Crew Shortages

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Crew Shortages

Postby EuroStar » Tue Jul 18, 2017 7:05 am

According to the news (http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2017/07/18/nj-transit-engineers-train-cancellations/ and elsewhere) crews are not showing up. It is implied that this is because of the new schedules, which no doubt changed the rotations of the crews and the trainsets. What exactly was changed and why is it so bad that people choose to not show up (I assume they call sick or whatever) than actually just go with it? I am not blaming anyone for anything, just trying to figure what could change so much as to cause such a reaction from the employees.
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Re: Crew Shortages

Postby DutchRailnut » Tue Jul 18, 2017 7:47 am

tough to keep people qualified on such a branch , there may be less than dozen engineers or Cdrs that bother to keep qualifications.
and if schedules changed the people that did work branch may have bid off to more lucrative assignments.
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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Re: Crew Shortages

Postby EuroStar » Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:59 am

You are probably correct for the branch, but how about the other trains? This is not limited just to the dinky. Multiple NJCL trains were cancelled Monday night for crew shortages. Sunday afternoon/evening saw multiple cancellations on the Main/Bergen lines. It seems that both weekday and weekend service are somehow affected both at Penn and Hoboken.
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Re: Crew Shortages

Postby necrails » Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:03 am

Or the union folks are just acting out because they can get away with it. Unfortunately the fact that they work in a service industry is wasted on them.
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Re: Crew Shortages

Postby inthebag » Tue Jul 18, 2017 11:26 am

Such a distorted presentation of the situation. Large scale job assignment changes result in a wave of bidding/bumping of jobs. The public likes to forget that employees are people as well, with lives outside of the railroad. If your working hours or days off change, you might have doctors appointments or childcare arrangements to reorganize.
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Re: Crew Shortages

Postby necrails » Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:28 pm

Of course everyone had a doctors appointment the same day, typical union rhetoric. Service employees provide service unless of course you are an NJT employee.
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Re: Crew Shortages

Postby amtrakhogger » Tue Jul 18, 2017 6:01 pm

Don't forget Hours of Service law. Many crews may not be available just because they are not
rested if they changed jobs.
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Re: Crew Shortages

Postby AmTransit » Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:46 pm

The manpower shortage is solely due to the carriers lack of planning for the future coupled with the schedule changes for the track work in NYP, HOS and exhausting all available crews, including those who are working on their relief days. Yes, that's correct, working on their days off necrails which a large number of the employees do but it's not helping much because that then makes those employees unavailable to work their own assignments due to HOS law. I don't expect necrails to understand any of this though.
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Re: Crew Shortages

Postby Zeke » Wed Jul 19, 2017 5:16 am

Several things are occurring at the same time adding to the summer of hell commute. Many Hoboken div jobs were changed due to the termination of Mid town direct service at Hoboken. Union rules allow an engineer whose job has been changed to hold off 48 hours til the dust settles when 50 or 60 jobs are up for bid or regular assignments are bumped. This allows seniority to prevail after the carnage and hopefully one can settle into the new assignment as major bumping by more senior engineers calms down.

NJT has lost a large number of mid seniority engineers to Metro north due to the fact they get 10 more dollars an hour over NJT's low pay cheap skate cut off there nose to spite the face pay scale and many more are planning on leaving. Also mid July is always a good time to mark off and head for the shore with the family. Last but not least many engineers with 30 plus years of service take their 5 week vacation in July and August. This leaves the extra lists exhausted by last trick forcing the early morning jobs to go windy as extra list engineers are already out working the overnight runs and the previous 2 nd trick Extra list engineers are not rested under hours of service rules until the after noon. The Summer of Hell...I like it.
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Re: Crew Shortages

Postby Ridgefielder » Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:25 am

It makes sense when you explain it this way. However, I have to say that the optics aren't great given what's going on. The riders are already pretty steamed as it is and the press is not going to be gentle. The union should get out in front of this issue and explain it ASAP.
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Re: Crew Shortages

Postby Off Pending » Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:49 am

necrails wrote:Or the union folks are just acting out because they can get away with it. Unfortunately the fact that they work in a service industry is wasted on them.


Nobody is "acting out." If an employee is bumped, they have 48 hours of "to place" time (essentially, held in limbo) in order to choose a new assignment. If your seniority places you at the bottom of those waiting to place on a new job, waiting out your time makes sense since you could potentially be bumped again several times before you ever work an assignment you try to claim (with a new 48-hour placement window each time).

NJT management is throwing a hissy fit, and trying to deflect blame for a mess THEY created.

So, please take your "rhetoric" claims and shove them in the clear somewhere.
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Re: Crew Shortages

Postby Jeff Smith » Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:59 am

I've seen some posts about this from some of my friends which concur with the railroader's explanations.

That said, let's keep the flames set to "low" on the stove and leave the insults somewhere else, even if you're right.
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Re: Crew Shortages

Postby time » Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:33 am

As a commuter in hell, I can tell you anecdotally that all of the trains I normally take are being worked by the usual crews. I'm not sure about engineers, since I don't usually see them. But for conductors, ticket collectors, etc., I've seen no change on the Morris & Essex line. My hours are variable, which allows me to take many different trains in the morning and evening. What's more concerning is that NJT can't anticipate demand. It's not the crew shortage that is making this summer difficult - it's the equipment shortage and lack of cars on key trains. For instance, train 645, the 5:08 pm leaving Hoboken has always been a 3 car set. That worked when it was only Hoboken and Newark Broad street passengers joining the party. Add in thousands of diverted MidTown Direct passengers ... well it's a stinky, steamy, long commute home.

NJT said they would be adding cars to the Hoboken trains. They have - but for whatever reason there are still a few key trains that are ridiculously overcrowded. For me, that's proof that management is to blame, not the crews.
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Re: Crew Shortages

Postby DutchRailnut » Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:49 pm

If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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Re: Crew Shortages

Postby blockline4180 » Fri Jul 21, 2017 5:48 am

time wrote:
NJT said they would be adding cars to the Hoboken trains. They have - but for whatever reason there are still a few key trains that are ridiculously overcrowded. For me, that's proof that management is to blame, not the crews.


FWIW, I observed many trains last night at Maplewood and from what I saw most of the former NY to Dover or Summit trains that previously used 8 car Comet II/IV sets were being handled by MLs, including one train to Hackettstown. I also noticed a 300 series train from Hoboken to Summit had a 7 car MU.
So I guess they are trying to address the issues, but not totally as they are still running 3-5 car push pulls on the normal M&E Hoboken to Port Morris trains.
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