Guard with SWT info please.

Discussion in 'Railway Jobs & Careers' started by Arron, 24 Feb 2019.

  1. Arron

    Arron New Member

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    20 Feb 2019
    Hello,

    I’m looking to get some info on the above role, I’ve already looked on the forum at length and just wanted some more info. I have been offered a job as guard based at Guildford.

    1. Any info on the pension? Contribution % etc.

    2. Biggest thing is the shift pattern I understand it’s 7 on 2 off then a block of 5 off at the end of the pattern? Would love to see someone’s rosta to get a better idea....

    3. What is the chance of becoming a commercial guard if start at guard at a depot?

    4. Understand the holiday is 33 days per year?

    5. Any staff parking at the Guildford depot does anyone know?

    Thanks in advance for any replies/info.
     
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  3. Stigy

    Stigy Established Member

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    Hi and congrats on the job offer! I’m not a Guard but do work for SWR so can answer some of your questions;

    1. There’s two pensions, an auto-enrolled one, or the original one. I’m not too clued up on pensions but they are final salary and decent enough. The PaySave (think that’s what it’s called) scheme you’ll automatically be enrolled in means you personally put less in but get more out. It’s swings and roundabouts really, as this scheme looks better, but is taken from your salary before tax and other deductions so in theory, looks like you earn less? Not a massive issue, but I guess it may not look great for mortgage applications or other things where your income plays a big part? That’s how I understand the pension, but somebody else may be able to clarify or correct me?

    3. Guildford is a commercial depot and I’ve heard of a lot of Guards becoming commercial quite quickly.

    4. May be wrong, but as I understand it it’s 26 days Annual Leave. Guards and drivers often have different terms to other grades, so someone else might be best placed to advise. Also, not sure if Xmas day and Boxing Day are taken out of leave entitlement (this happens in a lot of other roles within the railway).

    5. Yes, plenty. There’s a dedicated staff car park.
     
  4. Guildford lad

    Guildford lad Member

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    Hi Arron

    I’m a Guildford guard.
    Been waiting 6 months to go commercial, no positions available currently. The shift pattern is a 6 month set rota, 6 on, 3 off, 5 on 2 off, 3 on 1 off pretty much. 12 hrs between shifts so the days off break the shift pattern between earlies and lates.
    Earliest start 0430 approx and latest finish 0145 generally 8/9 hrs shifts
     
  5. Guildford lad

    Guildford lad Member

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    Parking is ok at Guildford and 33 days hol
     
  6. ZFE95

    ZFE95 Member

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    Pardon my ignorance, but what is the difference between a 'guard' and a 'commercial guard' on SWR? I have often wondered this, never got around to asking. Ty
     
  7. Stigy

    Stigy Established Member

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    Commercial Guards sell tickets and get paid about £7/8k a year more. They also get 5% commission on ticket sales. Same sort of grade as a Train Manager?
     
  8. Arron

    Arron New Member

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    Hi Guys,

    Thanks a lot for the replies and information. Definitely cleared up my questions regarding the shift pattern.
    I currently work in aviation and we only find out why we are doing on the 15th of the month for the following one! So can’t plan hardly anything! Also always seem to finish late before days off and start early on day 1

    Is it similar with finishes before days off and on day 1 at south western?

    Is the parking free do you know?

    Any ideas with the pension?

    Many thanks again
     
  9. Arron

    Arron New Member

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    Sorry guys just missed one of the messages about pension etc....

    Great info thanks s lot for the help.

     
  10. Stigy

    Stigy Established Member

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    The parking is free, yes. You’ll need a permit but you should be able to sort this out on your induction and you’ll have it in a week or so.
     
  11. Arron

    Arron New Member

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    How do you both find the job? Enjoying it so far in general?

    Think I may have got mixed up but the interviewer said every 4 or 5 weeks get a block of 4or5 days off does that sound right?
     
  12. Stigy

    Stigy Established Member

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    I’m not a Guard, but the company isn’t bad to work for. You’ll no doubt hear a lot of negative stuff as well as stuff from the older staff who think it would be far better if BR still ran things. I’ve worked for a lot of companies, and this is by far the best. I’ve worked for SWT/R for 12 ish years and it’s the longest I’ve been in any job. Certain things annoy me, but it’s a standard railway thing I believe rather than SWR specific. On the who though, the railway as a whole is a good place to be in my opinion.
     
  13. dvdgrgsmt

    dvdgrgsmt Member

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    1. I cant remember the exact percentages but I believe you pay 8.48% and SWR pay in 12.50%

    3. Believe you need to do 6 months before you'll be considered for the Commercial grade. Might be a bit of a queue for it as a lot of Guards see it as the next step.

    I'm a recently productive Commercial Guard and I'm enjoying it, biggest struggle is getting to sleep at 7pm when you know you've got to wake up at 3am.
    As for your shifts you'll get a line and a sheet of the lines when you're productive so you might start on line 1 then the week after you're week 2 etc. Only real change to that is what's known as As Ordered shifts which can change depending on when you're needed. You'll find out if it has on the 36 hour sheets but they will cover that sort of thing at the training school with you.

    Yes that's probably right. I'm not at Guildford so might be different but every 3 or 4 weeks I get a 4 day weekend.
     
  14. Guildford lad

    Guildford lad Member

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    Free parking at two nominated stations only . Minimum of 12hrs between shifts. Generally one day off min when changing from early to late shifts and 2 day if going late to earlies.
    Rota set 6 months in advance

    Nothing to worry about as while at training school in Basingstoke your be doing 8-4/ 9-5 min to friday
     
  15. theironroad

    theironroad Established Member

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    I'd need to check , but pretty sure that current pension contributions are nearer to 11% for employees. As it is a 40/60 shared contribution scheme, the employer pays 1.5 times the employee contribution.
     

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