Southern DOO: ASLEF members vote 79.1% for revised deal

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Andrew32

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All trains that had a guard will have a OBS rostered to it, roster error isn't an exceptional circumstance, also strike days are not an exceptional circumstance.

Exceptional circumstances

reduced to three exceptions,

:: Late notification of sickness, defined as less than two hours before booking on time;

:: On board supervisor (OBS) displaced by service disruption, late-running trains or being left behind on a platform;

:: OBS unable to continue duty having started work, for example through sickness, or having to leave the service to help a passenger or deal with an emergency.
 
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Bookd

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Hardly the 'victory' the government bullies were hoping for. Throughout this pointless attack on the railway, those who work on it and those who travel on it, it has become increasingly apparent that the DfT's intention of mass culls and a staffless railway was completely at odds with what is needed in today's accessible society, indeed at odds with the very legislation that supports that society, and was little more than a few thugs in suits p***ing into the wind, increasingly desperate as victory slid further away from them. Having been thwarted again and again by the continual strength of a workforce determined not to give in to the abhorent bullying and intimidation being thrown at them, let's hope the thick skulls and fat wallets of those behind this circus haven't prevented a cautionary lesson being learned. It should never be lost that the enormous compromise they have ended up with is a world away from what they were intending - and so arrogantly assumed they would swiftly obtain. The brothers and sisters of the frontline grades at Southern deserve the utmost respect of workers up and down the land for reminding those in the corridors of power that respect for the nation's workforce remains an obligation.

Perhaps the rest of the industry can at least hope that the sick joke that is Southern and their farcical OBS pantomime might put an end to any serious consideration to start the whole ridiculous show again in any future franchises. Hopefully SWR will get the idea rather more quickly than Charlie the Clown and the DfT's rabble of witless morons.
All trains that had a guard will have a OBS rostered to it, roster error isn't an exceptional circumstance, also strike days are not an exceptional circumstance.

Exceptional circumstances

reduced to three exceptions,

:: Late notification of sickness, defined as less than two hours before booking on time;

:: On board supervisor (OBS) displaced by service disruption, late-running trains or being left behind on a platform;

:: OBS unable to continue duty having started work, for example through sickness, or having to leave the service to help a passenger or deal with an emergency.
My
All trains that had a guard will have a OBS rostered to it, roster error isn't an exceptional circumstance, also strike days are not an exceptional circumstance.

Exceptional circumstances

reduced to three exceptions,

:: Late notification of sickness, defined as less than two hours before booking on time;

:: On board supervisor (OBS) displaced by service disruption, late-running trains or being left behind on a platform;

:: OBS unable to continue duty having started work, for example through sickness, or having to leave the service to help a passenger or deal with an emergency.
My understanding is that SWR have stated that they have no plans to make any changes, but RMT went on strike anyway (although my experience on the Windsor / Reading lines was pretty much normal service).
 

BestWestern

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What is significant here is that Southern are unable to execute their original plan, which was very obviously to erode the joke "OBS" grade to the point where complete removal was an easy next step. They have been played at their own game, and Aslef have seized on their assurances - which were intended to be absolute nonsense - and forced the company to make good their empty promises. Southern are now stuck employing squadrons of people indefinitely in a grade they had absolutely no intention of retaining, still paying them Guards' money because the GTR/DfT weasels wanted to avoid offering redundancy, and with their eventual plans for mass withdrawal fading rapidly. You might suggest that the joke is now on them.
 

the sniper

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My

My understanding is that SWR have stated that they have no plans to make any changes, but RMT went on strike anyway (although my experience on the Windsor / Reading lines was pretty much normal service).
SWR are going to maintain the status quo, but aren't revealing that to the RMT, for what, a laugh...?
 

Bromley boy

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All trains that had a guard will have a OBS rostered to it, roster error isn't an exceptional circumstance, also strike days are not an exceptional circumstance.
So as I understand the above, if an OBS does not materialise due to being on strike, the trains they are booked to work will not run as this absence is not within one of the three exceptional circumstances.

So am I right in thinking that, once implemented, this represents a change to the current status quo where trains have run without OBSs on RMT strike days. Going forward, willl the OBSs have the same ability to cripple the service by striking as the guards did?

Of course the guards/OBS have lost their safety critical status, so this battle has been lost, but this still represents a pretty good consolation prize for the RMT in terms of leverage to safeguard the future of the role, ensuring fair working conditions etc.
 
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BestWestern

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My

My understanding is that SWR have stated that they have no plans to make any changes, but RMT went on strike anyway (although my experience on the Windsor / Reading lines was pretty much normal service).
It has been stated elsewhere on this forum that SWR had admitted they were 'exploring options' for the new trains. The usual tripe about 'second member of staff' etc etc can be expected to follow. We all know what it means. The only mystery is why on earth any the management of a new TOC with a shiny new brand would wish to go bear baiting, having seen GTR destroy their image and reputation through picking on their workforce. Ho hum.
 

Bookd

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It has been stated elsewhere on this forum that SWR had admitted they were 'exploring options' for the new trains. The usual tripe about 'second member of staff' etc etc can be expected to follow. We all know what it means. The only mystery is why on earth any the management of a new TOC with a shiny new brand would wish to go bear baiting, having seen GTR destroy their image and reputation through picking on their workforce. Ho hum.
So if they go back on their word that might be the time to consider a strike - not when the capable trains have not yet even been built.
 

Robertj21a

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What is significant here is that Southern are unable to execute their original plan, which was very obviously to erode the joke "OBS" grade to the point where complete removal was an easy next step. They have been played at their own game, and Aslef have seized on their assurances - which were intended to be absolute nonsense - and forced the company to make good their empty promises. Southern are now stuck employing squadrons of people indefinitely in a grade they had absolutely no intention of retaining, still paying them Guards' money because the GTR/DfT weasels wanted to avoid offering redundancy, and with their eventual plans for mass withdrawal fading rapidly. You might suggest that the joke is now on them.
I think it was a view held by many that the OBS role was a temporary 'concocted' role which could be eliminated at a later stage. Personally, I wasn't so convinced as others. It then seemed that a good many new staff were indeed being recruited to the OBS role (many more than I had expected). These were put on temporary (12 month ??) contracts, but I gather some were quickly assured that a permanent position might follow, subject to satisfactory service.
 

BestWestern

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So if they go back on their word that might be the time to consider a strike - not when the capable trains have not yet even been built.
Go back on what 'word'? They had, it appears, stated their intention to consider introducing changes. There is nothing to hold them to, that 'word' was the very thing they declined to offer.
 

Chester1

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I could have sworn that I remember DCO being rubbished and anyone advocating a compromise being shouted down. Funny how this is now a victory for the RMT.

It is the sort of compromise deal that many wanted outside the railway workforce and ToCs wanted:

1) Making the second person a customer service role while retaining safety training for emergencies

2) Having a binding agreement that allowed very limited use of driver only services without the ToC being able to abuse the exemptions.

I think the governments dream scenario was no second person but their primarily goal was to defeat the RMT in a major battle and they have done that. The government will fund GTR during strikes for the rest of the franchise and the RMT position will weaken without ASLEF and as former guards leave or retire. The Tories real fight was never with ASLEF who have basically shafted the RMT after securing compromises and a big pay increase for themselves. I am waiting for Northern, SWR and GA to propose the same deal...
 

physics34

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i personally wouldve kept the guards role but with extra duties such as basic cleaning and rubbish collecting and changing posters etc etc. Give them a £3,000 pay rise and the company can save money on cleaning contractors at terminating stations.
 

313103

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i personally wouldve kept the guards role but with extra duties such as basic cleaning and rubbish collecting and changing posters etc etc. Give them a £3,000 pay rise and the company can save money on cleaning contractors at terminating stations.
Oh i see train stops at a station the Guard gets out changes into a uniform more appropriate with cleaning and when he/she has done that make sure all the posters are up to date and change them if needed and then change back into a uniform more suited to dealing with the public and give two on the bell to the driver.

Oh and its not about the money!

And the company could save money if they didnt contract the cleaning out in the first place.
 

philthetube

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So many holes. I thought that there might be at least wait 1-2 mins for a late OBS, but nope, just go.
Other notes. 24 weeks notice to leave. Must accept use of new tech. You could be sly with that one. Get drivers to use a ramp, mmmmm. Oh right, put some LED's on it, it's new tech, HA!!!!
The OBS role is getting even more confusing. At the start, it was, nothing to do with the doors, then it was, be at the doors, but stand on the other side. Then it was key on, look for disabled folks, key off. Nothing to do with dispatch. However, after the East Croydon incident where someone fell between the train and the platform and only the OBS (an ex conductor) spotted them , not the p staff and not the driver, and Southern said words to the effect that 'our fully trained OBS's are of course on the look out for these issues'. mmmmm.
And a new one where a person in the wheelchair, going to a disability access meeting, was unable to board a train at Seaford due to no OBS or station staff. they had to wait half an hour for the nexdt one, a 313 with a guard. Live tweeted the whole thing. Response: Well we do provide booked assistance (haha), oh and if we had need a have a guard for the first service, then due to not having one, it would have been cancelled. forgetting of course, that for the wheelchair punter, it was in effect cancelled, as they were not able to board.
I'd also like to point out that in my 10 years on the railway I think I can count on one hand where a train was delayed as I was late to it, and about 80% I was also with the driver who was late as well.
Fun times.
agree with what you are saying but even GTR would not be stupid enough to get a driver to deploy a ramp, first one who does not want to do it claims back injury leaving them unable to move train and it would never be asked again.
 

Bromley boy

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Can someone who knows what they’re talking about - ie a current GTR driver or guard - please confirm:

1. If the OBS doesn’t turn up for work, due to being on strike, can the train still run?

2. Does the RMT now recognise the OBS grade?

3. Does this now mean an OBS strike will result in the same impact on services as a guards’ strike did previously?

If so, that’s a good result, and brings into question the purpose of the whole bloody debacle from DFT/GTR’s perspective.
 
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Chrisgr31

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Surely what is going to happen is this.

Driver turns up to drive the train and finds there is no OBS. They are going to contact Control who will tell them either that this is an exceptional circumstance because x, y, z and an OBS will join the train on route. So the train runs.

Or Control will tell them there is no OBS but can they drive the train anyway as its disruptive to passengers etc not to, and I suspect most drivers will then drive it.

The question is what happens if there are lots of requests to drive without an OBS, whether it is monitored and what ASLEF are going to do if it becomes common.
 

Robertj21a

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Can someone who knows what they’re talking about - ie a current GTR driver or guard - please confirm:

1. If the OBS doesn’t turn up for work, due to being on strike, can the train still run?

2. Does the RMT now recognise the OBS grade?

3. Does this now mean an OBS strike will result in the same impact on services as a guards’ strike did previously?

If so, that’s a good result, and brings into question the purpose of the whole bloody debacle from DFT/GTR’s perspective.
Are you assuming that the OBS is in a union, I gather many are not.
 

BestWestern

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I could have sworn that I remember DCO being rubbished and anyone advocating a compromise being shouted down. Funny how this is now a victory for the RMT.

It is the sort of compromise deal that many wanted outside the railway workforce and ToCs wanted:

1) Making the second person a customer service role while retaining safety training for emergencies

2) Having a binding agreement that allowed very limited use of driver only services without the ToC being able to abuse the exemptions.

I think the governments dream scenario was no second person but their primarily goal was to defeat the RMT in a major battle and they have done that. The government will fund GTR during strikes for the rest of the franchise and the RMT position will weaken without ASLEF and as former guards leave or retire. The Tories real fight was never with ASLEF who have basically shafted the RMT after securing compromises and a big pay increase for themselves. I am waiting for Northern, SWR and GA to propose the same deal...
Yes, DCO is rubbish. The point here is that GTR have talked themselves into a corner, neither side has really won. They've made agreements far beyond what they wanted, and ended up with DCO but without the option of rapid erosion to DOO, which was the whole point of the exercise.

I'd be surprised if SWR were willing to see it through, they aren't DfT puppets and they have a shiny new company image to maintain. We shall see!
 

387star

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The following services continue to have guards :
313 services
171 services
455 services to Horsham
West London line
Guildford Line

I guess there are no plans to alter these

As for a strike day not being exceptional off the BML it will be interesting to see what happens
 

otomous

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Can someone who knows what they’re talking about - ie a current GTR driver or guard - please confirm:

1. If the OBS doesn’t turn up for work, due to being on strike, can the train still run?

2. Does the RMT now recognise the OBS grade?

3. Does this now mean an OBS strike will result in the same impact on services as a guards’ strike did previously?

If so, that’s a good result, and brings into question the purpose of the whole bloody debacle from DFT/GTR’s perspective.
I think sometimes we all make the mistake of thinking the DFT and the TOCs know what they are doing. The DFT does not understand railways. It certainly doesn’t think about passengers as everything they direct the TOCs to do invariably results in a poorer service. I worked in a public sector organisation working on a particular software project. There were so many conflicting contributors and managers without knowledge making decisions whilst ignoring advice from the shop floor that the whole thing just folded. Every time the contractor was close to producing a version one they would be presented with a changed spec - as in what has happened with the government procured Inter City and Thameslink fleets. As for the TOCs, they seemed to be taken by surprise that there might be implications for accessibility, and I know senior managers who were genuinely surprised that drivers had fears around DOO dispatch and its changing legal consequences. What we had was a relatively straightforward split between metro/longer distance of DOO/guard that worked reasonably well (with issues that needed addressing of course) and now it’s a mess where delays will be caused by drivers trying to work with control (if they can get hold of them at all) to see if they have an OBS or whether the necessary conditions have been met to go or cancel. There will be misunderstandings with trains cancelled unnecessarily, or run illegally. As for disruption...well who knows. All because the DFT have an obsession with cost cutting, unable to appreciate the wider implications. And at the end of it, a worse service overall, and no reduction in ticket prices.
 

physics34

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Oh i see train stops at a station the Guard gets out changes into a uniform more appropriate with cleaning and when he/she has done that make sure all the posters are up to date and change them if needed and then change back into a uniform more suited to dealing with the public and give two on the bell to the driver.

Oh and its not about the money!

And the company could save money if they didnt contract the cleaning out in the first place.
You got me with the suitable clothing bit to be fair !
Altough im not sure they would save money having their own cleaning staff cos theyd have to pay them holiday/sick pay etc etc. Im not sure the current agency staff do.

Basically what im saying is id keep guards, but with a higher workload. They do get a very good wage for what they do if you compare it to other customer service roles.
 
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physics34

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The following services continue to have guards :
313 services
171 services
455 services to Horsham
West London line
Guildford Line

I guess there are no plans to alter these

As for a strike day not being exceptional off the BML it will be interesting to see what happens
Apparantly no further extension to DOO but we shall see.

The 313s should be gone around 2021 and the 455s probably a little after that. This would solve the guildford line too.
 

313103

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The following services continue to have guards :
313 services
171 services
455 services to Horsham
West London line
Guildford Line

I guess there are no plans to alter these

As for a strike day not being exceptional off the BML it will be interesting to see what happens
Until these units are withdrawn, then we will see more Guardless services introduced without a whimper.
 

313103

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agree with what you are saying but even GTR would not be stupid enough to get a driver to deploy a ramp, first one who does not want to do it claims back injury leaving them unable to move train and it would never be asked again.
The drivers can be given the type of ramp training i have, only takes about an hour then all is sorted. No need to claim back injury as the driver will sign that he/she is competent to use said piece of equipment.
 

physics34

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The drivers can be given the type of ramp training i have, only takes about an hour then all is sorted. No need to claim back injury as the driver will sign that he/she is competent to use said piece of equipment.
But a driver should be a driver! Hes not meant to leave the cab either except in certain situations.

Imagine the delays if a driver has to deploy a ramp at the rear of a 12 car at Balcombe in the morning peak. We really shouldnt be going down this road
 

Bromley boy

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The drivers can be given the type of ramp training i have, only takes about an hour then all is sorted. No need to claim back injury as the driver will sign that he/she is competent to use said piece of equipment.
Mark my words, that will never, ever happen. It's a totally impractical idea, particularly on long trains in the crowded south east.
 

CN75

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So as I understand the above, if an OBS does not materialise due to being on strike, the trains they are booked to work will not run as this absence is not within one of the three exceptional circumstances.

So am I right in thinking that, once implemented, this represents a change to the current status quo where trains have run without OBSs on RMT strike days. Going forward, willl the OBSs have the same ability to cripple the service by striking as the guards did?
GTR have had managers being OBS on the strike days for ages covering people on strike.
 

Robertj21a

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Until these units are withdrawn, then we will see more Guardless services introduced without a whimper.
Which would be entirely sensible, assuming that the replacement stock is suitable for DOO. The TOC is not a charity and should be looking to save unnecessary costs at every opportunity.
 

danbarnstall

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One would presume down the line Southern will try to exploit loopholes in the agreement (Backed by the Government) otherwise it makes no sense financially to give Drivers a large payrise whilst still paying OBS the same rates as what Guards were on. Without going into the rights and wrongs the aim of DOO is to lessen costs, this agreement increases them.

I would like to hear what other TOC employees think too? I regularly use Northern and Merseyrail services and this agreement trumps anything they currently have on offer. If I’m right Northern are aiming for 50% DOO As part of the franchise agreement? The Southern deal would be a win if it were to be replicated on Northern or for that matter MErseyrail IMO.
 

CN75

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I'd be surprised if SWR were willing to see it through, they aren't DfT puppets and they have a shiny new company image to maintain. We shall see!
SWR want to run their new trains DCO and have the option to do it without the guard if something comes up and they aren’t there. So does the government, and they probably contracted to do it on a specific date in 2020 and until then the government covers all industrial action costs. They ran 60% or so of their normal service on the strikes. If you think any of these companies are independent of the government, you’re going to be disappointed. Financial leverage from strike action is over, and the longer the strikes go on, the more vulnerable the trade unions are. Rather than wasting money on striking, the RMT should take legal advice and test the enforceability of their agreement with SWT about DOO against the new owners.
 
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