Fears Sydney Trains Will Be Understaffed This Morning
NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance is "pretty confident" Sydney's trains will run smoothly on Monday after a 24-hour strike was called off.
Sydney's trains are scheduled to run on a standard weekday schedule on Monday after the Fair Work Commission last week ordered unions to call off planned strike action.
Asked if he was concerned disgruntled train drivers may call in sick on Monday, Mr Constance said he was fairly confident trains would run on time.
Sydney Train Chaos: Ten train services cancelled already this morning. @TransportforNSW says cancellations are due to "unexpected train crew changes." @jessicaridleytv #sydneytrains #7News pic.twitter.com/iz58jEYlzf— 7 News Sydney (@7NewsSydney) January 28, 2018
"We're heads down, tails up making sure this network settles down and people can catch their trains ... I'm fairly confident that's going to happen given the fairly strong words of (Rail, Tram and Bus Union secretary) Alex Claassens.
"I'm not going to speculate ... you had the union leader saying that they would abide by the findings of Fair Work."
However, train services will be closed an hour or two early on Sunday night, according to Marg Prendergast of Transport NSW.
Ms Prendergast said services were being shut down at around 10pm on Sunday in a bid to "untangle" the network after a sporadic scheduling period.
"What this means is we actually have to wind up some of the train services a little bit earlier than normal," Ms Prendergast said.
"We are confident the train services will be back to normal tomorrow morning." Ms Prendergast said about 15 buses would be on hand to replace train services on Sunday night.
She added Transport NSW has buses available on Monday morning if rail workers called in sick.
Mr Constance said he understood the union leadership would meet on Monday to discuss the current deal on the table from the state government.
Asked if Sydney Trains were calling drivers out of retirement due to understaffing, Mr Constance said it "would make sense" but did not confirm whether it was occurring.
"It would make sense to see if some of the drivers do want to return because they don't need to go through 12 months of training," he said.
"All those issues will have to be questioned of (Sydney Trains chief executive) Howard Collins but again, getting people back to work, given that you don't have to train them for 12 months is the key point."
Mr Constance said 165 people were currently being trained as train drivers, with 18 due to start next month.