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News & Views from the RTBU NSW Locomotive Division

Train drivers ask for a moment of your time to read this

Jan 12, 2018Update
Thank you to the driver who wrote this, which is now circulating on social media.
Please share…
Please, I ask for a moment of your time:
These allegations of covert industrial espionage by the Transport Minister Andrew Constance, are completely untrue.
As are his claims to a Train Drivers wage.
The facts, simply, are that Train Drivers in Sydney are the most qualified drivers in Australia, working on the largest network in Australia, and are THE LOWEST PAID in Australia.
In fact, the 6% Drivers are asking for still wouldn’t put them in the same league as Qld or Melbourne, both of which are actively recruiting.
Train Driving isn’t a job. It’s not something to do for a year or two and then move on.
It is a career. And a loved one at that.
So to hear the Transport Minister speak with such contempt, or at least insinuate it, is nothing short of disrespectful to the men and women who, when incidents occur, put their lives on hold so you can get home.
I urge you to question the “facts” you hear in the media.
At the end of the day, responsibility falls at the feet of those in charge: Andrew Constance and Gladys Berejiklian. They set Sydney on this disastrous course with their planning and policies. They are the ones who must be accountable.
You wouldn’t blame the Maccas server for running out of chips, would you?
You’d blame the store manager…
Why is this any different?

14 Comments to “Train drivers ask for a moment of your time to read this”

  • Don’t worry, most reasonable people are aware of the arrogance and mismanagement of the NSW Liberal Government and Sydney Trains management. How they thought adding 1500 services to a timetable with the same staffing levels that operated the previous timetable is ludicrous.

    The accompanying strain on staff and the system should have been accounted for. in fact, the timetable should not have been implemented. From what I can gather there was no consultation with Driver’s, Guards and Station Staff prior to implementation. Any worthwhile organisation knows that the workers are often in the best position to advise on possible problems that may arise whenever a new initiative is undertaken.

    Sydney Trains continues to operate under the illusion that only those with higher education are in a position to make suggestions and decisions.

    It is not Train Crews who should be held accountable for the mess the new timetable has unleashed. It is the fault of Higher management and the Government. Therefore the onus is on them to fix the system. Perhaps a rollback to the previous timetable until the proper staff levels are reached for the current timetable to run correctly?

  • Train drivers do such a wonderful job – i never have to pause a moment as whether a train will arrive, or whether i will arrive at my destination safely and on time. In the few occasions when a train is delayed it has been due to either excessive heat affecting the tracks or signally, or when tragically someone has killed themselves ( intentionally or not) causing a delay.

    Structural work is required to ensure that future heatwaves do not result in future problems. Blaming those who work with the rail system, whether Drivers or others, will indeed solve nothing.

  • My son is a train driver, so I know all this is true – the hours he works are horrendous and obviously not safe. I am a constituent of Andrew Constance’s electorate and have always voted for him as I thought he was a good bloke. After seeing him on Sunrise this morning, I am disgusted that he represents us. Andrew – listen to the railway staff not that supposed Head of Sydney Trains who earns more than our Prime Minister – he is a joke and a liar. I fully support any action taken to ensure the safety of commuters, because before long there is going to be another Granville, god forbid

  • It’s typical of this state government to lie and funding from the workers exactly the way they did it to TAFE next they will sell it all off like the electricity

  • Most people know that the Government is lying….Also on Sunrise this morning it said that the head of NSW Rail is on over $600K per year. Why should he get this money it is the train drivers , guards, station assistants etc. that keep the train working not the CEO. No person is worth that much a year. Look out NSW trains are on the way of privatisation along with the buses…the buses have already been done in Newcastle & has caused so much trouble to people that use them because of the change in timetables. Shortly ALL the Governments in Australia …Federal & State …no matter who it is will have nothing left to sell or lease out & then what do we do? The workers will have to pay more taxes. People have to wake up and ask the questions what the hell is happening to us all….Australians have worked for years to get all this infrastructure and now our Governments sell it off because of their bad economics. GO TRAIN DRIVERS DO WHAT YOU HAVE TO You deserve it.

    • here here!

  • My personal opinion of the transport minister is that he is incompetent and unfit to hold the transport portfolio so don’t wory guys we who’s at fault here and it’s not the drivers

  • This is ” typical ” I TOTALLY understand the drivers position they are the ones working at the coal-face. but are never asked to offer suggestions on how to FIX the system. They are being targeted and fed lies by management in order to deflect the blame for managements FAILURES. Any of you drivers remember the big meeting before the Sydney Olympics when management came down to Petersham Training Collage – crawling to you asking ” how ” they should go about making sure the system worked without a problem? – Yes! the drivers were asked by management for their input! – and the issues were solved, and it all worked beautifully!

    These days? – people who cant drive trains make the decisions for drivers & staff. T.J.F. – guys! This wont change till somebody in management ask those the are DOING the job about how to FIX it! – currently its like asking a baker how to wire a new home.
    Many people aren’t aware of some of the stresses a driver has to deal with toy have for example ( 12 mins to get from Strathfield to Central as an interurban service. ) – on ONE side of the coin, to have a timeline to meet – but there are speed restrictions on many parts of the up-main so you can’t possibly travel at normal track speed – you have to keep it slow and stay at the speeds for safety.
    Yet! Operations is breathing down your neck telling you you make up time or you will delay services! These clowns know the restrictions are there – but its all about arriving on time. BUT in the process, if a train comes off after being pushed by operations? – Nahh mate! YOUR fault! (drivers fault ). it’s an impossible situation. Also using new trains with very sensitive software and electrical sub stations WAY beyond their use by date can cause issues, or WOLO , or signal failures because of rain – these are just a few of the things drivers have to put up with – for sub standard wages compared to other states. Drivers are getting flogged these days – any wonder stress leave among drivers is on the increase?.

  • Andrew Constance and Gladys Berejiklian,should se sacked. The sooner that people realise that people power speaks louder than anything else, will,bring resolution to so many issues that plague us these days. It’s like the saying that the inmates are running the asylum!

  • Our whole rail system is in a HUGE mess, and it’s NOT caused by the train drivers or guards or station staff. Let’s place the blame where it directly lies with Gladys Berejiklian and Andrew Constance. The timetables situation is only the tip of the iceberg, there has been a gross impact of downsizing of staff and lack of training. Fifty years ago we had a far better and safer rail system, I no longer feel safe traveling on the trains from the Illawarra to Sydney as we have lost the transit police and most stations no longer have station staff, hence when a situation arises such as an aggressive passenger becomes violent or if you fall ill there is no-one who can assist you not on the train or at the station. When a disaster occurs who where’s the brunt of the full investigation but the driver and the guard as they are directly responsible for the lives of numerous lives on board, YET the CEO takes home the massive pay packet. Also something as simple as going to the toilet, if there is no station master the toilets are locked and on some trains there is no toilet or the toilets are locked and I have seen some people in sheer desperation urinate on the floor of the train.
    To the train drivers, guards and signalling crews I’m right behind you, you all need a pay rise better working conditions and the powers that be SHOULD be listening to what you are saying !!!!!!

  • If you don’t learn from the past you will probably make the same mistakes. Older people may remember the Shirley timetable in the 70’s. Not enough trains or staff to run what basically is a wish list. These days that shouldn’t happen because every train can be located whether it’s in service, a yard or maintenance. Seeing that a lot of new management came from airlines they only know what they are told. A lot of them are out of their comfort zone. I liked the letters, TJF. the first time I saw that was in 1980 on a water tower at Enfield. Keep fighting and goo
    d luck.

  • This is all part of a long term coordinated plan to privatise Sydney Trains… The points are clear:

    First the privatisation of the Bankstown Line being taken over by metro… totally unnecessary. The North West Metro, yes, but why the Bankstown Line? To take away the major redundancy. If something goes wrong on the main western line, the Bankstown Line is the backup plan, with scope to go from the city, up through Bankstown to Lidcombe, then either direction. Without it? If there’s a problem, that’s it. Government can’t WAIT for that to happen and to pin the blame on Sydney Trains…

    Secondly, this. A new timetable, commissioned with no consultation, where Sydney Trains has said to Government time and time again that it stretches our resources too thin and offers no redundancy. Why would a Government hell-bent on staying elected, implement a huge, expensive timetable without consulting Sydney Trains as they have before? Why implement it knowing that there isn’t enough staff to operate it? Why implement it knowing that if one thing goes wrong, it’s proven that there is no possibility to recover?

    The answer? It’s in every facebook post the overzealous media put out. Customers will see SYDNEY TRAINS and nothing else, despite the fact that they had nothing to do with the timetable. The Government would have LOVED the storm that happened, because it’s their plan working, they know something will go wrong and the general public will turn. And when they gloriously announce privatisation of the “incompetent” Sydney Trains, that the public hates because of the above, they’ll be applauded to no end, and their fat cat corporate mates that will eventually take over will offer them a few more “donations”…

  • I had the opportunity to speak with Mr David Hill many years ago, this was after he left the SRA. He stated that the biggest mistake he made while he was in charge was listening to his advisors and not the Drivers.

  • It was Glays Berejiklian who closed the line into Newcastle. It was Gladys Berejiklian that changed the locks on the sheds preventing and sending to the wall The Cockatoo Run and 3801. It was Gladys Berejiklian who ordered 38 new double decker intercity trains from Korea which don’t fit on the NSW network because of their width.
    Gladys Berejiklian is totally and utterly incompetent along with the entire Liberal Party government who are devoid of a moral compass, integrity and reflective cognitive capacity. The Berejiklian’s Liberal Government are a veritable insult to the people of NSW and need to be put in opposition for perpetuity as they are completely untrustworthy.
    Gladys Berejiklian is on the nose or should I say attached to it.
    I thoroughly endorse and support the drivers, guards, station personnel, signallers and you need recognition and acknowledgement through an increase in pay and better conditions.
    The Transport Minister, Andrew Constance appears to be an exceptionally limited person and out of his depth as the Transport Minister and should be replaced. But nothing will save the Berejiklian Government.

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