TFW Shortage of Train Crews 23/08 and Bank Holiday

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bb21

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I realise this is somewhat off topic now, but it is a tactic that could help minimise crew shortages at key times.a can do attitude is needed instead of an ‘union wouldn’t allow it’ attitude.
That's the biggest pitfall of your proposal.

Those are the times these "casual" staff will likely want off too. Back to the drawing board I'm afraid.

The most sensible solution would remain bringing all days inside the working week, but you will never resolve the issue of a higher than normal absence level at certain times of the year. To cater for that you need a bigger establishment of crew, which isn't going to happen until the question of who funds it is settled. That goes way beyond the level the railway industry alone can resolve.
 
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ComUtoR

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Agreed. That's why I put in the caveat about working often enough to keep up their competencies.
I could drive a route once a year and still be route competent. I could drive a unit once a year and still be traction competent. However, I still need to be assessed regularly, monitored regularly, meet medical requirements, and be rules tested on an annual basis. It really isn't about turning up and driving a few times a month.
 

craigybagel

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Oh, and nobody's yet answered my question about how railtour operators manage to run tours with heritage traction over obscure routes.
Lots of employees of legit TOCs often ask themselves the same question. I'm not sure I want to know the answer to be honest - the RAIB report into the D&CR SPAD at Stafford was harrowing enough.
 

Cambrian359

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How much is enough ? There are reasons why there is such a high degree of competency management. It is keeping the railway a safe place and ensuring the people who work there (not just the Drivers) are up to a safe standard.



You are either working or not. If you are going to do a few shifts a month then you are still very much part time and employed by the company. Part time and reduced hours is something that is already happening. TOCs already have links where people only work 2/3 days a week and even restricted working hours; such as an 'old mans link' The question becomes how much can that be extended and at what point does it become unsafe.

Coming back on an ad hoc basis after leaving isn't plausible, sensible or safe. Consider the medical standards alone. If you were retired or casual for a few months and got sick or took medication or needed glasses then you no longer conform to any medical standard. As an employee I am required to inform my TOC any time I'm sick or need anything medically related. This is recorded and should I have something as simple as conjunctivitis I would need a medical before I was allowed to drive again. Same with hearing infections you need a medical before returning to work. If in the odd few months I was off work and my eyesight deteriorated, what would happen if I came back to drive and was under the eyesight standards ? My glasses would also need to meet the TOC and RSSB standards. As an employee, If I need to take any medication of some sort I have to declare it. Certain medications, again, need to be reviewed by occupational health and given the all clear before I am allowed to drive.



The cost of employing Drivers and maintaining their competency and standards is immense. For someone who chose to retire or left the company then I doubt very much the company would accept that cost.

What would be possible and IS happening is that you could employ part time Drivers or employ specifically for restricted hours. The cost would also be exorbitant but it would be possible. TOCs already do this with people who are slowly moving towards job shares etc. But they are still very much employees. Any suggestion that people can leave and return on any kind of casual basis is pushing the realms of fantasy.

TOCs are very sensitive to costs. They rely on overtime because it is cheaper. Even if there were part time and casual workers, they would still need overtime because it would be cheaper.

A thought just popped in to my ickle head. If you had a 'casual worker' who only worked 1/2 days a month. Isn't that much the same as someone working overtime ? The TOC is just as reliant on someone working a few extra hours a month on an ad hoc basis. Almost the very definition of overtime. :/
Thanks, this does make better sense than the ‘unions wouldn’t allow it’ replies
 

Llanigraham

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Think about how it could be done, rather than why it couldn't.

If they were thinking of doing some part time work after retiring they'd make sure they kept up their certification.
And how are they going to keep up their certification?
Plodding up and down the line as a passenger, perhaps?
And who is going to examine their competency?

Sorry, but even as an ex-signalman I know that your idea is pure fantasy.
 

Llanigraham

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I think that if the travelling public knew that in 2019 that TOCs relied on train crew working overtime to make sure that every train in the timetable ran, including every single train on Sundays, there'd be outcry.
There can't be many other industries that rely as heavily on overtime and goodwill from staff to run a full service as the rail industry.
I suggest you try talking to some nurses!!
 

Dai Corner

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It is yes & it is very very strict on what they can do & when.
That's sounds an excellent idea, gradually decreasing working hours to ease the transition to full retirement both in terms of lifestyle and financially. Its what my parents and I did and I can thoroughly recommend it.

Why the restrictions though?
 

dk1

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That's sounds an excellent idea, gradually decreasing working hours to ease the transition to full retirement both in terms of lifestyle and financially. Its what my parents and I did and I can thoroughly recommend it.

Why the restrictions though?
Because it has to be fair to every other driver. They must NEVER be seen at the same time & have to comply with Hidden at all times & act as 'one' driver. Otherwise they would have unfair availability.
 

Dai Corner

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Because it has to be fair to every other driver. They must NEVER be seen at the same time & have to comply with Hidden at all times & act as 'one' driver. Otherwise they would have unfair availability.
So if one job-sharer was rostered to work today his 'partner' couldn't even if he was keen to do so and no full-time drivers wanted the work? Who does that benefit?
 

dk1

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So if one job-sharer was rostered to work today his 'partner' couldn't even if he was keen to do so and no full-time drivers wanted the work? Who does that benefit?
Doesn't matter. Rules are rules & the only way it will be permitted. They work as the one individual. These agreements are very clear before they embark on such a venture.
 

Dai Corner

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Doesn't matter. Rules are rules & the only way it will be permitted. They work as the one individual. These agreements are very clear before they embark on such a venture.
Tough luck to the passengers whose trains are cancelled, the driver who wanted to work and could have done with the money, the TOC which gets fined and the taxpayers who don't get the services they paid to be run. Or maybe the driver who was refused annual leave or felt obliged to work a rest day he'd rather not have. But rules are rules.
 

dk1

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Tough luck to the passengers whose trains are cancelled, the driver who wanted to work and could have done with the money, the TOC which gets fined and the taxpayers who don't get the services they paid to be run. Or maybe the driver who was refused annual leave or felt obliged to work a rest day he'd rather not have. But rules are rules.
No point looking at things like that. It's not a perfect world. It's just how it is whether we like it or not.
 

ComUtoR

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Tough luck to the passengers whose trains are cancelled, the driver who wanted to work and could have done with the money, the TOC which gets fined and the taxpayers who don't get the services they paid to be run. Or maybe the driver who was refused annual leave or felt obliged to work a rest day he'd rather not have. But rules are rules.
So if one job-sharer was rostered to work today his 'partner' couldn't even if he was keen to do so and no full-time drivers wanted the work? Who does that benefit?
The circle is once again squared. A reliance on rest day to cover work.

The other job sharer is effectively doing overtime.

You seem to be in support of Drivers working rest days and overtime.

Getting in casual labour, part time, reduced hours and jobshares is to reduce and prevent overtime. You shouldn't then want or expect those to also work overtime.
 

muz379

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Gotta laugh at this idea that there is a plethora of recently retired traincrew who need money desperately and would love nothing more than to come back and work trains for the day to save the operators bacon .

In reality , at my depot there are a small number of drivers & guards approaching retirement who are on job shares .At our place job share links dont have booked Sundays and only have 2 working days but job shares can work Sundays or Rest days if they make themselves available and will be marked up after any other crew who are available have been considered . Surprisingly I have never seen a member of train-crew on a job share in on a Sunday or a rest day . If they "needed the money" they wouldn't be on a job share in the first place
 

Dai Corner

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The circle is once again squared. A reliance on rest day to cover work.

The other job sharer is effectively doing overtime.

You seem to be in support of Drivers working rest days and overtime.

Getting in casual labour, part time, reduced hours and jobshares is to reduce and prevent overtime. You shouldn't then want or expect those to also work overtime.
I'm in favour of sensible arrangements which allow people to not feel obliged to work their rest days or do overtime, to take short notice leave if they need to, to work additional hours/days if they want to and so on. Especially if that means the advertised service can be run.

Bob is in rest days and declines to work as wants to take the kids to the beach by train as it's free for him. His colleague Harry is willing to work as he's saving up for a new car but the rules don't allow it so the trains Bob was going to catch are cancelled and he has to drive instead, paying for fuel and air king and not able to enjoy a beer at the seaside.

Even the railway staff suffer in this scenario.
 

156420

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I'm in favour of sensible arrangements which allow people to not feel obliged to work their rest days or do overtime, to take short notice leave if they need to, to work additional hours/days if they want to and so on. Especially if that means the advertised service can be run.

Bob is in rest days and declines to work as wants to take the kids to the beach by train as it's free for him. His colleague Harry is willing to work as he's saving up for a new car but the rules don't allow it so the trains Bob was going to catch are cancelled and he has to drive instead, paying for fuel and air king and not able to enjoy a beer at the seaside.

Even the railway staff suffer in this scenario.
Sorry, but I think you’ve missed the point entirely on this one.

Because all you’ve basically said is in order for trains not to get cancelled it requires someone working overtime (either Bob, who wants to go to the beach anyway, so that’s pointless him working) and Harry can’t work overtime as it’s not allowed. It’s still overtime though, in order to cover the train service!
 

Tomos y Tanc

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I'm confused now. Is Bob related to Bill, who retired a few months ago? Couldn't Harry borrow Bob's car if he's not using it? ;)
 

Dai Corner

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Sorry, but I think you’ve missed the point entirely on this one.

Because all you’ve basically said is in order for trains not to get cancelled it requires someone working overtime (either Bob, who wants to go to the beach anyway, so that’s pointless him working) and Harry can’t work overtime as it’s not allowed. It’s still overtime though, in order to cover the train service!
I'm just saying that if some overtime needs to be worked to run the advertised service let someone who wants it work it.
 
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