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On 30 May 2016 at 10:21am Midnight-Express wrote:
We need conductors on trains for passenger safety reasons. The guards and conductors have every right to go sick in order to bring this point across. Okay I appreciate that this will cause inconvenience to commuters but we must think about the wider issue and the benefits it will bring in the long run. No pain = No gain!
On 30 May 2016 at 11:15am Traveller wrote:
They don't have any right to 'go sick' to prove a point. They have a right to go sick if they're ill. If they want to prove a point they're welcome to go on strike (with no pay).
On 30 May 2016 at 1:30pm Intheknow wrote:
When GTR took over the franchise they publicly stated that levels of sickness were 13% and that was their excuses for numerous cancelations. The current sickness level is far less than 13% but GTR still use it as their excuse.
On 30 May 2016 at 8:39pm Local wrote:
What is the current sickness level then, smart-bottom?
On 30 May 2016 at 9:28pm Intheknow wrote:
9.5% on the worst day.
On 31 May 2016 at 3:36am king of sussex wrote:
Can anyone explain why saying you're sick and taking a day off when you're not actually sick, is any different from saying your business is based in another country, when it obviously isn't, so you don't have to pay any taxes?
Apart, of course, from the fact that the latter costs the country billions of pounds every year in lost taxes.
If its not provably illegal, there's nothing wrong with it - isn't that the philosophy?
On 31 May 2016 at 7:46am Intheknow wrote:
You are absolutely right King of Sussex and therefore I suggest that it is Southern's 'Back to Work' Policy that isn't working!
Managing employees doesn't have to be confrontational but Southern haven't grasped that.
On 31 May 2016 at 8:35am Southern belle wrote:
Some staff are of with stress related anxiety. Levels are not at all that high either but GTR have enforced an overtime ban for those that went on strike meaning that they do not have enough staff to cover services. Trains like the coast line 313's have to have a conductor as they do not have DOO (driver only operated) cameras fitted meaning the conductor has to be the one who closes the doors. 4 car and 8 car 377's can run without a conductor though. GTR's constant use of the excuse will end in more trouble.
On 31 May 2016 at 10:04am Curious wrote:
Has anyone checked the on board toilets for all these sick conductors? I'm just asking as I know the toilet doors can get jammed periodically. I was once stuck in one for days and ended up going from Lewes to Ashford International countless times on one ticket. Value for money I can tell you!!
On 31 May 2016 at 10:32am ar10642 wrote:
On balance I'd rather guards were on trains for customer service reasons, but this "safety" thing really is hard to justify when Thameslink and other services have been running without guards with no issues for something like 25 years. All introduced under the BR glory days, and pretty sure the DfT is behind this latest stuff as well.
Strikes are fine, people can plan around that. This "sickness" thing that's going on (true or not) is really irritating and people's patience and sympathy is wearing pretty thin. If it's *not* true then the RMT need to get a decent press release to explain the situation rather than their tedious, badly worded 1970s style ranting about the French and bringing the railways back into public ownership (whilst ignoring the fact that the DfT and BR have been behind all the changes to DOO).
On 31 May 2016 at 11:03am Tim wrote:
Ar10642 - think about it. DOO is suitable on some routes and I don't think the Unions would contest that. However, imagine being in sole charge of a 12 coach, fully laden train that stops on a curved platform (plenty of those) with no platform staff? Imagine also being the mobility impaired person in a wheelchair / buggy that wants to board the train? This is all thin end of the wedge stuff and it is no surprise the Unions are balking at it.
Meanwhile, where is Maria Caulfield on all this?
On 31 May 2016 at 11:22am ar10642 wrote:
Tim, I'm struggling to think of how many unstaffed, curved stations that 12 car trains are going to open all the doors at. Lewes and other main stations have despatch staff on the platform. Regardless, there are in-cab monitors connected to the body mounted CCTV on the trains that are already in use, on exactly the same 12 car trains, on the Thameslink stations. If this is unsafe, where are the howls of protest on those lines?
As I've said, it's better if there are staff on the train from a customer service point of view. And remember, Southern is talking about changing the role of the guard to be On Board Supervisor, not getting rid of them altogether. I'm really not buying the safety thing though. The thin end of the wedge argument was lost in 1982, where were the unions then?
None of that changes the fact that the "sickness" issue is unacceptable to passengers.
On 31 May 2016 at 1:11pm TIm wrote:
Ar10642 my train was delayed at Lewes by 20 minutes the other day because there were insuficient staff on duty to dispatch the train on Platfrom 2 safely! It happened around 14:00 which I guess is shift changeover time.
On 31 May 2016 at 1:19pm ar10642 wrote:
Well, that's as maybe but the switchover to DOO has not happened yet. In fact, if we were running DOO now, that delay probably wouldn't have happened because the driver could presumably self-dispatch using the body mounted CCTV, which on a curved platform can provide a better view than the guard can get anyway.
On 31 May 2016 at 2:45pm TIm wrote:
Ar10642 'if WE were running DOO now' ???
On 31 May 2016 at 6:46pm Viva Hate wrote:
Southern are blaming the conductors for being sick - but it seems its an overtime ban issue -and they simply haven't enough staff to run the service properly. To Maria Caulfields credit she did raise Southern's performance as a question in parliament last week. And I understand all of Sussex's MPs are pushing this as an issue.
On 31 May 2016 at 9:09pm Tim wrote:
If this was a tired old franchise then things would be marginally more tolerable. It isn't a tired old franchise though, is it? It is brand new and obviously based on fiction. Fraud even? Who was in charge of due diligence? Maria Caulfield needs to be more vocal, especially in public.
On 31 May 2016 at 11:09pm Normans Wisdom wrote:
Norman would have sorted this out by now.
On 31 May 2016 at 11:59pm ar10642 wrote:
Sorry, wrong word choice. I am not connected with GTR/Southern, but I note you have no answer. I don't really care who's responsible for the current disruption, but I do know that it will achieve nothing. The government will get what they want anyway, as they always do. Especially as Corbyn has the presence of a geography teacher and as about as ineffective an opposition as it's possible to be. Strikes have not prevented DOO being implemented anywhere else and they won't here either, so why not just come to work and stop annoying everyone?
On 1 Jun 2016 at 12:06am ar10642 wrote:
Caulfield, Soames and whoever else will also not succeed at getting rid of GTR. It's a management only contract where the ticket revenue goes directly to the DfT and they get a fee based on various metrics, presumably including coverting x% of services to DOO. Until London Bridge is finished and the new Thameslink routes opened (Brighton to Peterborough and Cambridge) nobody is going to want to take it on anyway, it's very hard to make the service work properly until that happens.
On 8 Jun 2016 at 5:42pm The Jolly Traveller wrote:

As already stated the disruption will provide benefits to us all in the long run. Just bear with it, it is likely to get worse with the holiday period coming up combined with sickness but sticking with it will ultimately give us a better service for the future.

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