There have been many complaints come forward to the Union office recently from the Signalling and Train Control grades. The main issue is around multiple job vacancies not being filled swiftly and having been left open for a length of months. Some job roles are not being advertised at all, which is causing further complaints that the role is not covered properly for a period of time. Coverage is being done ad-hoc and some days there is no coverage at all.
The Dandenong signal box cribb break roster set up for the Westall Panel expansion covers weekdays only and Signallers are asking for the same coverage as Newport and Craigieburn Signal Boxes which is Saturday rostering coverage. Feedback from Metro is that it won’t be happening anytime soon.
With the introduction of Pakenham, the workload at Dandenong signal box has increased dramatically to the point where the signallers are now asking for a cribb break roster seven days a week and will be still waiting.
Other concerns raised is that there is preference on who gets the overtime over others. Some people may feel obligated to do the overtime so they don’t let their co-workers or Metro down which is causing fatigue.
Training has commenced for Train Controllers and Signallers to fill the vacant roles, but it does take time to train the Train Controllers to progress to a higher classification level and the same for the Signallers learning the new super Signal Boxes.
In passing conversations I have heard that safeworking errors are also occurring, this is due to the incumbent being inexperienced. You cannot gain railway knowledge without doing the mile.
I have raised these concerns with management and I hope to see these issues resolved as soon as possible, however currently it is simply a waiting game for the people in training to be qualified enough to assist.