Southern DOO: ASLEF members vote 79.1% for revised deal

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Robertj21a

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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.
Are the many new OBS on the same pay as the guards were ? I didn't think they were.
 
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Andrew32

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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.
Northern have a requirement to deliver a minimum of 50% of PASSENGER MILEAGE to be DCO.

If a deal is offered that guarantees a second person on every train except under exceptional circumstances, while this is better than the current southern compromise, it is worse that the current situation.

It is also worth noting that should guards become non essential on every service they could easily dispatch trains on the platform, assist people on and off the train, sell tickets at the station and hop on and off different trains doing rpa duties, this removing the need for staff currently in them roles.
 

313103

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Mark my words, that will never, ever happen. It's a totally impractical idea, particularly on long trains in the crowded south east.
Never say never. The company will want some kind of flesh to justify a drivers salary.

But a driver should be a driver!
At last something i agree with, they should only concern themself with driving, nothing more nothing less. Not having to the Guards job would help a great deal.
 

313103

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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.
Correction ' suitable for Guardless operation'.

Do you know there are more managers per head of employee employed in the railway today then there was in the bad old days of BR. A start on culling many of them will be one way of saving unnecessary costs, closing booking offices is another way (oh they are already doing that), getting rid of Guards is another way (oh they are already doing), employing agency staff to cover virtually every thing, with at the moment the exception of driving (oh they are already doing that). Soon we will be at the point where everything that could be saved is finished then where do we go?
 

313103

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Northern have a requirement to deliver a minimum of 50% of PASSENGER MILEAGE to be DCO.

If a deal is offered that guarantees a second person on every train except under exceptional circumstances, while this is better than the current southern compromise, it is worse that the current situation.

It is also worth noting that should guards become non essential on every service they could easily dispatch trains on the platform, assist people on and off the train, sell tickets at the station and hop on and off different trains doing rpa duties, this removing the need for staff currently in them roles.
A deal that will guarantee a second person on every train is not worth pursuing, they might as well keep the guard if that was the deal. The deal is designed to make sure that the train is run in Guardless mode, and that is exactly how it will be played out.

It is also worth noting that when a member of staff becomes non essential to the running of the railway he/she will deposed of. Dont forget as i have been told on numerous occasions (in fact just above) the railways are not charity or a work creation scheme, if your non essential you must be got rid.
 

Robertj21a

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A deal that will guarantee a second person on every train is not worth pursuing, they might as well keep the guard if that was the deal. The deal is designed to make sure that the train is run in Guardless mode, and that is exactly how it will be played out.

It is also worth noting that when a member of staff becomes non essential to the running of the railway he/she will deposed of. Dont forget as i have been told on numerous occasions (in fact just above) the railways are not charity or a work creation scheme, if your non essential you must be got rid.
I would guess that in many (most?) commercial operations you will be got rid of when there is no work for you. How do you think companies survive if they are using more staff than they need?. Why on earth do you constantly suggest that there should always be jobs retained within the railways, seemingly for ever more ?.
 

313103

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I would guess that in many (most?) commercial operations you will be got rid of when there is no work for you. How do you think companies survive if they are using more staff than they need?. Why on earth do you constantly suggest that there should always be jobs retained within the railways, seemingly for ever more ?.
Since when have i suggested that there should always be jobs retained?

With a ever increasing world population and computers doing everything for you, how are people going to exist if they cannot work as the jobs have all been replaced by technology? How do they pay for stuff when they don't the money to spend, when that money they could spend could keep someone in employment.

Don't worry you are getting the railway you really want, as i stated in my last comment to you, from which i am waiting a reply to the question posed to you
 

AlterEgo

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Because he wants to see people, friends and colleagues, stay in employment? I appreciate you have different ideals.
Nobody can fault that but it doesn’t make for an impartial or dispassionate approach to the subject.

Some of us are fortunate enough to be looking at this from a little distance and have been saying the drivers would be locking in a new agreement and pay deal since pretty early on.
 

Chester1

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With a ever increasing world population and computers doing everything for you, how are people going to exist if they cannot work as the jobs have all been replaced by technology? How do they pay for stuff when they don't the money to spend, when that money they could spend could keep someone in employment.
That question has existed since the first factories opened and jobs have been created by new industries. The problems are retraining people and stopping regions becoming poorer.
 

the sniper

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Nobody can fault that but it doesn’t make for an impartial or dispassionate approach to the subject.
With the greatest of respect to 313103, was there an expectation that he'd give an impartial or dispassionate response? I'd have thought a member of the Rail UK intelligentsia like Robert could work out for himself why a former RMT union rep would argue to retain jobs... :lol:

Some of us are fortunate enough to be looking at this from a little distance and have been saying the drivers would be locking in a new agreement and pay deal since pretty early on.
The basic outcome on Southern has long been pretty clear, it was just a matter of how long it took to get there. Personally I thought it'd have gone longer and ASLEF would have got a better deal, particularly for its own members. If the Southern situation has taught me one thing, it's that ASLEF is seemingly far weaker at the national/Executive Committee level than the local Branch/Company Council level that I know of where I am. Saying that though, looking at the pay that Southern drivers were on pre-dispute and hearing about their work and T&Cs, I can't imagine the local scene is that strong there either though.
 

Robertj21a

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Since when have i suggested that there should always be jobs retained?

With a ever increasing world population and computers doing everything for you, how are people going to exist if they cannot work as the jobs have all been replaced by technology? How do they pay for stuff when they don't the money to spend, when that money they could spend could keep someone in employment.

Don't worry you are getting the railway you really want, as i stated in my last comment to you, from which i am waiting a reply to the question posed to you
Sorry, I hadn't noticed the question at the end of your post (I'm assuming it's the one at 15.53). Surely, once all excess savings have been identified there's nothing more to be done ?. It's only the surplus, unnecessary, costs that need to be pared back in order to get a leaner, more productive, operation.

As regards your first point(s) above, I'm sure you will recall that you have been raising many of the same concerns for a long time now. It's as if the railways are the only organisation that have ever had to reduce staff - you will find that most other organisations have to do it as a routine (if unfortunate) fact of life, in order to safeguard their companies, and other staff still employed by them. People have always had to adapt to change, get further education, learn new skills, undergo training etc - why are rail staff any different ?
 

otomous

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Never say never. The company will want some kind of flesh to justify a drivers salary.


At last something i agree with, they should only concern themself with driving, nothing more nothing less. Not having to the Guards job would help a great deal.
I agree that they’ll want something back, but I don’t think it will be this. It will cost them too much in delays. At the moment platform or on train staff can sort the ramp quickly but they don’t have to call the signaller, shut down the cab, walk to the ramp, put it down, oversee the movement, put the ramp back, set up the cab etc. Even just establishing that the ramp is needed will be time consuming. With so few station staff and seemingly no ability to give drivers information in advance, chances are there will be other passengers pulling passcomms and coming to the cab to let the driver know someone needs help (doubtless in the usual accusing tone) thus creating even more delays. Paying delay fines seems to frighten TOCs far more than the Equality Act does.
 

BestWestern

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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.
The Job Centre and the dole queue are more of a "charity", certainly. How sad it is when people feel that staff wanting to remain in honest employment is a burden on the employer, without appreciating where that road leads.
 

BestWestern

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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.
You're saying you feel there is a secret, hidden clause in the SWR franchise agreement to introduce DOO from a set date?!
 

Chester1

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The Job Centre and the dole queue are more of a "charity", certainly. How sad it is when people feel that staff wanting to remain in honest employment is a burden on the employer, without appreciating where that road leads.
It is extremely fortunate that enough people have been capable of thinking past this view or the railway would be unbelievably expensive to operate before considering how the economy could function if all employers did. I fully understand the desire to protect current employees employment and pay (but not role), but future employees? No! It reaks of people refusing to accept that change is a fact of life. I often think that many people get comfortable and then act like the world should pause and then become increasing disillusioned as society continues to change against their wishes! Every industry will change enormously over the next generation or so but there is no sign of mass unemployment in the UK.
 

Bromley boy

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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.
But of course, the question then becomes, why?

If GTR/DfT hadn’t expected to largely eliminate the guards’ role, would they have bothered pushing the whole debacle through?

What they’ve ended up with is something not dissimilar to what they began with - the OBSs retain an ability to stop trains if they strike, just as the guards could. They earn just as much as the guards and loads have been recently recruited.

The safety critical status of the guards’ role has been lost, and maybe that was the key objective, but that has come at enormous cost, and for no discernable benefit in the short to medium term...

Hard to see it as anything other than a victory for the unions.

Are you assuming that the OBS is in a union, I gather many are not.
I assume many of the current OBS/ex guards remain in the RMT?

That raises another question - does the RMT now recognise the OBS role? I gather it didn’t previously.
 

Chrisgr31

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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.
No they shouldn't. They should be seeking to operate a safe, efficient. adequately staffed railway that maximises ticketed travel and minimises fare avoidance and evasion.

It is in my opinion ridiculous that trains can run with only one member of staff on board, where that person is at significant risk of injury in an accident. Theatres, cinemas, shopping centres etc all have staff whose main purpose is to be there for customer safety in case of an incident. So why shouldnt trains have a second person?

The second person on board should be selling tickets, checking tickets, providing passenger advice, helping the disabled board etc. Ticket checking has virtually vanished in my experience, as has the ability to actually buy a ticket, as ticket offices are shut due to no staff, there are no staff on the train to check or sell tickets. In the last 2 months of commuting my ticket has been checked twice.

Of course what we mustn't forget is that ticket revenue on Southern reduced by £84 million last year which is a hit to the DfT and therefore the taxpayer. The costs of this dispute have far exceeded the savings and it will be a long long time until the savings outweigh the costs.

All for a politically motivated dispute, by a government which is cutting costs everywhere except where it involves an attempt to bash the unions.

Its no wonder Teresa Mays election bid was such a disaster last year I probably was not the only one not to vote Tory for the first time ever in direct response to this dispute.
 

Moonshot

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No they shouldn't. They should be seeking to operate a safe, efficient. adequately staffed railway that maximises ticketed travel and minimises fare avoidance and evasion.

It is in my opinion ridiculous that trains can run with only one member of staff on board, where that person is at significant risk of injury in an accident. Theatres, cinemas, shopping centres etc all have staff whose main purpose is to be there for customer safety in case of an incident. So why shouldnt trains have a second person?

The second person on board should be selling tickets, checking tickets, providing passenger advice, helping the disabled board etc. Ticket checking has virtually vanished in my experience, as has the ability to actually buy a ticket, as ticket offices are shut due to no staff, there are no staff on the train to check or sell tickets. In the last 2 months of commuting my ticket has been checked twice.

Of course what we mustn't forget is that ticket revenue on Southern reduced by £84 million last year which is a hit to the DfT and therefore the taxpayer. The costs of this dispute have far exceeded the savings and it will be a long long time until the savings outweigh the costs.

All for a politically motivated dispute, by a government which is cutting costs everywhere except where it involves an attempt to bash the unions.

Its no wonder Teresa Mays election bid was such a disaster last year I probably was not the only one not to vote Tory for the first time ever in direct response to this dispute.


Theatres cinemas and shopping centres do not have trading terms dictated by the DFT
 

Chrisgr31

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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.
Of course this contracting out of cleaning etc is another strange thing. How can it be cheaper for a firm that needs a lot of cleaners to contract out cleaning. Yes they dont need to pay then holiday pay/sick pay but someone presumably has to. Then on top of that you have to pay the cleaning companies profit.

Of course the reason it works is because the cleaners get paid less, and effectively offer a poorer service so in this case the passenger suffers again.
 

Moonshot

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Of course this contracting out of cleaning etc is another strange thing. How can it be cheaper for a firm that needs a lot of cleaners to contract out cleaning. Yes they dont need to pay then holiday pay/sick pay but someone presumably has to. Then on top of that you have to pay the cleaning companies profit.

Of course the reason it works is because the cleaners get paid less, and effectively offer a poorer service so in this case the passenger suffers again.
Whats is strange about contracting out services? It happens all over UK business.
 

Chrisgr31

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Sorry, I hadn't noticed the question at the end of your post (I'm assuming it's the one at 15.53). Surely, once all excess savings have been identified there's nothing more to be done ?. It's only the surplus, unnecessary, costs that need to be pared back in order to get a leaner, more productive, operation.

As regards your first point(s) above, I'm sure you will recall that you have been raising many of the same concerns for a long time now. It's as if the railways are the only organisation that have ever had to reduce staff - you will find that most other organisations have to do it as a routine (if unfortunate) fact of life, in order to safeguard their companies, and other staff still employed by them. People have always had to adapt to change, get further education, learn new skills, undergo training etc - why are rail staff any different ?
And of course in many circumstances the reality is that organisations with a pared down staff only survive because of the goodwill and dedication of staff who in many cases are having to work longer hours, with very limited pay rises whilst watching executive pay increase substantially and often those same executives get paid off when it all goes wrong.

The current economy seems to involve a race to the bottom which cannot be in our long term best interests.
 

Moonshot

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And of course in many circumstances the reality is that organisations with a pared down staff only survive because of the goodwill and dedication of staff who in many cases are having to work longer hours, with very limited pay rises whilst watching executive pay increase substantially and often those same executives get paid off when it all goes wrong.

The current economy seems to involve a race to the bottom which cannot be in our long term best interests.
Thats irrelevant as they have the staff for safety, for some reason railways dont seem to be subject to the same safety rules.

I can guarentee you that as frontline rail staff myself, we take safety very seriously indeed......you might want to try and read our rule books which are nowadays probably bigger than a telephone directory.
 

Chrisgr31

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I can guarentee you that as frontline rail staff myself, we take safety very seriously indeed......you might want to try and read our rule books which are nowadays probably bigger than a telephone directory.
Not disputing that frontline rail staff do, its those at the top where the problem is.
 

Moonshot

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Not disputing that frontline rail staff do, its those at the top where the problem is.
No its not......and has been pointed out many times in the past , our rule book has evolved from the blood sweat and tears of the frontline staff over many years......those at the top are subject to the same rules. There are plenty of top brass who started life in a lowly position on the railway.
 
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