Crew Shortages

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Re: Crew Shortages

Postby ryanov » Fri Jul 21, 2017 7:22 pm

The news coverage on this stuff has been awful. They more or less say that engineers can decide not to show up to work for 48 hours, and that that's what their contract says. So you've got people saying "that's ridiculous" and other people saying "why would NJT sign such a contract?"

Given this is not my first day in the world, I know that a much better explanation wouldn't yield much better comprehension... but... might be nice to have it right.
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Re: Crew Shortages

Postby amtrakhogger » Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:32 pm

It is a contractual process. This is not a sick out, or some sort of work stoppage or slowdown. The media is blowing this out of proportion and especially with reporters with no clue how the railroad works.
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Re: Crew Shortages

Postby ryanov » Sat Jul 22, 2017 1:07 am

Yeah. The news makes it sound like it's a contractually sanctioned concerted action.
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Re: Crew Shortages

Postby Zeke » Sun Jul 23, 2017 3:16 am

Basically the pols in Trenton, Albany and D.C. have been financially starving the railroads, under their control, for years. The commuter agency and Amtrak railroaders in the unions and management have warned them many many times about this tack and were told to do your best. Now that the infrastructure is at the final stage of total collapse the heat is on. Doing what most of these political bums do best that is, never ever take responsibility for their actions, it's scapegoat time. Educated white collar commuters are the most vociferous complainants many with a ingrained anti union bent. So what to do ? ....errr ....lets see.... got it ! Blame the unions.
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Re: Crew Shortages

Postby DutchRailnut » Sun Jul 23, 2017 4:05 pm

posted it earlier, but read union explanation : http://njtblet.com/wp-content/uploads/2 ... tement.pdf
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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Re: Crew Shortages

Postby Sirsonic » Sun Jul 23, 2017 10:24 pm

This situation has exactly nothing to do with engineers exercising their contractual right to 48 hours to select a new assignment when theirs is changed or they are displaced by a senior engineer. This has everything to do with the total failure by NJT to properly staff their railroad. Even before the schedule change NJT was forced to annul trains due to a shortage of engineers. Is this because engineers are not coming to work? No, in fact many engineers are working one or both of their days off every week. The simple fact is NJT does not have enough engineers on the roster to cover the trains they operate. 100% of the blame should fall on NJT and the governor who seeks to micromanage every aspect of NJT's operation.
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Re: Crew Shortages

Postby JeffersonLeeEng » Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:31 am

DutchRailnut wrote:posted it earlier, but read union explanation : http://njtblet.com/wp-content/uploads/2 ... tement.pdf


I'm actually getting a "403: Forbidden" on this site. Is there an offline version of this document?
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Re: Crew Shortages

Postby Backshophoss » Mon Jul 24, 2017 6:52 pm

That link might be HACKED,Chrome and Norton have blocked access! HEAD UP!
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Re: Crew Shortages

Postby DutchRailnut » Mon Jul 24, 2017 7:43 pm

no problem at my end and I use chrome but here is text :

Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen
New Jersey Transit
General Committee of Adjustment
JULY 19, 2017 — The following is a statement from the
Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) in
response to allegations by NJ Transit that is locomotive engineers
are to blame for manpower shortages.
“New Jersey Transit management has portrayed its locomotive engineers in a negative
light by blaming them for recent manpower shortages at the commuter railroad, implying
that engineers simply do not want to come to work. In fact, the opposite is true. Members
of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen are highly trained
professionals who take their commitment to safety and to the traveling public very
seriously. Since track work began at New York’s Penn Station, many engineers have
worked on their scheduled days off and have come to work early and stayed late in order
to do their part during the unprecedented summer construction schedule.
“In public statements, NJ Transit has made an issue out of engineers exercising their
contractual right to take up to 48 hours to choose a work assignment after they have been
displaced from their current assignment. However, this is not the root cause of the current
manpower shortage. Even during normal traffic periods the railroad does not have
enough locomotive engineers to cover all work assignments.
“The BLET warned NJ Transit management over two years ago that current locomotive
engineer staffing levels were inadequate. The Penn Station track work added 8-10 new
work assignments and the current staff of locomotive engineers are simply spread too
thin to keep up with the added work. Also, it should be noted that NJ Transit management
did not consult with the BLET in any way to develop an improved engineer-scheduling
plan prior to the start of Penn Station track work.
“The BLET recommends that NJ Transit hire up to 30 additional locomotive engineers to
cover all work assignments, but that is a long term solution given that it takes up to two
years for a locomotive engineer to become fully trained and federally certified at NJ
Transit. In the short term, the BLET suggests that NJ Transit combine some of its eight
hour work assignments into 10 or 11 hour assignments, allowing the railroad to run more
trains with its current workforce of engineers. The BLET stands ready to work with NJ
Transit management to solve its manpower issues to better serve the traveling public.”
###
BLET General Chairman James P. Brown
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Re: Crew Shortages

Postby EuroStar » Mon Sep 25, 2017 10:01 am

The Record has quite a lot to say about engineer shortages http://www.northjersey.com/story/news/transportation/2017/09/22/investigation-nj-transit-facing-severe-staffing-crisis-could-mean-more-delays/667407001/. The assessment is not pretty. Here are a couple of quotes.
There are less than 20 engineers in NJ Transit's training program and the bulk of those won't be qualified to run a train until 2019. Managers who are qualified engineers have been pulled onto the lines to help cover the staffing losses.

Metro-North has been on a hiring binge over the past couple of years, bringing on 24 new engineers this year; 40 in 2016; and 31 in 2015.
By contrast, NJ Transit's 2017 roster showed that the last four engineers hired were in 2015.
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Re: Crew Shortages

Postby pumpers » Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:13 pm

35 cancelled trains on Monday. This is getting ridiculous.
http://www.nj.com/traffic/index.ssf/201 ... river_home
I also saw some article about a month ago about the NTSB(?) giving some opinion on the issue (from some public news site) which I can't find now. I don't remember exactly what it said, but I remember thinking that I got the feeling that the article sounded as if more was going on than visible on the surface.
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Re: Crew Shortages

Postby ryanov » Mon Oct 16, 2017 12:26 pm

Newspaper attempted to blame NJT again (getting the information from NJT, of course) for Columbus Day, was it, saying they had 20 engineers out? Doesn't seem like an unusual amount of people to be out, from a group that large.
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Re: Crew Shortages

Postby EuroStar » Fri Oct 27, 2017 8:40 am

An interesting tidbit here http://www.northjersey.com/story/news/watchdog/2017/10/27/nj-transit-facing-shortage-slow-train-locomotive-engineers/799350001/.

NJTransit's program for training engineers at 20 months is longer than the other railroads around NYC. No criticism here, just reporting on the information.
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Re: Crew Shortages

Postby CentralValleyRail » Sat Oct 28, 2017 12:00 pm

EuroStar wrote:An interesting tidbit here http://www.northjersey.com/story/news/watchdog/2017/10/27/nj-transit-facing-shortage-slow-train-locomotive-engineers/799350001/.

NJTransit's program for training engineers at 20 months is longer than the other railroads around NYC. No criticism here, just reporting on the information.


And the pay is a LOT less on NJT than other railroads. with a demand for engineers everyone says so long to good ole crappy NJT.
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Re: Crew Shortages

Postby glennk419 » Sat Nov 11, 2017 10:04 am

I suspect that some of the shortages could be due to the sleep apnea issue.

Fair use quote:
HOBOKEN, N.J. --
Dozens of New Jersey Transit train engineers were sidelined because testing imposed after a deadly rail crash found they suffered from sleep apnea.

The transit agency screened 373 engineers for sleep disorders, and 57 were taken out of service until a full study could be conducted.


Full story: http://6abc.com/44-train-engineers-diagnosed-with-sleep-apnea-sidelined/2622263/
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