Once again V/Line were found again not following their own policies and procedures when it came to vacant positions and recruitment. There were staff in the conductors’ pool, however when a position came up they never received a phone call for an interview.
Therefore, a formal dispute was put in because the correct procedure was not followed. This is not the first time this has happened, and it caused disdain for the individuals involved who were not given the opportunity to interview.
We are still working to get every position advertised network wide so that everyone in V/Line is aware of what positions are available to apply for.
The first option for the buffets in the new Vlocity trains was sitting at nine meters long. V/Line then came back offering two metres by two metres, so the buffet working party committee set up a risk assessment on the old buffets that are currently in the n-sets.
The risk assessment showed there was hardly enough room in the current buffets, so V/Line therefore came back and offered four metres long, which with the correct design and layout of the new buffets should work out well when the new buffets are finalised.
Another issue that we have also been dealing with is the V/Line shirts. It took a lot of work and negotiation to get the males to be able to order a blue shirt so they didn’t have to cook and sweat in their current shirts that are provided. The lavender colour shirts that staff were having to wear attracted a lot of dirt and dust, not making it a very good look to the public considering they usually are the front-line staff that the public see first.
At the end of the day not many people care about the colour of the shirt, it is the materials they are made from as to whether these shirts are breathable or not. The current shirts are not very breathable and therefore make it uncomfortable to work in. The main thing they need to get right is having a comfortable uniform to work in and not have them made cheaply.
We are hopeful that a uniform working party will be set up to get these shirts done properly once and for all i.e. colour, materials and length.
There was also a new service being introduced to Shepparton and discussion occurred as to where trains would be stabled in Shepparton overnight as well as push backs being involved. There was frustration from the SO3 station staff as they were being required to perform these duties and be in charge of these push backs. The problem was that these duties are not in their job descriptions.
After numerous meetings with management it was agreed they were doing extra duties and responsibilities, so in the next EBA we will have to introduce a new position of an SO4 to compensate all these extra responsibility’s and duties which will affect many other staff in regional areas.
Also in Shepparton there were massive issues for staff to safely perform these new push backs in the Shepparton yard with fencing and lighting that we had agreed in writing from V/Line would be fixed, that had not been fixed yet.
There were issues of trespassers crossing the yard day and night as the current fence is so run down it would not be worth fixing and the last thing that anyone wants is staff dealing with trauma from hitting someone in the yard.
After a few meetings it has now been agreed that the existing fences on either side will be upgraded with razor wire on top of it. There will be extra poles and lighting to be extended at both ends of the yard to light the whole yard up so these new push backs can be done safely.
The new fence and lighting hopefully will keep trespassers out of the yard and help protect V/Lines rolling stock from vandalism and protect our members from any incidents.