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LexAveExp5

Train Service Supervisor (TSS)

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I started a thread with questions about becoming a TSS in the Crew Room section of the forum, but I don't think too many TSSs are in there to answer my questions! lol. So I'm hoping if I put them here, it'll get more feedback. Also, I thought of new questions :)  . When the TSS exam rolls around next year, I MAY be qualified to take it, so I would just like to know what I'm getting into.

 

-Are the benefits the same as ours (train operator's)? If not, how are they different?

 

-Do they have a seniority system? If so, what is it used for other than picks?

 

-Do you have to call in 20 days in advance to get a day off?

 

-Is a face to face relief required like those poor (actually not poor lol) dispatchers who have to work doubles? Is overtime ever mandatory?

 

-Is it true that TSSs don't get a lunch?

 

-Where do they hang out on their down time? I never see them in the crew rooms. Do they get their own offices (I've seen some in the yards)? Their own bathrooms?

 

-Other than road, yard, and school car, are there other assignments that TSSs can have?

 

-Is it true that the feds mandated the MTA to have a certain amount of TSSs so if times get bad, they can't really just lay them off? 

 

-How is TWU Local 106 generally perceived? Are they good at representing members if something goes down? I know they generally get the same raises as Local 100 when it comes to collective bargaining.

 

-What are schedules like for the new TSSs? Anything like the dreaded "extra extra"? Do you ever have to call the crew office for your assignment?

 

-How can a TSS get in trouble? I already know the ways we can (hit a signal, overrun a station, take a wrong lineup, speeding, etc.)

 

-Are TSSs under the same medical requirements as T/Os? Are they subject to randoms too?

 

-Regarding the exam, I bought the green "Passbook" and a lot of the questions I have no idea to the answer of, and weren't taught in T/O school car. Stuff like "When there is a train derailment, what department does not have to report to the scene of the accident?" And that was the first question in the book!!! lol. Other ones I feel are old and may have a different answer now, like "What type of fire extinguishers are subway cars equipped with?" Last time I checked, there were no fire extinguishers! Then there was a whole section dedicated to R-10 through R42 cars. I know that most of those don't run in revenue service, but maybe on work trains? Would they ask us questions about old subway cars that aren't in revenue service anymore? Anyone know good sources to study? I'm probably gonna look through the induction manual, rule book, and the bulletins

 

I know it was a lot and I may think of more, but thanks in advance if anyone can help!

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Ok this is the deal with being a TSS since I am one.

New TSS have 2 year probation and same Medical as TWU for 10 years. Also top pay kicks in 3 years and 1 mouth.

Now 2 year probation civil service law only covers you for the first year. Something happens you get back your senority but if it happens on your second year back to the bottom. However it really means nothing because your always on probation as a supervisor its very easy for a Supt to demote you since you don't have the same union representation as TWU. Your represented by SSSA and not much help.

Your pay is 80% so Train Operator will make more then you for 3 years since we are 1 contract behind TWU.

Senority is like a T/O exept you pick on a preference sheet which covers A/B/C Divisions. You put down as many choices as you file #. If you are 300 put 300 choice from 1 to 300. However go to RCC and come back after 2 years back to the bottom.

You do not have a Lunch time you have to eat when nothing is going on. There is very little down time if there are no incidents your job is to ride trains, Critque and Evaluate T/O's and C/R's on your line. See your assigned employees they give you between 35 to 45 people and if anyone of them mess up and you didn't Critque them then you have to answer to your Supt why you didn't. Thats failure to supervise.

How to get in trouble is easy.

Don't Critque an assigned employee and they have an incident

A new probationary employee has incident and you didn't Critque them

Not responding to an incident

Cover ups is a good way to get demoted

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Thanks for the info! :) What exactly did you mean by "same medical as TWU for 10 years"? Insurance or medical requirements? What happens after the 10th year?

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Mean you get the same medical and your benefits are under TWU. After 10 years the SSSA takes over. Not sure how that changes things. Only got 3 years in title. Just starting to see top pay.

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Is it safe to say that if we make the jump to TSS and have a score in the 90s, that we'll see the same kind of turnover that we see in the T/O title with the mass retirements and being able to pick sooner rather than later?

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Is it safe to say that if we make the jump to TSS and have a score in the 90s, that we'll see the same kind of turnover that we see in the T/O title with the mass retirements and being able to pick sooner rather than later?

Shortly after making a year I was already able to pick and have a steady schedule. No super early Mondays and late Fridays even though my Mondays ended up being early and my Friday late but not like before where I was on am tours and would be out on board at GC at 4am or have a road put in out of WY

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Wow, did anyone notice this from The Chief in April?

 

"Whereas a restriction against the filling of vacancies due to budgetary constraints has limited the number of Train Service Supervisors the New York City Transit Authority has been able to appoint, on April 16, 2014 the duration of the existing promotion list for this title, based on Exam No. 8546, was extended to March 30, 2016. The test was given on Nov. 15, 2008."

 

http://thechiefleader.com/news/civil_service/train-service-supervisor-promotion-list-extended/article_9f9b2ca4-c63e-11e3-8248-0017a43b2370.html

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That means the test will be given sometime in the spring of next year. It takes a year to grade and score the test, rank the candidates, and mail out results.

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Right now we got a high turnover rate of TSS retirements which is expected to last for 3 to 5 years. After that this title won't have much movement. This is a title people retire from. Many do not take a Promotion to Supt.

Also TSS teach TSS classes.

Edited by Pelham Bay Dave

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When you go to seethroughny.net and search for TSS salaries in 2013, there are only 3 base rates of pay. $72,148 , $80,807 , and $89,923. How long are you stuck at the first 2 steps? 

 

Also, I'm hoping to move to Manhattan in the next couple of years. Is it hard to get a TSS job out of Manhattan with low seniority? Is the "getting a day off" situation any better for a TSS or is it still 20 days in advance stuff? Are they still ridiculous about sick leave "patterns" too? Thanks guys for answering my previous questions

Edited by LexAveExp5

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It's not hard to get a job out of Manhattan because you work harder. Also a day off is 30 days and you book off too much your supt will write you up. You don't belong to the crew office you belong to the Line Supt who has the right to change your days off and tour of duty at any time.

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Right now we got a high turnover rate of TSS retirements which is expected to last for 3 to 5 years. After that this title won't have much movement. This is a title people retire from. Many do not take a Promotion to Supt.

Also TSS teach TSS classes.

I don't mean to go off topic, but I've been hearing that the hiring for train operators will probably die down next year. But if there is a mass exodus of TSSs in the next 3-5 years, won't there continue to be a mass exodus of train operators for 3-5 years? TSSs came in the same years as train operators. Nobody came in as a TSS, am I right?

Seniority is a big factor for me in determining whether or not to leave the T/O craft

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You need 2 years road time to be a TSS. However Dispatcher's also get promoted if they got 2 years T/Os experience. However T/O's will still have a high turn over rate at least for the next 5 years between Retirement, Promotions and demotions/ Terminations

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So is it the safe to say there will be another t/o test coming out?

 

Not safe to say so, no, but really there should be soon.

 

I know a lot of conductors who would like to take the next test but have been waiting. It would be nice to let them start building T/O seniority sometime in the near future instead of continuing to hire from outside, and put those people in front of them.

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Not safe to say so, no, but really there should be soon.

 

I know a lot of conductors who would like to take the next test but have been waiting. It would be nice to let them start building T/O seniority sometime in the near future instead of continuing to hire from outside, and put those people in front of them.

Do you have something against people who started off as Train Operators? These Conductors you speak of, nothing was stopping them from taking Exam #8098 back in 2009. If they had done so, they could have been T/Os by now. Promotional or Open Competitive, it matters not-- if I was hired as T/O before a "veteran Conductor", I have seniority over them. Period.

 

Now this isn't directed at you personally, SubwayGuy. Your posts on this forum are informative and well-received. But there seems to be an attitude, amongst some veteran TA people, that is anti-Open Competitive. What is the big deal? They say that we are "from the street". And so are they. Before T/O they were what? A Clerk, a CTA, a Conductor? OK. What about before that? Exactly. "From the street". I've met people here that seem to harbor sour grapes about those of us who started as T/O (which is nothing new, they've been hiring T/Os from the general public since the turn of the century, ha!) I say "get over it". Perhaps someone here could articulate the discontent towards OCs...

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Do you have something against people who started off as Train Operators? These Conductors you speak of, nothing was stopping them from taking Exam #8098 back in 2009. If they had done so, they could have been T/Os by now. Promotional or Open Competitive, it matters not-- if I was hired as T/O before a "veteran Conductor", I have seniority over them. Period.

Now this isn't directed at you personally, SubwayGuy. Your posts on this forum are informative and well-received. But there seems to be an attitude, amongst some veteran TA people, that is anti-Open Competitive. What is the big deal? They say that we are "from the street". And so are they. Before T/O they were what? A Clerk, a CTA, a Conductor? OK. What about before that? Exactly. "From the street". I've met people here that seem to harbor sour grapes about those of us who started as T/O (which is nothing new, they've been hiring T/Os from the general public since the turn of the century, ha!) I say "get over it". Perhaps someone here could articulate the discontent towards OCs...

If you are referring to how you " perceive" what is spoken here from most of the ones I see replying to threads here are TOs from " Off the street" like me.

 

I have no problem calling a spade a spade period you a screw up you a screw up veteran or new person especially if you have incidents and still have your handles. This is a business about moving trains with people not a day care center to "hope" someone finally gets it right,we are adults down here.

 

Now if you started when I did in 2001 you really know what "Anti Open Competive" attitude is. That's because me and I say ninety percent of the people went through tons of crap. We didn't have the resources a lot of new folks have now. From what I'm seeing down here now the attiude is geared more towards the slackers the know it alls and the ones with the entitlement attitudes and it's sad because I know some TOs who are new and they are on point.

 

Too many incidents are going down and it's simple mistakes that are leading to big ones. I see TOs looking to help out New TO I over here in the B Div whenever they can. Subway guys opinion is his regarding how he feels about who should get first duds so to speak is his. I seen lots of conductors I worked with are now TOs most of them are loving it glad they made the move. So I don't see that kind of behavior over here in the B Div maybe it's over in the A Div more then then again it could be geared to the fact that Some of these new TOs are just "Useless" like a TSS told me... It's a harsh statement but could be some truth to it. Just my opinion on this matter.

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Do you have something against people who started off as Train Operators? These Conductors you speak of, nothing was stopping them from taking Exam #8098 back in 2009. If they had done so, they could have been T/Os by now. Promotional or Open Competitive, it matters not-- if I was hired as T/O before a "veteran Conductor", I have seniority over them. Period.

 

Now this isn't directed at you personally, SubwayGuy. Your posts on this forum are informative and well-received. But there seems to be an attitude, amongst some veteran TA people, that is anti-Open Competitive. What is the big deal? They say that we are "from the street". And so are they. Before T/O they were what? A Clerk, a CTA, a Conductor? OK. What about before that? Exactly. "From the street". I've met people here that seem to harbor sour grapes about those of us who started as T/O (which is nothing new, they've been hiring T/Os from the general public since the turn of the century, ha!) I say "get over it". Perhaps someone here could articulate the discontent towards OCs...

 

I have nothing against anyone who comes down here, is humble, learns their job, and does the best they can. You are reading way more into my post than is there. My post is based on experience and observing patterns over the years. I will explain below.

 

Many of the younger conductors who have aspirations of moving up were unable to take the exam back in 2009 since they didn't have the necessary education/work experience at the time of the exam. Many just missed the cut.

 

My issue is largely with exam timing. They don't give the exams as often as they used to, and they run these lists so deep due to the large number of applicants. Take train operator, for example. 25000 people filed for the exam. Of that, only about 14000 were able to achieve a bare minimum passing score of 70 in a test that only involved the ability to read and write in English, and to perform basic addition and subtraction. Of those, historically only 3000 could bet they would get called. This time around, they will probably be at 3000 before the year end with no announcement of a new exam coming, when the last exam was more than 5 years ago. Likewise, no conductor exam has been announced. There are plenty of people outside Transit who might like the chance to take an open competitive exam to become a conductor.

 

Historically, as the list numbers hired go up (lower test scores), actual job performance often goes down. To the point that Transit actually will kill off the list if the quality of applicants for the position get so low. We are not at that point yet for Train Operators, but it is approaching.

 

Keep in mind, this also means recognizing that there is a turnaround time of approximately 18 months from start to finish for a new exam to go to active list. The test must be announced, with a filing period in advance of the exam date, then following the exam date, an appeals period plus time to grade and rank applicants, totalling about a year and a half from test announcement to eligible list finalized and awaiting certification. With the current projections for hiring and needs, this list projects to go into the 4000's as far as numbers hired. At that point you are now hiring people who achieved a score of less than 90 on an exam regarding basic reading writing and arithmetic. The quality of employee that gets hired diminishes significantly at that point.

 

Not only does giving a new exam give those conductors/other eligible titles a chance to move up, it also gives smart, motivated outsiders the chance to excel on the test with a high score and get down here that much sooner. That's what I'm getting at. Plus allowing conductors to move up also allows high scoring outsiders the chance to get jobs as conductors if an exam were announced for that title as well.

 

That said, I do think it is important that Train Operators, no matter where they come from, be properly familiarized with the duties of a Conductor. I honestly think it would be a good idea if Train Operators, before they ever moved a train, went through Conductor schoolcar and even posted lines in their subdivision, before learning to move trains. You might think this is excessive, but you'd be surprised how many Train Operators don't know (or refuse) to troubleshoot door problems. And this sort of thing does come back to haunt Transit - less than a year ago you had a class of TSS's where FOUR had to be sent back to their former titles because they couldn't properly cut out a door.

 

I have nothing against any previous titles, or anyone who doesn't have them, but the main thing is you have to be qualified to do the job you are doing, and smart enough to learn the material necessary to do it. If Transit waits more than a year to give the next T/O and C/R exams, mark my words, you will see a significant decline in the quality of new hires. Everyone's safety, from the public, to our own coworkers, depends on people knowing their jobs. I mean do you really want to be troubleshooting something on the roadbed having told someone "Do not move this train until you hear from me" which is interpreted as "well the indication came in, so problem solved, let's move"? It is to Transit's benefit, and all of ours down here as well, to hire only the best performers from every list, and to give tests frequently enough that the pool of talent is continually replenished. A lot of people with a lot of knowledge about how this place runs are leaving in all titles. Who will replace them? The best and brighest new hires Transit can get? Or just anyone who passed the test.

 

Most people, and I consider myself in this group, are very willing to help new employees by explaining pitfalls to them, showing them how to pick, answering their questions, etc. The old mantra was "each one teach one" and some of us want to bring that back vs. the ones who refuse students or pick on new people. You don't really know your job if you can't teach it to someone else. The trouble is, as RTOman said, know-it-alls who won't listen to advice or ask questions (even if they're not sure), or the slacker/entitlement attitude of not wanting to do anything. You can't help someone who refuses to help themself.

Edited by SubwayGuy
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I have nothing against anyone who comes down here, is humble, learns their job, and does the best they can. You are reading way more into my post than is there. My post is based on experience and observing patterns over the years. I will explain below.

 

Many of the younger conductors who have aspirations of moving up were unable to take the exam back in 2009 since they didn't have the necessary education/work experience at the time of the exam. Many just missed the cut.

 

My issue is largely with exam timing. They don't give the exams as often as they used to, and they run these lists so deep due to the large number of applicants. Take train operator, for example. 25000 people filed for the exam. Of that, only about 14000 were able to achieve a bare minimum passing score of 70 in a test that only involved the ability to read and write in English, and to perform basic addition and subtraction. Of those, historically only 3000 could bet they would get called. This time around, they will probably be at 3000 before the year end with no announcement of a new exam coming, when the last exam was more than 5 years ago. Likewise, no conductor exam has been announced. There are plenty of people outside Transit who might like the chance to take an open competitive exam to become a conductor.

 

Historically, as the list numbers hired go up (lower test scores), actual job performance often goes down. To the point that Transit actually will kill off the list if the quality of applicants for the position get so low. We are not at that point yet for Train Operators, but it is approaching.

 

Keep in mind, this also means recognizing that there is a turnaround time of approximately 18 months from start to finish for a new exam to go to active list. The test must be announced, with a filing period in advance of the exam date, then following the exam date, an appeals period plus time to grade and rank applicants, totalling about a year and a half from test announcement to eligible list finalized and awaiting certification. With the current projections for hiring and needs, this list projects to go into the 4000's as far as numbers hired. At that point you are now hiring people who achieved a score of less than 90 on an exam regarding basic reading writing and arithmetic. The quality of employee that gets hired diminishes significantly at that point.

 

Not only does giving a new exam give those conductors/other eligible titles a chance to move up, it also gives smart, motivated outsiders the chance to excel on the test with a high score and get down here that much sooner. That's what I'm getting at. Plus allowing conductors to move up also allows high scoring outsiders the chance to get jobs as conductors if an exam were announced for that title as well.

 

That said, I do think it is important that Train Operators, no matter where they come from, be properly familiarized with the duties of a Conductor. I honestly think it would be a good idea if Train Operators, before they ever moved a train, went through Conductor schoolcar and even posted lines in their subdivision, before learning to move trains. You might think this is excessive, but you'd be surprised how many Train Operators don't know (or refuse) to troubleshoot door problems. And this sort of thing does come back to haunt Transit - less than a year ago you had a class of TSS's where FOUR had to be sent back to their former titles because they couldn't properly cut out a door.

 

I have nothing against any previous titles, or anyone who doesn't have them, but the main thing is you have to be qualified to do the job you are doing, and smart enough to learn the material necessary to do it. If Transit waits more than a year to give the next T/O and C/R exams, mark my words, you will see a significant decline in the quality of new hires. Everyone's safety, from the public, to our own coworkers, depends on people knowing their jobs. I mean do you really want to be troubleshooting something on the roadbed having told someone "Do not move this train until you hear from me" which is interpreted as "well the indication came in, so problem solved, let's move"? It is to Transit's benefit, and all of ours down here as well, to hire only the best performers from every list, and to give tests frequently enough that the pool of talent is continually replenished. A lot of people with a lot of knowledge about how this place runs are leaving in all titles. Who will replace them? The best and brighest new hires Transit can get? Or just anyone who passed the test.

 

Most people, and I consider myself in this group, are very willing to help new employees by explaining pitfalls to them, showing them how to pick, answering their questions, etc. The old mantra was "each one teach one" and some of us want to bring that back vs. the ones who refuse students or pick on new people. You don't really know your job if you can't teach it to someone else. The trouble is, as RTOman said, know-it-alls who won't listen to advice or ask questions (even if they're not sure), or the slacker/entitlement attitude of not wanting to do anything. You can't help someone who refuses to help themself.

Well, you sure nailed it. I would have liked some conductor training. I think more road posting would have benefited everyone. The three months YX is a waste. Cut that back to one or two months. Provide additional posting time, and conductor familiarization. I ask CRs about their jobs all the time. I feel that as a T/O, I should know what they do (not to mention it is in the rules.) The level of knowledge needs to be upped all-around. From operations to administration to benefits and contractual stipulations. This goes for supervision as well.

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I'm probably gonna take the next TSS test; I hit my 2 yrs in Nov 2014. My eventual want is to end up in Schoolcar; I like to teach and I like having students (it's not just about the 2 hr bonus).

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