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  • These rail strikes then…
  • frankconway
    Full Member

    Has anyone seen the ‘Lynch for PM’
    t-shirts?
    Someone should tell Ernie.

    irc
    Full Member

    Sick rates and holidays are entirely predictable. You recruit to cover this. Need 100 staff on duty you need 115 on the books roughly. Holidays need to be spread over the year

    Good luck getting staff to take their holidays evenly over the year. With a sickness rate of 4% you could only have about 10% off on holiday at any one time before you were short. That would be some fight for the summer holiday weeks.

    robertajobb
    Full Member

    It’s more complicated (messy) than that. At least some of the operators management have 1.75 of their 2 hands tied behind their backs by the Government. The Dft have control (have to agree to) much of the ££ spend or changes to spend.
    This exactly where Grant Shatts-his-pants has been dodging the issue. Just like with Thatcher vs the miners, this Gov is spoiling for a fight by proxy with the last union with any actual power.

    montgomery
    Full Member

    Has anyone seen the ‘Lynch for PM’ t-shirts?

    I initially mis-read that. I think I’d prefer my original interpretation.

    frankconway
    Full Member

    That mis-reading is just a tad more contentious…

    finephilly
    Free Member

    Someone mentioned travel in Italy. You can travel about 30km return for EUR13 on the high-speed train (private operator), or EUR7.50 on the slow one (nationalised).
    The slow train still does 130kph, just stops more often.
    This is on a network with 4 electrified lines, side-by-side. Double-decker trains and a service every 1/2hr or more.
    Cappuccino (china cup) and croissant on the concourse is under EUR3.
    The UK has a lot of catching up to do.

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    This is on a network with 4 electrified lines, side-by-side. Double-decker trains and a service every 1/2hr or more.

    Due to the rather haphazard way that railways were built in the Victorian times by lots of competing companies, merged, ripped up, nationalised, privatised etc and the way that other infrastructure (towns, cities, bridges, roads…) has been built around it, there’s no chance of expanding the current network by adding more parallel lines or accommodating double decker trains.

    It’s a separate thread but it’s why HS2 (and Northern Powerhouse Rail) is so desperately needed.

    Instead we have a system creaking at the seams with impossible “improvements” demanded of it and it’s being used as a political football. Hence all the strikes. ☹️

    Northwind
    Full Member

    Arguably Italy’s rail investment has been excessive. But I reckon it’s always better to err on the side of capacity and futureproofing rather than on penny pinching and kicking the can.

    Something that stuck in my mind was a comment that the worst thing ever to happen for UK infrastructure was that we didn’t get bombed to shit in ww2 or occupied by commies. That’s an exaggeration, but there’s a lot of truth in it, we could keep on keeping on with old worn out shit and so inevitably we did, and we didn’t rebuild cities on the immense scale that some european and japanese cities needed it, which is obviously <good> but did mean we couldn’t smash in new high speed rail into the heart of London or Edinburgh.

    MSP
    Full Member

    I don’t think that is true.

    The first thing that happened was the Beeching cuts. But it is really from the late 70’s onward that the divergence happened, especially the way privatisation happened without any joined up thinking, leaving it to private competing companies to have a unified plan for the benefit of users was never going to happen. From the late 70’s European countries started to realise they needed high speed rail mainlines, combined train stations with buses and trams to create public transport hubs (and of course started building proper cycling infrastructure. Some of that was already planned in the UK, but was scrapped in the wave of privatisation of the 80’s.

    Harking back to how much was damaged in the war, or that British cities are unequally random is just excuses, it was and is all about political will.

    finephilly
    Free Member

    For sure, the high speed networks you see in Europe/Japan have taken decades to build and starting from scratch is easier. Some of the Beeching cuts did kind of make sense where it was a tiny branch line to nowhere. Where the UK went wrong was not committing to a long-term future for rail at that point. You only have to look at HS2 to see ‘what the public want’, though: nothing anywhere near anything!

    finephilly
    Free Member

    The latest is RMT won’t take a 5% increase, backdated to Jan 2022, then an 8% increase next year. That seems pretty good to me and in line with other operators. Apparantly it fell apart on the drivers opening the doors for passengers (thus relieving the conductor). Can’t really see a problem with that, myself, especially if the conductors are just reassigned elsewhere, or maybe learn to become drivers!!

    scotroutes
    Full Member

    finephilly
    Free Member

    Is that 4% this year, with 4% on top for next year? ie 8% in 2023?
    Not much detail in that document tbf – it could be interpreted in a number of ways.
    Closure of all ticket offices – that can’t be right?
    Bit presumptuous to say that a ‘review’ will lead to job cuts

    Onzadog
    Free Member

    I can’t see any parallels between the state of the rail network and the NHS, no, none at all. 🙄

    finephilly
    Free Member

    ‘…Adoption of new technology with no payment’. What, so if you’re using a pencil to write with and your boss gives you a pen, you need a pay rise?

    Onzadog
    Free Member

    How about if the adoption of that new technology makes the job harder for one person working the train along and increases the responsibility carried by that individual?

    frankconway
    Full Member

    It isn’t an offer of 8% in 2023; it’s 4% for 2022 which would be backdated, followed by 4% in 2023.
    The 13 points in the document are a clear indication of how far apart both sides are; there isn’t much there which could be interpreted differently.
    Neither the RDG nor gov nor Network Rail have attempted to rebut the points since that doc was made public by the RMT.
    Your analogy about transitioning from pencil to pen is meaningless when referring to payment for adopting new technology.
    As for closing ticket offices, a very small number might be retained , in the short term.

    kelvin
    Full Member

    Right to have rejected that offer. And right to not call off the strikes already announced ‘till it is improved.

    But announcing extra Xmas strike dates at short notice, after everyone has had to adjust their plans to work around the existing Xmas strike dates? Hmm…

    irc
    Full Member

    Don’t see the big deal about ticket offices. They will be retained at major hubs. Anywhere else when there isn’t a ticket office or it is closed I just get on and pay on the train. Buses seem to manage without a ticket office at every stop.

    As for Sunday working. I’ve done it for decades as part of rosters. Part of working for any organisation that provides a 7 day a week service.

    Driver only operation. Already used on some lines. Get on with it.

    On train catering? A commercial decision. Not for the union to decide.

    Northwind
    Full Member

    Driver only is fine til something- anything- goes wrong. That doesn’t just mean crashes etc- though of course, it does mean crashes. But also people on the wrong train, medical emergencies people causing trouble, general perception of risk- driver-only is a big issue for vulnerable travellers. Or even as simple as advising people when there’s delays. Things that happen literally every day. Ironically the more chaotic the railways the more essential this is- if we had a really efficient network, well coordinated and well run and well invested, then we’d need way less people.

    irc
    Full Member

    Don’t see the big deal about ticket offices. They will be retained at major hubs. Anywhere else when there isn’t a ticket office or it is closed I just get on and pay on the train. Buses seem to manage without a ticket office at every stop.

    No ticket offices is also fine til things go wrong. My train got cancelled while I was in London, it was the ticket office that fixed it all. I mean, yes that could be handled in different ways but you need some sort of information point and it might as well be selling tickets too. While I was in that one at euston, pretty much everyone I nosily eavesdropped on wasn’t just buying a ticket for a simple journey, they were fixing problems. “Just get on the train” is fine when there’s a train to get on.

    I reckon “just get on the train” also sounds much less good to the elderly, vulnerable travellers, anyone who doesn’t really speak english, young people, people who absolutely have to get to the right place on time without any fannying about, people who’re worried about penalty fares etc. I’m usually happy to just jump on a train going in the right direction but that doesn’t mean everyone can.

    kelvin
    Full Member

    driver-only is a big issue for vulnerable travellers

    Very true. Same goes for unmanned stations (which is what we are left with when ticket offices are closed).

    tjagain
    Full Member

    no-one else is getting wage inflation anywhere near cost inflation so why should they be any different?

    nurses, etc getting 2% and the press playing that off against the 5% scotrail got,

    Nurses in Scotland have been offered 5 – 11% depending on grade

    This is in the context of the pretty much fixed budget that the Scottish government has.  It can be done.

    If we didn’t have the absurd for profit franchising system for rail in England where huge amounts are taken out of the system to pay shareholders it would be easier to pay workers properly

    Kato
    Full Member

    @irc do you work on the railway?  DOO get on with it?

    I’m driver on a DOO line.  In rush hour I can be driving a 12 car train with over a 1000 passengers on it.  This train will be around 250 metres long and the driver has the sole responsible for the safety on board and the platform dispatch.  It is not as safe as having a conductor on board who takes the responsibility for the platform dispatch away from the driver and provides another pair of eyes on board.  DOO is there only to save money and cannot be as safe as having more crew on board.  Now I have never driven anything other than DOO, but given the choice I’d have a conductor

    Kryton57
    Full Member

    It’s all gone too far for me now. Rail, Mail, Fire, health, Teachers and government workers all striking. Must be nice to demand a job you can’t be kicked out of with an in excess of 4% pay rise whilst us private workers can get a months notice (there are ways of getting rid of people even quicker) and are lucky if we get anything at all.

    Of course, everyone would love ultimate job security and inflation covering wages especially for those that fully deserve it, but holding peoples health, safety and education at random whilst making sure you spoil Christmas for a lot of people starts to fell a little abhorrent to me. Personally is makes me angrier and less supportive of the strikers, which doesn’t help them.

    ransos
    Free Member

    Must be nice to demand a job you can’t be kicked out of with an in excess of 4% pay rise whilst us private workers can get a months notice (there are ways of getting rid of people even quicker

    So they should all join you into a race to the bottom?

    muddy@rseguy
    Full Member

    Always fun to see how the RMT is interpreting the new work offer.

    Your job is secure for the next 2 years with back-dated pay rise and an additonal one-off payment, during which there will be an ongoing cost of living crisis and recession = ” mass job severance programme”

    Contracts allowing pro-rata part time = ” Flexible working contracts, working and rosters” ” Mandatory Sunday Working”

    For the RMT, Flexible working and/or defined days working contracts (you know, like the rest of us have) is basically like Kryptonite to Superman/ Sunlight and Garlic to a Vampire because how are you then supposed to make extra money and still hold your employer to ransom?

    And of course the whole ” Privatisation is evil” ” oh we’re so poor and so hard done by” doesn’t quite wash when you have train drivers in higher rate tax band. Yes, pre-privatisation the pay was shockingly low, it really isn’t now and oh yes, thats been paid for by the taxpayer…

    With all of his talk of “the workers support us” I do wonder if Mick Lynch is living in an Echo chamber.

    BTW Im a long time rail commuter and have also worked in the rail supply industry (that was an eye-opener) which may influence my views a bit 😉

    matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    Yesterday I traveled to Glasgow.

    The electric Ember bus there at 11am was properly packed (one spare seat), cost £5, took 35mins and dropped me at the back of the train station. The lady I sat next too had swapped to Ember as Scotrail is so unreliable.

    The train home, because Ember was fully booked, at 5.40pm out of Glasgow cost me £10+ and took 58 minutes to get home. It was half empty, and yet was the Aberdeen express train.

    Next weekend my father travels up from Warrington to Glasgow – for the first time every by bus not train. He can’t trust Avanti West Coast who have cancelled on his last two trips up.

    While I support better conditions and pay, I can’t help but think the strikes on top of the woeful issues the railways pose to travellers is doing long term harm, threatening the future if the railways and everyone’s jobs they want more pay for.

    tjagain
    Full Member

    Private sector wages have risen faster than public service over the last few years on average

    You want a race to the bottom?  You didn’t get a payrise so no one can get one?

    Much of the impetus for these strikes does not come from wage demands anyway but froma desire to protect essential public services from death by a thousand tiny cuts
    <div class=”ssrcss-11r1m41-RichTextComponentWrapper ep2nwvo0″ data-component=”text-block”>
    <div class=”ssrcss-7uxr49-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi1″>

    <p class=”ssrcss-1q0x1qg-Paragraph eq5iqo00″>If you look at the total pay figures, which include bonuses, private sector pay has actually overtaken public sector.</p>

    </div>
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    <div class=”ssrcss-7uxr49-RichTextContainer e5tfeyi1″>
    <p class=”ssrcss-1q0x1qg-Paragraph eq5iqo00″>That’s because private sector workers are much more likely to receive bonuses than public sector workers and bonuses have been relatively high this year, particularly in finance and business services.</p>

    </div>
    </div>

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/55089900

    Kryton57
    Full Member

    You didn’t get a payrise so no one can get one?

    You’ve just shown me a graph where average public sector wages are higher than private sector and expect me to be sympathetic?

    I didn’t say they didn’t deserve one, I’m bemoaning the way they are going about it, I’ve seen some demands at 19% increase. Demanding impractical rises then holding the public to ransom to such an extent isn’t achieving anything other than frustration and anger at the strikers rather than the government paymasters they are aiming it at.

    No issues with people getting a deserved pay rise, but there’s a point where it gets ridiculous.

    anagallis_arvensis
    Full Member

    Plenty of nurse and teacher jobs available Krypton and by plenty I mean an absolute shit ton of job vacancies that cannot be filled. I doubt that it pays enough for you though.

    Personally is makes me angrier and less supportive of the strikers, which doesn’t help them.

    I don’t think you really grasp the point of strikes do you. Anyway calm yourself teachers are not on strike in England and nobody will spoil your lovely Christmas if you if plan a little

    Sandwich
    Full Member

    You’ve just shown me a graph where average public sector wages are higher than private sector and expect me to be sympathetic?

    You also appear to have missed the “you want a race to the bottom” part of the post. The train strike is mainly about working conditions not pay. The proposals are aimed at gutting the service.

    anagallis_arvensis
    Full Member

    No issues with people getting a deserved pay rise, but there’s a point where it gets ridiculous.

    Mine have been below inflation for at least ten years, how would you suggest I get what I deserve or what we need to attract people to fill the empty roles?

    MSP
    Full Member

    While I support better conditions and pay, I can’t help but think the strikes on top of the woeful issues the railways pose to travellers is doing long term harm, threatening the future if the railways and everyone’s jobs they want more pay for.

    I think you are adding 1+1 to make 3 there.

    The railways are woefully managed (last years timertable changes in the north were so bad as to apear like deleberate missmanagment) and a reasoable chunk of that is due to Government policy.

    The rail workers are not any safer (in employment terms) if they just accept a shitty deal, in fact that just sets a presidence where the rail companies at the behest of the transport minister will accelerate bleeding them dry if they can weaken the unions oposition to any plans they want to impose.

    Kryton57
    Full Member

    Anyway calm yourself teachers are not on strike in England and nobody will spoil your lovely Christmas if you if plan a little

    Yet. They are planned. No issues with my Xmas I’m not travelling, it’s those that are I feel for, plenty have missed their families in recent years.

    Plenty of nurse and teacher jobs available Krypton and by plenty I mean an absolute shit ton of job vacancies that cannot be filled. I doubt that it pays enough for you though

    Not sure why you feel the need to get personal.

    anagallis_arvensis
    Full Member

    Yet. They are planned.

    My union hasn’t voted yet

    anagallis_arvensis
    Full Member

    Not sure why you feel the need to get personal.

    Why, when you spend endless hour agonising about what you spend you money on, the lastest BMW or whatever and then criticise nurses for going on strike? Give your head a wobble!

    tjagain
    Full Member

    Lets take nursing as its what I know

    Starting salary after a 4 year degree.  £27,055   You will be working a shift pattern that is known to be damaging to health ( usually)  1 week in 4 on night shift and weekends / evenings / public holidays.  Extra payments for shifts will add a couple of thousand to that and decent sick pay / holiday pay / pensions ( but not nearly as good as it used to be)  Huge responsibilities and constant short staffed working

    Do you think thats  good wage and equivalent to a private sector wage for similar working conditions / responsibilities?

    Wages have constantly been eroded and are now worth about 80% of what they were  pre the tories taking over.  Pensions and sick pay have also been cut

    Kryton57
    Full Member

    Why, when you spend endless hour agonising about what you spend you money on, the lastest BMW or whatever and then criticise nurses for going on strike? Give your head a wobble!

    Maybe you should have noted my number plate when you saw the car, and read back over several years of forum history before you make aspersions. Nothing wrong with being spending time to decide to be appropriately frugal, I’m pretty confident I won’t be getting an inflation busting pay rise or job security that keeps me employed if I don’t make my numbers next year.

    dissonance
    Full Member

    You’ve just shown me a graph where average public sector wages are higher than private sector and expect me to be sympathetic?

    It doesnt show that once you take into account the relative skills etc (most of the low paid work in public sector having been outsourced which, after the management cuts are taken, result in even lower private sector wages for those workers). It does show however the continual cut in standards unless of course you feel those like for likes have changed?

    I didn’t say they didn’t deserve one, I’m bemoaning the way they are going about it, I’ve seen some demands at 19% increase.

    Given the rise in rental costs (ignoring all the others) I can see why some people would be wanting that. Odd how the tories only preach restraint for workers though isnt it? That aside havent you heard of start high?

    As for the public sector doing well. Up to September it was 2.2% increase in the public sector vs 6.6 private sector.
    Perhaps the strikes are happening due to the unwillingness of the government to negotiate honestly?

    anagallis_arvensis
    Full Member

    I’m pretty confident I won’t be getting an inflation busting pay rise or job security that keeps me employed if I don’t make my numbers next year.

    100% confident I won’t even if I do make my numbers, same as the last 10 years

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