self-harm at South Yarra and a hit at Chelsea. Two events that contributed to a shutdown of the South-Eastern rail lines.
There was something not so obvious at work to help cause a number of train cancellations, something that happens almost every Friday.
Low Morale and fatigue issues have seen a large number of MTM Train Drivers decline overtime on their days off.
It is reported that there were 5 1/2 pages of signatures in their “Lack of Interest Book” (a book drivers must sign to ensure that they aren’t offered overtime), wherein about 175 drivers declined to work.
Friday also saw about 30 Open Shifts (shifts required to be filled).
The ‘Lack of Interest Book’ – a register of those drivers who are ‘off roster’ and wish to remain that way. i.e. they have declined overtime in advance.
30 open shifts probably represents 50 sickies across the whole day with some covered by rostered standby shifts.
This means that about 20% of the driver cohort have opted out of the busiest day/night of the week – and there’s nothing Metro can do about it.
The appalling rostering practices of step-off/step on crew changes at mid point locations, lengthy mid-point stand-overs waiting for trains, meals at outstations, high mileages, repeat running on the same track or ‘group’, short intervals between consecutive shifts etc., introduced as part of a corrupted EA have caused most of these problems.
The roster section now spends countless additional man-hours every day making hundreds of phone calls trying to fill an expanding number of shifts.
Fridays are commonly referred to as Fuck-Up Friday (1st week of the next fortnight or ‘Pay Week’), and Super Fuck-Up Friday, the end of the accounting period when many who would work have already accumulated 11 or 12 shifts and are disinclined or unable to do so.
On top of which, the deliberate down-skilling of drivers since May 23rd with ‘Group Specific’ rostering means that 2/3rds of drivers are on the verge of becoming unqualified on ‘the other’ 2/3rds of the system – and drivers are not being utilised outside their designated ‘group’ because of Metro’s deliberate policy to divide the system into saleable,
stand alone ‘businesses’ – each with it’s own secure revenue stream courtesy of the unsuspecting taxpayer.
It’s the PTV sponsored, MTR Corporation engineered, 5 Railway Fraud coming to fruition, right before your very eyes and usurping public assets all the while!
If you thought that the 2 way split into Connex and National Express was bad, (and it was!), grab a deck chair and a few beers and watch this unfolding 5 way disaster!
(North; South; Central; Central North & Central South. The three ‘Centrals’ are currently operating as one business unit, but this too shall pass.)
Should be pretty entertaining, but it won’t be much of a service.
And that’s not even the half of it – Mondays are almost as bad as Fridays 3 weeks out of 4, as those that work the ‘all night’ services on Friday and Saturday nights ‘roster’
themselves a recovery day on Monday – an ‘ordinary time’ day; And the Friday Factor has expanded into Thursdays and Saturdays as well.
The upshot of all of this is that when there’s extra services for football, cricket, tennis, races etc., and/or a system meltdown, train failure, SPAD at a junction, or the all too
common stanchion climber, trespasser incident or ‘fatality’, those drivers who are there, are out of position for their next run and the cancellations start to bloom!
And the Spring Racing Carnival & Royal Melbourne Show are just around the corner.
And against that background, those who by virtue of their 457 Visa’s KNOW EVERYTHING, have ignored repeated offers to assist with recasting rosters and rostering to deliver key business objectives, AND sensible, workable rostering.
Hell of a way to run a goddamn railroad!