As the never ending NIF process unfolds, the issues with the process and the train continue to intensify. This was highlighted by last week’s announcement that NSW Trains intend to invade members’ privacy whilst at work with the utilisation of an in-cab camera and allow virtually anyone access to the footage.
The ongoing Operating Instruction Manual (OIM) process continues to frustrate your RTBU representatives who are tasked with reviewing these voluminous documents. There has been a complete lack of any genuine response to the issues being raised and a total lack of access to the train to validate the OIM’s. Coupled with this, NSW Trains are also attempting to discuss their proposed NIF training packages which contain rules and procedures within the OIM’s that are yet to be completed, consulted, validated on train, and finalised.
The RTBU does not consider the OIM or training packages process to be consultation until such a time that we are given full access to the train for testing and verification.
The RTBU has also written to RailConnect, NSW Trains and Transport for NSW relating to their failure to consult with the RTBU regarding the development of safety management systems, train design, and operation as per their obligations under the Rail Safety National Law.
NSW Trains have also been issued with a Provisional Improvement Notice (PIN) from the NIF HSR workgroup for their failure to allow HSRs access to the train.
The RTBU is back in the Fair Work Commission today to report back on the discussions that occurred in relation to NSW Trains’ wage offer and their absurd view that they can unilaterally use managerial prerogative to change EA conditions.
With NSW Trains proposing more consultation regarding:
- risk assessments on station platform interface requirements at every platform NIF will use; and
- integration of NIF and operation of multiple rolling stock and different operating models for the same;
more disputes and safety concerns are imminent.
It’s worth reflecting on the attitude of NSW Trains to all these matters with the comments of the Chief Operating Officer at a recent meeting summing it up nicely:
“we know you don’t like any of this but we’re going to do it anyway”.
If that’s the attitude we expect, it’s no wonder members are so concerned about this disaster waiting to happen.