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Author Topic: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion  (Read 127509 times)
a-driver
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« Reply #1140 on: August 25, 2019, 03:06:11 pm »

The most exasperating thing about all this is itís hard to pin who is responsible for the continued shortage of crew across the rail network; particularly on weekends. Is it the train company, the unions, the dft even British Rail?

All I do know is there seems to be little urgency to sort it as itís being going on for years.

The DfT.  It all comes down to money.  If the offer is good enough Sundayís will become part of the working week. The DfT are the ones preventing this from happening by not stumping up the cash to get it resolved. 
Train crew arenít going to have their contracts amended and give up their Sundays, their guaranteed day with their families, for nothing.  In fact, for some, no amount of money will get them to accept Sundays as part of the working week. 
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Timmer
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« Reply #1141 on: August 25, 2019, 03:26:45 pm »

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The Dft
The answer I was expecting.
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Timmer
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« Reply #1142 on: August 25, 2019, 03:33:41 pm »

I notice that RTT is not showing all the cancelled trains as cancelled (e.g. 15:25 BRI to PAD).  Is there still some doubt?
It appears a number of services arenít appearing on RTT but are listed on Journeycheck as being cancelled.
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SandTEngineer
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« Reply #1143 on: August 25, 2019, 04:34:52 pm »

I wonder if GWR senior mangers are out and about a major stations, to explain to users whats going on (or in this case, whats not going on......)   Roll Eyes
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« Reply #1144 on: August 25, 2019, 04:35:51 pm »

Seems to be generally very quiet out there today, certainly at the eastern end of the network.  A Swansea train I was on departed Reading about a third full - and that was with extra passengers due to the previous Bristol train getting canned.
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« Reply #1145 on: August 25, 2019, 04:48:34 pm »

Seems to be generally very quiet out there today, certainly at the eastern end of the network.  A Swansea train I was on departed Reading about a third full - and that was with extra passengers due to the previous Bristol train getting canned.

As the middle day of a three day weekend, perhaps nor surprising that it's quieter ... together with so much general press comments about travelling to /from London by train this weekend (the King's Cross closure),  and information out there about the Severn Tunnel engineering too.

Question - if I were to suggest that the number of trains running today, averaged out across the GWR network, was actually quite appropriate for a mid-holiday-weekend day, would you all howl me down?

The biggest problem is than passengers booked or planned well ahead based on the times scheduled and published by GWR, which were then changed on the morning (I think three cancellations were notified yesterday).  Had modified timetables been published (say) three weeks ago when the staff shortage should have been entirely foreseeable, then everyone could have planned well ahead.

Second question - is Bank Holiday Monday in the normal working week, or is it voluntary / special working arrangements too?
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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #1146 on: August 25, 2019, 04:53:05 pm »

Normal day for the vast majority of traincrew.  Some get a premium above the usual hourly rate, but for many itís just a normal weekday shift with no pay uplift.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #1147 on: August 25, 2019, 05:18:56 pm »

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The answer I was expecting.

Indeed. Entirely predictable.

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Timmer
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« Reply #1148 on: August 25, 2019, 05:28:17 pm »

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The Dft
The answer I was expecting.

Indeed. Entirely predictable.


But then we will probably come back to that well known question...

Ooooooooooozzzzzz gonna pay for it?
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phile
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« Reply #1149 on: August 25, 2019, 05:40:16 pm »

I notice that RTT is not showing all the cancelled trains as cancelled (e.g. 15:25 BRI to PAD).  Is there still some doubt?
It appears a number of services arenít appearing on RTT but are listed on Journeycheck as being cancelled.

If short notice they may very well not have been fed down to RTT
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Gordon the Blue Engine
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« Reply #1150 on: August 25, 2019, 05:49:28 pm »

Train crew arenít going to have their contracts amended and give up their Sundays, their guaranteed day with their families, for nothing.  In fact, for some, no amount of money will get them to accept Sundays as part of the working week. 

I agree it's unreasonable to amend existing C of E's for existing staff.  But why have GWR not introduced a different C of E for new recruits that does include Sunday in the working week.  It seems to me to be entirely unreasonable for ASLEF or RMT to object to something which does not affect the conditions of their existing members.  If new recruits are happy to sign C of E's with Sundays as part of the working week (and maybe balanced off against benefits like a 4 day working week like TVL Drivers), why should they not be able to?
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Celestial
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« Reply #1151 on: August 25, 2019, 05:54:59 pm »

And as for the actual trains, it is not just me that considers the new trains to be a significant downgrade, and to be totally unsuitable for long distance travel.

And you've been doing so well in the last few days...5 days to be precise.
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ellendune
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« Reply #1152 on: August 25, 2019, 06:05:20 pm »

Train crew arenít going to have their contracts amended and give up their Sundays, their guaranteed day with their families, for nothing.  In fact, for some, no amount of money will get them to accept Sundays as part of the working week. 

I agree it's unreasonable to amend existing C of E's for existing staff.  But why have GWR not introduced a different C of E for new recruits that does include Sunday in the working week.  It seems to me to be entirely unreasonable for ASLEF or RMT to object to something which does not affect the conditions of their existing members.  If new recruits are happy to sign C of E's with Sundays as part of the working week (and maybe balanced off against benefits like a 4 day working week like TVL Drivers), why should they not be able to?

The answer is that they have made progress:

This was explained on another board:

GWR have set up a new driver's grade which includes Sundays as part of the working week.  All new recruits go into that grade.  Existing drivers have been offered incentives to join the grade (and therefore have Sundays in their contracts).

Some have taken up the offer but others, particularly those near the end of their service, have opted to remain with their current conditions.  This is particularly the case at Plymouth and Penzance depots apparently.

I am not sure what arrangements are being made for guards/train managers.

All former 'West' and 'Thames Valley' drivers are now in the 'GWR Driver' grade. 'High Speed' drivers (no commitment to work Sundays) have the option of transferring to the new grade or remaining ringfenced until the grade is redundant through natural wastage. For the 'GWR Drivers' Sunday working is however still not in the working week but has 'Committed Sundays' which are still worked as overtime but with the understanding that the overtime will be worked. This normally averages out at 1 Sunday every three weeks. The problem is that unlike a weekday where two thirds of the  grade will be rostered on duty, Sunday will only see one third of the grade rostered on. Extra Sunday services on most routes has put this model under strain. If several of those rostered on are on annual leave, you already have a shortage of crew with volunteers required to maintain the service level. The problem is exacerbated during school holidays with minimal volunteers.

Excellent summary by RA.  Iíll add to it if I may. 

Very few HSS drivers have taken the option of transferring to the GWR driver grade.  As there becomes less and HSS drivers through natural wastage it might reach a tipping point where the rest will follow.  Also, next year, pay parity is achieved - currently GWR ones earn thousands less than HSS ones.

Finally, with all drivers, no sick pay is paid if they donít come in for their committed Sunday shifts.  The extra money has been traditionally enough to get enough volunteers in.  Higher basic wages mean less people are inclined to volunteer at the sane time as more trains are needed to run.  Come Decemberís timetable and pay increases next year, that is only likely to get worse.

I really canít see how Sunday can be effectively resourced, summer time especially, with all the additional trains in the new timetable unless Sunday shifts are brought into the working week. 

Even if all drivers are on the GWR grade committed Sunday deal - note that most cancellations today were on services crewed by former West grade drivers, all of which are now GWR grade drivers and therefore have committed Sundays.



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AMLAG
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« Reply #1153 on: August 25, 2019, 06:20:11 pm »

There would seem to be a very good case for TOCS reviewing the level of service required at Bank Holiday times.
This would help avoid unplanned cancellations due to resource issues and over provision of services; particularly on BH Sunday and Monday mornings.
Looking in the current very useful and easy to use GWR TOC Guide to Services TT Book  there seem no trains shown as BHX(Bank Holiday Excepted), which used to be a standard practice some years ago for very good operational and commercial reasons.
 
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martyjon
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« Reply #1154 on: August 25, 2019, 06:30:27 pm »

Somebody has taken it to them to make a parody GWR account and reply to the complaints instead..
https://twitter.com/Custome08903108

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