Northern: North West Sunday Crew Shortages

Discussion in 'Allocations, Diagrams & Timetables' started by Starmill, 30 Dec 2018.

  1. Tomnick

    Tomnick Established Member

    Messages:
    5,148
    Joined:
    10 Jun 2005
    It’s far better, to see any real benefit in the short term or even the medium term, to try to come to an agreement to get Sundays inside for everyone. Newbies on a new contract will still be in a minority after several years, and the question of how to integrate them into the existing link structure whilst accounting for the fact that they will need extra rest days to compensate for the Sundays worked isn’t a simple question!
    I don’t think that’s sensible, really. T&Cs cover all sorts of things from maximum turn length, maximum period of continuous driving, timing and length of breaks - either all diagrams will continue to comply with the existing agreements, or you’ll have a number of diagrams that can’t be worked by existing drivers because they’re not compliant with their T&Cs (which, especially in the short term, would be a huge limitation).
     
  2. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

    Messages:
    13,224
    Joined:
    27 Jan 2014
    Location:
    West of Andover
    And that is why the railway is stuck in the dark ages
     
  3. muz379

    muz379 Established Member

    Messages:
    1,776
    Joined:
    23 Jan 2014
    The shortages to my knowledge are drivers .

    Conductors earn more working a Sunday than they do a weekday rest day , and although the strikes are currently suspended there are many who will obviously still be feeling the effects of 47 days .

    Drivers earn more working a rest day in the week than they do a Sunday so it stands to reason why there are less willing volunteers for Sunday work .

    Bringing new drivers in on different T's & C's would only complicate matters and make it worse . And even if it didnt cause a dispute with ASLEF(which it most likely would) different depots have different rates of recruitment , different depots also have different amounts of Sunday work . And what do you do when all of the newbies contracted to work Sundays are off sick / or restricted from driving for some other reason . You really expect that the existing staff who you have just told your master plan of covering Sunday work to will come in ?

    If Sundays are going to be brought into the week , then they might as well be done so for all staff rather than using a process of hiring on new contracts which could take 40+ years to actually result in full compliments of staff contracted to Sundays at some depots . At a toc like Northern with 3 lots of conditions , it makes even more sense to bring Sundays in during harmonization talks to get all 3 sets of conditions to become 1 set . But will the DFT free up the chequebook for such talks . Time will tell .
     
  4. Puffing Devil

    Puffing Devil Established Member

    Messages:
    1,932
    Joined:
    11 Apr 2013
    Sundays would be a working day - it does not mean that drivers would be rostered for that day.

    I'm generally supportive of unions, though with the rail industry we seem to have the tail wagging the dog. Wages appear to be elevated and that is a factor of the disruption that can be caused to an essential public service in the event of a strike.

    In a fully public company striking workers run the risk of the company failing and their being out of a job if strike action goes on too long and a compromise can't be reached. To me, that seems to make the case for prohibiting strike action on the railways and sending disputes to an independent body to resolve.

    Running an essential service on goodwill is crazy.
     
  5. causton

    causton Established Member

    Messages:
    5,344
    Joined:
    4 Aug 2010
    Location:
    Somewhere between WY372 and MV7
    I have always heard that the unions would prefer Sundays inside the week as it means more staff would need to be employed (if someone works a Sunday, they will have to have a day off another day which will need to be filled, basically) - so they would get more union subs.

    The TOC on the other hand save on all their admin costs of recruitment, uniform, training etc... so less staff are better.

    Or is that a myth?
     
  6. muz379

    muz379 Established Member

    Messages:
    1,776
    Joined:
    23 Jan 2014
    If Sundays are brought inside the working week then currently when drivers are rostered Sundays as overtime they will actually have to be rostered another day off in that week to accomdate that Sunday . Currently "booked" Sundays vary dependent on depot .

    Although I only briefly mentioned the prospect of a dispute my point was more about the operational practicality of only having part of the depot compliment contracted to Sundays this opens up more potential than there currently is for mass sunday cancellations due to no cover .
    There would only be a dispute if sundays was brought in using a two tier system ,a union rightly will have reservations about having staff doing the same job work to different contracts at the same employer , there are already enough issues with the divide in terms at Northern without adding a fourth set of terms into the mix . Sundays inside the week for all drivers would not result in a dispute because it is in the ASLEF charter .

    I dont think you will find many people that disagree that running a timetabled service which relies on overtime is not sensible . But the problem is it costs money to employ staff to change the situation .

    This is a fairly simplistic summary of the issue yes ,

    Whilst the membership might not want to work Sundays or have them in the working week the actual unions will generally be in favour of full employment , no reliance on overtime , and a clean fully pensionable salary .
     
  7. Tim33160

    Tim33160 Member

    Messages:
    19
    Joined:
    18 Feb 2019
    Can't see Northern adding any additional Sunday services whilst they have a shortage of drivers on Sundays. Keep hearing about them needing a "Reliable and Stable service" before they add any new services in May - or even in December!
     
  8. Thomas6187

    Thomas6187 Member

    Messages:
    364
    Joined:
    27 May 2011
    Location:
    Rochdale
    With Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool all playing on Sunday, I think that the number of cancelled train may be a bit higher this Sunday
     
  9. geoffk

    geoffk Established Member

    Messages:
    1,110
    Joined:
    4 Aug 2010
    But Northern has a franchise commitment to run a decent Sunday service, e.g. hourly Manchester - Stoke, Manchester - Northwich - Chester and Colne - Preston. Sunday improvements in Yorkshire have been announced for the May timetable and of course those depots have different T&Cs.
     
    Last edited: 23 Feb 2019
  10. superkev

    superkev Established Member

    Messages:
    1,594
    Joined:
    1 Mar 2015
    Location:
    west yorkshire
    May be mentioned somewhere above but I'm interested as to the history of this strange arrangement. A 7 day a week operation where some depot staff (which ones?) are not contracted to work Sundays. Imagine hospitals and emergency services having what must be a unique arrangement.
    Is it a legacy of BR or does it go back to the LMS or LNER or even further?
    K
     
  11. Eccles1983

    Eccles1983 On Moderation

    Messages:
    565
    Joined:
    4 Sep 2016

    It's a legacy from when Sunday was a day of rest, and not many people wanted to go anywhere. It was not efficient to have a full shift on to cart air around.

    It was the norm on the railway. Some companies decided to negotiate with staff seeing the increase in Sunday pax.

    Some didn't, as they didn't want to spend money. That's basically the top and bottom of it.

    It will cost money to implement. Not just in wages, but additional staff, pension, uniforms and management.

    Whilst many howl at the moon against doctors and nurses it's very false. I know consultants and GP's and nurses who don't work weekends at all.

    As many police officers - their isn't a 24/7 service that all staff are mandated to work every day of the week - Skelton staffing exists in all emergency roles. To say otherwise is simply untrue.

    It's complex but also very simple. This talk of implementing different contracts is a very foolish way of trying to change. Firstly it introduces a two tier system that will cause numerous rostering and management issues.

    Secondly, it would take 20 years to sort out.

    A much simpler way to sort it is through negotiations. It may be costly initially but will solve the problem once and for all.
     
  12. jizzer

    jizzer Member

    Messages:
    49
    Joined:
    2 Feb 2012
    Cant go back to the steam days but, in BR days when drivers got about £12000 a year but got a few add on's like irregular and unsocial hours payment and variable rostering payment and other stuff, sundays were time plus three quarters and there was never an issue with drivers coming for sundays plus there wasn't as many as there are now.
    When they got restructured and went on a basic of £20000 the Sundays became time plus £20, which is now time plus 2 hrs. They get much more for working a rest day so there are less volunteers to work the sundays.
    Drivers are required to come for there booked sundays unless it can be covered, but there is always sundays to cover from sickness and drivers not route compliant to cover before a drivers not available request.
    It's a mess and when Sunday diagrams get STPd the drivers don't even have to come in for them as there is no agreement with ASLEF to work STP diagrams on a Sunday.
    It's a legacy of previous TOCs not having the appetite to sort it out and that's why we have the mess today, and I can see tomorrow being particularly bad for cancellations.
     
  13. geoffk

    geoffk Established Member

    Messages:
    1,110
    Joined:
    4 Aug 2010
    Not just a Northern issue. I recall the same arrangement with the old Central Trains which led to cancellations and this was carried over to its successors London Midland and East Midlands Trains. Not only are drivers now paid much more than in BR days, there are also more Sunday turns to cover but still the UK lags behind the rest of Europe where there is often a seven-day timetable.
     
  14. superkev

    superkev Established Member

    Messages:
    1,594
    Joined:
    1 Mar 2015
    Location:
    west yorkshire
    Other than the whole things a shambles that's clear as mud to a non railway person. Running a 7 day operation with a 6 day shift pattern must be unique.
    Not sure which depots Are not contracted to work Sundays but I believe it includes Manchester for drivers but not guards and bizarrely Leeds for guards but not drivers. Are they paid the same?
    I suspect Northern would love to harmonise contracts but with such strong unions it would be probably be unaffordable.
    K
     
  15. Llama

    Llama Member

    Messages:
    939
    Joined:
    29 Apr 2014
    Guards have even less obligation to turn up than drivers do on Sundays at West depots. This is the main reason why so much is cancelled today.

    As has been said several times now - Aslef at least is strongly in favour of Sunday being part of the working week for drivers, the thing stopping that happening is in fact that the employers are reluctant to pay for the additional staff required to go from a six day to a seven day salaried operation.
     
    Last edited: 24 Feb 2019
  16. robbeech

    robbeech Established Member

    Messages:
    2,689
    Joined:
    11 Nov 2015
    What’s the incentive for them to improve it?
    A few hundred tickets not bought here and there.
    They don’t refund you if you have a ticket and your train is cancelled unless you really push them which very few people will. They don’t have to pay as many staff.
     
  17. 74A

    74A Member

    Messages:
    407
    Joined:
    27 Aug 2015
    Probably going to carry on for the next couple of years. With all the new trains there will be lots of training required so plenty of overtime during the week so less need to work overtime on Sunday.
     
  18. Mag_seven

    Mag_seven Established Member

    Messages:
    5,082
    Joined:
    1 Sep 2014
    Location:
    here to eternity
    Then they should clear off then and let someone else run the franchise that will.
     
  19. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

    Messages:
    5,643
    Joined:
    7 Oct 2017
    I think the DfT would probably prefer Northern to stay... I suspect that any re-franchise, apart from incurring the usual sunk bidding cost of several tens of millions, will see much less positive franchise terms (financially).
     
  20. geoffk

    geoffk Established Member

    Messages:
    1,110
    Joined:
    4 Aug 2010
    Then they should reduce the Sunday service to a level which can be operated without cancellations and explain to the DfT, ORR and travelling public why they are doing it.
     
  21. driver_m

    driver_m Established Member

    Messages:
    2,224
    Joined:
    8 Nov 2011
    Yet again, market forces good, except when the wrong people I e. drivers start to benefit from said market forces. Either pay drivers the money to accept a 7 day pattern, or don't and carry on with the scenario there is now. You'd need a Thatcher style Tory majority in parliament to bring anti-union laws in to force the issue, and realistically, can anyone else see that happening soon?
     
  22. Llanigraham

    Llanigraham On Moderation

    Messages:
    4,123
    Joined:
    23 Mar 2013
    Location:
    Powys
    But as has been said numerous times in this thread, including replies just above yours, this is nothing to do with the Unions, but with the TOC's not wanting to implement 7 day working because it would cost them too much.
     
  23. AndrewE

    AndrewE Established Member

    Messages:
    3,027
    Joined:
    9 Nov 2015
    I think that is what driver_m is saying too...
     
  24. driver_m

    driver_m Established Member

    Messages:
    2,224
    Joined:
    8 Nov 2011
    Signalman getting arsey with a driver mate. As old as the railway itself. ;);)

    The point I was making was that realistically, you want a 7 day railway, you have to pay for it. It gets discussed to death, but it's the only option on the table.
     
  25. Llanigraham

    Llanigraham On Moderation

    Messages:
    4,123
    Joined:
    23 Mar 2013
    Location:
    Powys
    Not sure why that comment is being made, as the one thing I always made sure of during my time as a signalman was to keep the drivers "on side", even down to inviting them into the Box whilst they waited and to make sure the kettle was on.
    If I misunderstood your comment then my apologies, but as said, as much as there are shouts about getting Sundays included in the rosters, unless the TOC's agree to it, which at the moment they don't, then we are wasting our breath.
    And as I have said many times before, there will also have to be changes on the Network Rail side as well, and getting the signalling grades to agree to it could prove both difficult AND expensive! Signalling is certainly one area where different people on different contracts would not work.
     
  26. AndrewE

    AndrewE Established Member

    Messages:
    3,027
    Joined:
    9 Nov 2015
    Yes to both, if people want to pretend that market forces are the only thing that is allowed to rule then we have got what they wished for: they will have to lump it (whether it suits the rest of us and whether they like it or not.)
    What we need (can I say "again"?) is one railway, organised so that it delivers what is needed by the country while treating the staff fairly. It will be more difficult to introduce what was once called continental rostering across the railway (now that some groups have done so well for themselves in the free market and after 40 years of Thatcherism) but it might just be do-able if all the staff are assured of their futures...
     
  27. scrapy

    scrapy Established Member

    Messages:
    1,127
    Joined:
    15 Dec 2008
    Problem is it varies week to week. Say they cancel 100 trains one week, 150 the next, 300 the next, 150 the next, 20 the next. By how much should they reduce the timetable? Even if they reduce the timetable by 300 each week it may be different routes signed by those in to the ones cancelled resulting in more cancellations.
     
  28. PR1Berske

    PR1Berske Established Member

    Messages:
    2,721
    Joined:
    27 Jul 2010
    Location:
    Preston
    From the Northern website this morning




    Now I know the comments section of Facebook shouldn't be relied upon for balanced responses though all the same, this has gone down terribly.

    Tying in with the thread here about consequences/aftermath of the Saturday strikes, the ordinary passenger who only sees disruption and cancellation is mightly negative. These cancellations don't come with the extra context which we know about on these forums. The reputation of Northern is once again knocked.

    I did have pencilled in plans for Sunday. TPE it is then!
     
  29. PR1Berske

    PR1Berske Established Member

    Messages:
    2,721
    Joined:
    27 Jul 2010
    Location:
    Preston
  30. Mag_seven

    Mag_seven Established Member

    Messages:
    5,082
    Joined:
    1 Sep 2014
    Location:
    here to eternity
    Why is there no explanation given for these cancellations?
     

Share This Page