Tyne and Wear Metro - industrial action (overtime ban)

Discussion in 'Other Public Transport' started by jkkne, 29 Nov 2019.

  1. jkkne

    jkkne Member

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    Looks like chaos is in store for Tyneside and Wearside from Sunday as Nexus confirms the impact of the work to rule action will have on its services.

    it’s colour coded each day green, amber and red. Red looks like essentially a don’t travel warning (akin to its Beast from the East timetable).

    Almost beggars belief a service can be crippled by work to rule, questions to be asked and answered all round.

    details are here
    https://www.nexus.org.uk/travelling-metro-during-industrial-action
     
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  3. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    It just brings to the surface just how much Tyne & Wear Metro (like the 'big' railway) relies on overtime to deliver the basic timetable. That certainly makes things cheaper to run on a day to day basis but means that you're much more reliant on the goodwill of staff to work more than they have to. Now usually they can be relied on to value the extra pay in the pocket. But if you damage that goodwill...
     
  4. jkkne

    jkkne Member

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    Indeed, the attack on drivers doesn’t seem to have rinsed well with the public up here.

    likely because nexus are about as well liked as Maggie Thatcher in a pit village...
     
  5. Paul_10

    Paul_10 Member

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    When you thought things could not get worse, they sure can.

    As ever two sides to every story and Nexus seem reluctant to tell what changes the drivers have to do in order to receive this 15% pay rise.

    I fear this will be like the Northern fiasco of those strikes on Saturday that occurred, it will be a long drawn out process.

    I'm guessing this also means no extra Xmas services this year either!

    As for drivers leaving for other TOCs, I do sympathise, the metro is not a mainline railway, its a very regional one so they will never be able to compete with mainline drivers salerlies and nor should they be able too. I do think there is more to it when you look at comments from former staff and would seem to suggest those higher up are probably to blame.

    Can't wait for the car crash that the new fleet will bring also! That will be fun when they are so short staffed!
     
  6. Tetchytyke

    Tetchytyke Established Member

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    I disagree. Turning down the 15% just smacks of greed. People I work with- and I work in a lefty field- mostly agree.

    As for the drivers comparing themselves to the mainline, how ridiculous. They're glorified tram drivers. Manchester Metrolink drivers get £33,000. That's about right for the work.
     
    Last edited: 2 Dec 2019 at 09:32
  7. MetroCar4058

    MetroCar4058 Member

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    I'm really glad you edited your post because I wasn't particularly impressed with how much you are demonising hard working train-crew who are often working questionably long shifts and periods of times before rest days. I'd just like to clarify that train crew who don't move onto other companies aren't useless idiots, a lot of people don't want to be working across the country or based in other cities, or some just don't want to move on because they say its too late on in life for them. I think train crew want guarantees against having to plug the gaps for the rest of their time at Metro.

    This is part of the ammo that the RMT and ASLEF have against the company. Metro train crew are train drivers as much as you want to honk and horn about them being tram drivers. They require train driver training and thats why so many are picked off by others (particularly TPE) as they don't require much extra training. Why does Metrolink not have this issue? Because they aren't train drivers and I'd assume some probably would never pass the tests to become them. Metro drivers tend to work longer hours and more hours than their mainline (regional eg Northern) counterparts. The union don't expect an LNER pay packet.
     
  8. londonbridge

    londonbridge Member

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    I note they're predicting an 'amber' service for Sunday 8th when Newcastle are at home. The next Sunderland home game isn't till December 14th, be interesting to see what they predict for that day. Hopefully won't cause problems, I'm booked on the 18:29 LNER back to London after the match. Searching for Sunderland-Newcastle on Grand Centrals site shows the regular metro timetable operating alongside a 17:31 Northern service so I might go back to the city centre and catch the latter rather than getting a metro from Stadium Of Light station.
     
  9. MetroCar4058

    MetroCar4058 Member

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    Generally weekends will be a red or amber service as this is when overtime really does cover the system. Service cancellations are not posted on the national rail booking systems.
     
  10. ModernRailways

    ModernRailways Established Member

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    Metro drivers are train drivers and undergo the same tests as mainline drivers. In the past, prior to the Sunderland extension, this was different and you would have more of an argument to say they were more in line with tram drivers. There's a reason Metro drivers are being poached and not Metrolink drivers...
     
  11. Tetchytyke

    Tetchytyke Established Member

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    I was too harsh, so edited it.

    They're having to "plug gaps" because the trade unions have constantly prevented extra training. The current work-to-rule prevents any mentoring. So they won't let Metro hire more staff, and they won't help with training, but the issue is "work-life balance"? Yeah right.

    This has been an issue for a long time- every warm day or England match, suddenly nobody is available- and the unions said it was all the fault of DB Regio and privatisation was the problem. DB Regio are gone- the unions won- yet now we're holding the region to ransom because a 15% pay rise is "insulting".

    I note neither ASLEF nor the RMT have said much about why they turned down the offer, except money. It's just greed. An offer to be earning the thick end of fifty grand a year- double the national average- and it's "insulting".

    It's a mystery why Boris Johnson's union-bashing is resounding with so many people.
     
  12. Frankfurt

    Frankfurt Member

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    To start with 15% is a debatable figure.

    Nexus want to be able to roster drivers in on special event days even if it's a drivers day off. Work Xmas day & New Year's day if required. Want drivers to book on and off at various locations. Greater movement of shifts during possessions etc.
    Increase notice period to 12 weeks. Newly qualified drivers to remain on 80% of salary until having completed 2 years competent. Move to monthly pay instead of weekly. If delayed, not being paid for first 15 mins per shift. That's not all of it either, there's more....

    For example, most TOCs and FOCs have driver instructor grades who are on slightly enhanced salaries. At metro a coach/instructor isn't a permanent grade and coaches are paid an extra 5% only when carrying out coaching role, to the minute. It had been argued many times that the role should be made into a permanent grade and salary increase by the 5%. The above has always been rebuffed by managers. So when they knew that the situation was to escalate to where it is now they created the grade and made the role a permanent one. Then if anyone applied for the role and was successful they couldn't refuse to instruct trainee drivers - obviously that sh*t tactic didn't work.

    The goodwill of drivers and other grades have always kept the trains running yet just look how they are being portrayed by those responsible for the current state of affairs. It's pretty poor outing your employees to media and all over social media when in fact they've gone above and beyond on a daily basis to keep trains moving. I'm not surprised though by an organisation that treats it's employees and passengers with nothing but contempt.

    I could go on but there's a small insight for you.

    **Just to add I don't work for metro, just in case anyone from there reads the above, no need to put up a notice threatening drivers to remain silent
     
  13. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    They're still on weekly?! You'll be telling me they get their pay via literal cheques rather than bank transfer...
     
  14. jkkne

    jkkne Member

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    Aside the usual stereotypes on local news Facebook pages support for the drivers seems strong. I think regular commuters acknowledge Nexus haven’t done a good job of running things. Even the somewhat grumpy souls on sortouthemetro are supportive.

    not sure how it’s seen as greed. The Metro is critical to the economy of Tyneside and those working in it should be compensated accordingly.


    Just seen frankfurts above comments. Astounding really. Incompetent local authority leadership tries to run trainset comes to mind....
     
  15. Tetchytyke

    Tetchytyke Established Member

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    So they should be paid whatever they want just because they're in a position where strike action has a huge impact? Hmm.

    They are compensated very well. 38k rising to almost 50k with this pay offer. In contrast, the median wage in the north east is 23k for a woman and 27k for a bloke.
    What's wrong with any of that?

    ASLEF and the RMT were the ones who wanted rid of DB Regio.
     
  16. jkkne

    jkkne Member

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    To a point yes, they hold all the cards and all we've heard so far is the Nexus response. If Nexus had properly managed the process from the start we wouldn't be here. But when you've like the likes of Forbes, Hughes and Carson who quite frankly I wouldn't trust with a Brio set, you can see how we're here.

    I don't see the relevance of the median wage. Most of those roles will be unskilled. I could get your argument if Metro drivers went through basic tram training and were simply (no offence) tram drivers. They don't and they aren't. They should be suitably remunerated - as would you or I if we held better qualifications or carried out more important tasks than colleagues in our own workplace.

    I do support the idea of booking on in different locations to support some flexibility in the network - particularly from South Shields.
     
  17. Tetchytyke

    Tetchytyke Established Member

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    Train driving is a skilled job, which is why they get paid double the regional average salary. I wouldn't say Metro driving was anywhere near as skilled as mainline driving with TPE or Northern- low speeds, one traction type and under 50 miles of route to learn- but that's by the by.

    They also get paid more than senior charge nurses- who are more skilled and have similar antisocial hours- as well as other public sector staff such as firefighters, police, etc.

    They wanted to come back into the public sector, so comparing their wages to those offered by TOCs in the commercial sector is fallacious. They should be compared to other local authority staff. And compared to them they do really very nicely thank you.

    Whether Tobyn is an idiot (he is) is irrelevant to the merits of a 15% payrise.
    They're just being greedy.
     
    Last edited: 3 Dec 2019 at 12:56
  18. rebmcr

    rebmcr Established Member

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    Makes it more difficult to defend unions on other topics which do have merit.
     
  19. 507 001

    507 001 Established Member

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    I think you’ll find that Metrolink drivers are being poached.
    I’d like to see Metro drivers deal with Manchester City centre and other street running areas. Then we’ll see who is paid appropriately. What a crappy bunch of comments.
     
    Last edited: 5 Dec 2019 at 23:31
  20. cosmo

    cosmo Member

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  21. jkkne

    jkkne Member

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    The aforementioned sympathy might just disappear down a sinkhole.

    Black Eye Friday, a Newcastle home game and the busiest shopping weekend of the year. Plays right into Nexus hands.
     
  22. railfan249

    railfan249 Member

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    Completely agree. Offensive to both Metro drivers and Metrolink drivers, whose jobs offer a different kind of challenge to those at LNER, or TPE.
     
  23. 507 001

    507 001 Established Member

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    Indeed. Trying to say that one group of people doesn’t deserve X amount of money because they don’t do a certain type of test is nonsense.
    We’re all doing pretty much the same job, under slightly different circumstances. Taking an attitude like some posters in this thread will simply lead to a lack of support from colleagues within the industry who will simply see arrogance.
     

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