It’s been a busy month in Metro stations, with several significant campaigns underway.
Probably the most urgent of these has been the recent campaign over Member safety at barriers.
Metro Trains, with little understanding of the station safety issues, handed down directions pressuring stations to keep barriers closed across the network.
This has resulted in PIN notices issued and WorkSafe Inspectors attending a number of stations.
In response, management have begun playing the old divide and rule tactic.
Stations are ranked based by highest to lowest percentage of barrier closures.
Stations (and by default the staff at those stations) are then ranked by colour – with stations with the lower barrier closures appearing in red.
Management love trumpeting their rankings around the network, seeking to pit station against station and worker against worker.
As a result of these measures, station staff have reported ongoing threats and abuse at the barriers.
RTBU Station Delegates have supported a number of HSR’s during a recent meeting held at St Albans Station, where management have not engaged in proper consultation with the station staff impacted or the HSR’s over the risks and the controls around the closure of barriers at this station.
Station staff have continued to report ongoing threats made to them.
HSR’s issued three PIN notices for St Albans Station and three PIN notices for North Melbourne concerning Metro’s lack of consultation, as well as the barrier closure direction impacting the safety and welfare of the station staff.
Over the last week, Worksafe inspectors attended North Melbourne and St Albans Stations.
The local HSR’s, with support from the RTBU, put a lot of work into representing their Designated Work Group (DWG), and have successfully achieved outcomes that will:
- see local risk assessments and/or reviews of Metro managements risk document at these stations
- HSR’s will be able to request more detailed documentation on the trends of assaults
- HSR’s provided with updates on training progress for station staff in their own areas around conflict resolution-MYBO training
The PIN Notices were subsequently withdrawn by the HSR’s, following progress on these issues.
Prior to this the RTBU held a successful online forum for Members, HSR’s and Delegates with Martin Raspin from the Victorian Trades Hall Council Safety unit over the Occupational Violence experienced by station staff.
The forum dealt with a number of critical safety issues, including psychological injuries that occur over time due to low level aggression (such as threats, verbal abuse etc) towards the staff member, and the significant effect this can have.
These wide ranging discussions resulted in many members giving direct feedback on the difficulties they face at work as a result of Metro’s barrier direction.
Further online safety forums are planned soon as a result of the interest shown by members.
The RTBU has also continued to visit barrier stations, with further visits planned and currently occurring.
In other safety related matters, following an assault on a Station Staff Member at Frankston Station, the RTBU arranged a meeting onsite with management, the HSR and the RTBU Delegate to review the incident and what issues needed to be addressed.
This was done under Metro Operations EA – Section 3.28, which clearly sets out the process to be followed.
As a result of the discussions, several matters came to light including lack of PSO presence, the need for clearing of trains to be done in pairs, that Frankston control desk must be staffed and that members should continue to report, whilst management must prioritise following up on INX reports.
If you are having any safety issues at your station, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local Delegate, HSR or Organiser.
President of the Administration, Supervisory, Technical and Professional Division