Pay gap between drivers and guards too big?

Discussion in 'Railway Jobs & Careers' started by 387star, 20 May 2015.

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  1. 387star

    387star Established Member

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    I have spoken to a few guards who feel the gap between the driver and guard pay is now far far too great ie 20k plus basic

    Apparently the gap used to be a lot less
    Is there truth in this? Do you feel the guards have lost out a lot over the years when drivers have received substantial pay increases?
    What has changed to widen the money gap?
     
  2. Tubeboy

    Tubeboy Member

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    There's huge gap on XC. 25k. Just an observation, not a criticism.
     
  3. hughavinalaf

    hughavinalaf Member

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    If you're unhappy with your wage then get your driver application in.
     
  4. E&W Lucas

    E&W Lucas Established Member

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    Seconded.

    The guard's role has been significantly downgraded. Passenger guards no longer couple/ uncouple, even in an emergency, have no technical responsibility below sole bar level and lead safety responsibility has totally passed to the driver. The level of "route familiarity" required is lower.

    It's now essentially a customer service role, plus operating doors/ despatch.
    Salary compares very well to other "duty manager" type positions. In fact, it frequently pays far more.
     
  5. HLE

    HLE Member

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    Hmm the guards role has changed in a lot of companies since BR. certainly more focused on revenue protection than it was in the past
     
  6. devinier

    devinier Member

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    This must have been covered many times, surely it's been established that train drivers are well paid and lots of other people don't like it.
    There's another thread on here advising that Southern are recruiting guards with a qualified salary of £28547. That compares pretty well (in fact it's more) to new qualified teachers, firefighters, police, mechanics, bus drivers, HGV drivers, nurses, paramedics, even doctors when first qualified, etc etc

    As stated by others above - if you want the train drivers salary become a driver, however it's a risky move to just do it for the money, it's a job that really you actually have to want to do.

    Driver and guard are different jobs, both work together, most are happy in their respective roles, and get along well, why cause arguments ?
     
  7. First class

    First class Established Member

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    That's not true entirely! Some TOCs still teach guards how to use coupling rods, minor technical rectifications, isolating below solebar valves etc, tanking and so forth.

    You could say that in some TOCs, the level of technical knowledge expected from drivers is deteriorating faster than the guards!
     
  8. craigybagel

    craigybagel Established Member

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    Indeed, most train faults seem to involve "phoning a friend" these days, before any attempt at fixing them is made.

    That said, as a guard I feel the pay gap is still reasonable enough. The difference in training time alone suggests the drivers do deserve more than us, and whilst I am a firm believer in the importance of the guard in safety critical operations, the driver is always going to have more responsibility.

    I wonder though, if the pay was the same, how many drivers would want to be guards!

    Incidentally, given my own TOC is one of the best paying for guards, and worst paying for drivers, the gap is "only" about 14k.
     
  9. red2005

    red2005 Member

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    I'm a newly qualified driver and was a guard before so can see both sides to this.......However in terms of the responsibility a driver has I feel the difference is justified. At the end of the day the buck stops with the driver and he/she has a wider range of responsibilities to carry out.

    I do personally feel that guards are underpaid as some of what they have to put up with is simply harrowing and it's not a job a lot of people can do! But the problem is whereas I've noticed the drivers and their union seem to stick together to get their pay rises and will do what it takes, the guards and their unions don't! The guards job is a great job though and I'd not be in my job without it and they're a credit to the industry!
     
  10. Cherry_Picker

    Cherry_Picker Established Member

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    This is definitely a huge part of it. While some guards clearly care, there just doesn't seem to be enough passion in the grade to demand the deals drivers have been able to get. Whenever guards have had an issue about something at my place (anything, not necessarily pay) the first thing you ask is if they have called a branch about it and they never have because that means they might have to hang around for a couple of hours after their shift is over.
     
  11. red2005

    red2005 Member

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    Couldn't agree more! I suppose it helps that aslef for example is grade specific and you know that you've a great deal of strength from that alone! I've not been in the grade long but just seems to be something that I've noticed!
     
  12. craigybagel

    craigybagel Established Member

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    I think that's a little harsh on RMT - guards are still consistently getting annual pay rises, often above inflation, and compared to what it was in the past things have definitely improved. And I'm sure that even in BR days, the drivers were on a fair bit more than the guards. Granted, the guards role has changed a lot, with much more focus on customer service and less on operational duties, but the pay rises are definitely nothing to sniff at.

    Also worth pointing out that most guards earn comission on top of their basic which obviously drivers won't get, which does help close the gap.
     
  13. asharpe

    asharpe Member

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    Puts on tin hat.;)

    A driver for most of the journey needs to give the job 100% of their attention.

    Only for a small part of a journey does a guard need to be totally focused on work.

    If some calculation was made on how much time at how much focus level was made how would the wages compare?

    I'm not suggesting that this is a valid way of calculating wages.
     
  14. Everywhere

    Everywhere Member

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    Should nurses get similar pay to doctors?

    Should a receptionist get the same as a dentist?

    Very different responsibilities for a driver than a guard and given the magnitude of the continuous safety critical work they carry out then I believe the pay gap is more than justified

    I await the abuse....
     
  15. Flamingo

    Flamingo Established Member

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    Different jobs, and very difficult to compare. Am I happy with my wages as a Guard? Yes.
     
  16. TheEdge

    TheEdge Established Member

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    What he said.
     
  17. anonperson

    anonperson Member

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    More relevant perhaps, is the gap between drivers and guards pay - and that of their management
     
  18. craigybagel

    craigybagel Established Member

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    To be honest, I'm not sure why the drivers are expecting flack for their answers - I don't know very many guards who do think the pay gap is an issue! That's not to say we're not proud of what we do, but we accept that drivers probably deserve more pay for what they do.

    That said,as we're entering into the bank holiday weekend, during which time I'll be working late shifts, I would argue that should everything run normally I will have a much harder time of things during my shifts than my driver will. But if something goes wrong, that's when he/she'll earn their extra pay, and I don't resent that.
     
  19. TDK

    TDK Established Member

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    The problem the unions have and also the guards is if they try to get more in salary then it gives the TOC's more of a reason to try to bring in DOO, in my experience many drivers are very money orientated and if they were offered say 10k a year more I bet the vote for DOO would be a close call.
     
  20. Matt Taylor

    Matt Taylor Established Member

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    Another one here who is happy with my job and happy with my pay. Don't forget that although the pay gap may be widening the drivers are often paying an additional 20% tax on their increased pay!
     
  21. scott118

    scott118 Member

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    driver's can operate a unit without a guard. A guard without a driver is a...?
     
  22. anonperson

    anonperson Member

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    [ in my experience many drivers are very money orientated and if they were offered say 10k a year more I bet the vote for DOO would be a close call.[/QUOTE]


    Whilst I agree with that sentiment I think it's needs a caveat, many new drivers ( not all obviously ) seem only in the role for the money, and I think many would sell their brothers and sisters in the RMT down the DOO route for a pittance and a bag of sweeties.

    Those of us who have suffered under DOO - and it's a case of When that incident occurs, not if - would pay to keep guards
     
  23. Flamingo

    Flamingo Established Member

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    In fairness, the letter from ASLEF about the proposal to extend DOO in FGW did say (I can't remember the exact wording) that the Drivers pay is good enough, they would not consider accepting DOO if more money was offered.

    Maybe that means high drivers pay is a good thing, as it gives them "Sod You" capacity when something like this comes along...
     
  24. red2005

    red2005 Member

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    and having done both now i can safely say chuck 20k extra at me and i still wouldn't vote DOO! all i'd say is they should be very careful what they wish for!
     
  25. anonperson

    anonperson Member

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    What he said
     
  26. ExRes

    ExRes Established Member

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    When I joined the railway in the early 90s I was told that the Conductor/Guard grade had already sold out a number of their benefits for one off cash payments, the whole truth I naturally don't know because I wasn't employed when these payments were supposedly accepted

    Something people seem to conveniently forget of course, as a Driver is paid more than a Guard then for each and every pay increase the gap will widen, although that sounds idiotically simple I was amazed by the number of non-driving grades that couldn't seem to calculate that one
     
  27. TDK

    TDK Established Member

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    There are many things that drivers voted in for money, DOO is one, the tiered pay for trainees is another, I certainly wouldn't vote in favour of DOO and I voted against the tired pay also but it got through because people are just greedy and selfish.

    The drivers have sold their souls in the past for pay.
     
  28. notadriver

    notadriver Established Member

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    I think there is a big difference in attitude on this subject between drivers who currently operate on DOO trains (usually 'metro' or outer suburban) and main line / high speed drivers. The former usually has the newest entrants in the grade.
     
  29. red2005

    red2005 Member

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    Very true about the newest entrants! But I also think if you combine that with the nature of DOO urban work e.g LOROL it's easy to see why there are so many incidents! i'd brick myself doing that kinda work with my limited experience lol. I was told by someone very much in the know to steer clear of that kind of work and not get sucked in by the 50k plus a year salary as it's simply not worth it!
     
    Last edited: 24 May 2015
  30. ComUtoR

    ComUtoR Established Member

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    I'm still "new" to the railway and have only banked 10+ years...

    I used to work in retail and worked up from the bottom (stock room, Christmas, Zero hour contract) to management. Sadly I haven't escaped dealing with the public :/

    Considering my age I have had a few jobs since leaving school. I can categorically say that the railway is very well paid. Not just Driver. ALL grades do seem to be well paid. Chuck in free travel and it is golden days for employees.

    I actually know people who work hard for a living. None work on the railway <D
     
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