Wagga staff ‘railroaded’ by shake-up

20-09-2019 by admin

WAGGA railway staff hoping for a reprieve fromjob cutshave been left “devastated”afterNSWTrainLink“dramatically reduced” station hours.

Railway management andRail, Tram and Bus Union officials sat down with local staff on Monday to thrash outthe station’s future, but there was littlechange to cuts announced in June as part of amassive shake-up of the state’s rail system.

All seven of Wagga’s staff will have their hours slashed, meaning the booking office will reduced from eight hours per day to just three.

Staff had beenhopeful the organisation in charge ofregional and rural rail services would soften its stance, after a backflip onplans to make Griffith station unmanned and an announcement Wagga would become the primary stationresponsible for the management of seven other stations.

Retired Wagga railway employee Phil Horwell claimed current staff were “shocked and pretty devastated”.

“Wagga’s lost badly here, we’ve been absolutely railroaded,” Mr Horwell said.

“Currently the booking office is open 9am to5pm with two staff, but the new booking hours will be cut down to 11am to2pm with one person servingpeople wanting to buy tickets.

“The staff willhave to squeeze eighthours of serving people into three and the irony is two XPT trains to Sydney and Melbourne both come during thatperiod when the booking office is open.

“The recentlyannounced area manager will be confined to theback office, looking after eight stations like Leeton and Griffith, withno front-line duties.

“This will mean people can’t bring luggage in early and the cleanliness of the station will also suffer.”

Wagga MP Darly Maguire assured commuters the rationalisation plan wouldn’tdelay timetables.

“The same number of train and coach services would be covered by staff as they are today, including the peak arrivals and departures at Wagga station between midday and3pm,” Mr Maguire said.

“Security at Wagga station will be enhanced, with new CCTV cameras and a customer help point providing 24/7 assistance.”

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