September 19th, 2006 at 08:24am
They say that you make your own luck, and they also say that the third time is lucky, and it looks like ACTION’s bizarre management comittee are trying their hardest to make their third attempt at throwing the same set of rosters at drivers their lucky attempt.
Yep, ACTION are throwing those same shifts at drivers again, only a few days after withdrawing them in an attempt to prevent rumoured industrial action. For those of you who haven’t heard yet, here is how I summarised the shifts the other day.
ACTION management had proposed a system based mainly on split shifts, which would have seen a large reduction in the number of middle-of-the-day bus services, and a drastic increase in the number of hours bus drivers spend at work.
The proposed shifts would have seen the majority of drivers on split-shifts, where they would have been expected to be at work by 6 or 7am, drive busses until about 10am, then sit around at the depot for a couple hours just in case there was “special” work to be done, this would then be followed by an unpaid break of a couple hours, and then drivers would be expected to drive until about 6pm or later. This would have the effect of ruining ACTION’s family-friendly atmosphere, and pose a safety risk with drivers being required to be awake for more hours in the day. It would also have slashed middle-of-the-day services (ie. 9:30am-3pm) to the bone, stranding the people who rely on the bus services for transport, especially elderly people and shift workers.
Drivers may also have been alternated between day time split shifts, and night shifts, a move which may have resulted in even more driver fatigue as drivers may have struggled to adjust to constantly changing rosters.
I’ve since confirmed that this proposal would (or perhaps will) see drivers changing between day time split shifts, and night shifts, on a weekly basis.
Obviously it would be stupidity to throw the same shifts at drivers again, and expect them to accept them, so ACTION’s six-person management comittee have come up with a new plan. A lot of the existing part-time drivers are already working on a system somewhat similar (but less draconian) to the proposed split shift system…the plan: place them on the proposed split shifts and call them full-time employees. This offer is reasonable acceptable to the current part-time drivers, as it means more benefits, probably more pay, and similar work conditions.
This now threatens to split the Transport Workers Union down the middle, with part time drivers accepting the proposal, and full time drivers rejecting it. If the numbers of drivers accepting the proposal outweighs the number rejecting it, then this will only be bad news for people who rely on ACTION’s services during the day.
Incidentally, I still have the “Save ACTION” forms online, and the Transpot Workers Union are still accepting them. So if you would like to convey your message of disappointment about the proposed cuts to ACTION services to the ACT government, download this form, fill it in and post it to
Transport Workers Union
PO Box 649
PARRAMATTA NSW 2124
Entry Filed under: Canberra Stories