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Level . Advanced Rostering Chapter 6. Rostering 6.3 Advanced Rostering The advanced section in Chapter : Runcutting did not develop any significantly LEVEL different runcuts. Previous sections of this chapter have addressed the principal 3 issues and approaches in rostering. Agencies that use cafeteria rostering have no control over the final rosters, other than ensuring that they are in accord with all applicable rules and regulations. The operators put together their own rosters by selecting runs and days off from the master lists. Agencies that develop their own rosters may find several opportunities to minimize costs: If make-up time and/or overtime are calculated on a weekly ( hours per week) rather tripper than a daily (eight hours per day) basis, the scheduler can combine short and long runs A short piece of work whose total in a given roster to avoid make-up time and overtime. As seen in the intermediate sec- time is less than that specified as tion, this strategy can reduce weekly pay hours and improve the pay-to-platform ratio. constituting a full-time run. A tripper If make-up time and overtime are calculated on a daily basis, then mixing and matching is often a piece of work in the AM will not achieve any savings. The tools available to a scheduler in these circumstances or PM peak period that cannot be include whether and how much to utilize / rosters and how to roster tripper runs. combined with another piece of / runs may generate savings by reducing the number of daily runs and the associ- work to form a split run because of ated travel, sign-in, and clear times. As noted in the advanced runcutting section, / insufficient hours, excessive swing rosters will not reduce the number of operators needed, since the total number of op- time, or excessive spread time. erators required is a function of how much work is undertaken in a week, not in a given Trippers are often operated by runcut. If there are many long runs around hours in length and if your agency allows extraboard or part-time operators. four-day workweeks with -hour days, the scheduler should experiment with different Tripper can also refer to a vehicle that pulls out, makes no more than levels of / rosters to assess the impacts. one round-trip, and pulls in. Some agencies even develop rosters with five -hour daily runs as a method of reduc- ing the number of required operators. However, as expected, this rostering practice results in a high level of weekly overtime. See the discussion of overtime optimization in the advanced section of Chapter :Runcutting for a more in-depth discussion of po- tential benefits and pitfalls of high levels of overtime. Tripper runs may be packaged into part-time rosters if an agency uses part-time opera- tors. Alternately, agencies may choose not to assign these runs in a roster, but instead to leave them open to be operated by the extraboard. The runcut develops tripper runs, but these are not assigned an "operator type" until the rostering stage. The scheduler should be aware of the rostering and bidding impacts of the runs, and the rules that apply to part-time operators in selecting the runs that have been created. 6-33

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Chapter 6. Rostering Level . Advanced Rostering In some cases, the labor agreement may specify that a single roster can consist only of runs on the same route, or the same run type, or the same equipment type. Meeting these require- ments often results in separately identified rosters for picking, e.g., regular and relief. Rules like these can also affect cafeteria rosters. For example, a modified cafeteria roster may re- quire an operator to pick the same run on each weekday that it is available. The "quality" of agency-developed rosters is an important consideration. Rosters dictate the operator's work life. When mixing and matching runs, care should be taken to combine AM runs only or PM runs only in a single roster. Operators also prefer an earlier end time on the day preceding a day off, although this cannot be managed for all rosters. Attention to opera- tor preferences when developing rosters can improve morale, often with no impact on costs or efficiency. Advanced Topics in Rostering Revisiting Run Types Thus far we have kept run types as per the runcut--full time into a full-time roster, part time kept separate (or even packaged into part-time Lines of Work), and even kept / and / ros- ters separate. However the rostering process has the capacity to revisit even basic assumptions about what a part-time run or full-time run is. Often a full-time or part-time run is determined not by daily hours but by weekly hours (this is not always the case, e.g., when the daily runs that can be assigned to an operator type are specified). Therefore it is not the -hour day but the -hour week that designates a full-time run. A part-time run, in some circumstances, may therefore be made up of three -hour runs, or four . -hour runs. These runs would normally be assumed as full time and at the runcut stage would have been created and designated as such. What would the benefits of such an approach be? One would be better and more reliable work hours/days for part-time employees. Consider a part-time employee that covered two week- end -hour runs and one additional weekday run. That would leave four days free to study, seek other employment, or for whatever lifestyle choice is preferred (often the reason for seek- ing a part-time job in the first place). In this example one weekday run, one Saturday run, and one Sunday run have been covered by two employees, and with no overtime or guarantee costs (assuming weekly overtime and packaged Lines of Work). In addition, the potentially lower pay rates and benefits for part-time staff mean that in many cases maximum utilization of part-timers is efficient--the issue often 6-34

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Level . Advanced Rostering Chapter 6. Rostering is that the types of work weeks offered to part-time staff are not attractive, often being small peak pieces of work, or two small peak pieces of work separated by a long break. The aim of this section is not to attempt a prescriptive solution, as the "optimal" outcome will depend on a range of specific labor rules and conditions. Some of these will include: Daily and weekly hour limitations Pay rates and benefits for full-time and part-time staff Peak-to-base ratio, which may mandate a significant number of shorter peak runs Employee preferences The amount of weekend service operated Preferences for / or / work weeks of full-time staff Capacity to attract and retain part-time staff The intent here is to note the possibility to think beyond traditional scheduling approaches when rostering, and to reconsider how part-time and full-time staff are applied, and how run types can be redefined. Rotary Rostering The concept of a Rotating Roster was mentioned previously. In this type of roster, the opera- tors "rotate" or move from one Line of Work to the next. The concept is relatively simple in that an operator moves from one workweek to the next, throughout the sign-up period. This is depicted in the example below, based upon our Line roster from the previous section. 6-35

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Chapter 6. Rostering Level . Advanced Rostering Operator Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9 Week 10 1 1001 1002 1003 1004 1005 1006 1007 1008 1009 1010 2 1002 1003 1004 1005 1006 1007 1008 1009 1010 1001 3 1003 1004 1005 1006 1007 1008 1009 1010 1001 1002 4 1004 1005 1006 1007 1008 1009 1010 1001 1002 1003 5 1005 1006 1007 1008 1009 1010 1001 1002 1003 1004 6 1006 1007 1008 1009 1010 1001 1002 1003 1004 1005 7 1007 1008 1009 1010 1001 1002 1003 1004 1005 1006 8 1008 1009 1010 1001 1002 1003 1004 1005 1006 1007 9 1009 1010 1001 1002 1003 1004 1005 1006 1007 1008 10 1010 1001 1002 1003 1004 1005 1006 1007 1008 1009 ROTATION - OPERATOR 5 Week Roster Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat 704 01 02 02 604 1 1005 Off Off 8:30 8:04 8:00 8:00 8:30 03 03 07 05 07 2 1006 Off Off 8:00 8:00 10:17 8:00 10:17 04 04 04 04 04 3 1007 Off Off 8:00 8:00 8:00 8:00 8:00 701 06 06 06 601 4 1008 Off Off 8:00 8:00 8:00 8:00 8:00 702 02 06 06 602 5 1009 Off Off 8:00 8:00 8:00 8:00 8:00 703 02 02 05 605 6 1010 Off Off 8:00 8:00 8:00 8:00 9:51 07 07 03 03 03 7 1001 Off Off 10:17 10:17 8:00 8:00 8:00 08 08 08 08 08 8 1002 Off Off 9:24 9:24 9:24 9:24 9:24 05 01 01 01 603 9 1003 Off Off 8:00 8:04 8:04 8:04 8:00 705 05 01 05 07 10 1004 Off Off 9:51 8:00 8:04 8:00 10:17 6-36

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Level . Advanced Rostering Chapter 6. Rostering Some complexity can appear when moving from one workweek to the next. In the example above the operator moves from Roster Line to . However, that results in only one day off between Thursday in week one and Friday in week two--this may not meet labor agree- ment requirements. The consequence is that the roster needs to be built with regard to meeting requirements for the entire rotating period--so that changes as operators move through the different packages from week to week fall within labor agreement requirements. This can significantly complicate the rostering process. The outcome of this approach, used predominantly outside North America, is that the work- weeks are shared equally by the operators over the roster period. In order to mitigate signifi- cant lifestyle changes from week to week (e.g., moving from split runs one week to AM runs the next week to PM runs the following week) it may be that several distinct rosters are created (e.g., a "Split runs" roster, an "AM Runs" roster, a "PM Runs" roster, etc.), and operators rotate within those distinct rosters. Rostering for Longer Periods While the base rostering concept typically covers a repeating workweek there are situations where rosters are built for longer periods. Typically this will be either four or weeks, but may vary. For longer periods the process and issue are very much the same as for the weekly roster. However, the Rotating Roster concept above noted the issue of meeting labor agreement re- quirements over more than one week. This can apply to a range of labor agreement rules. The kinds of considerations that need to be monitored include: Days off requirements over week and multiple weeks Rest times, particularly when moving from one week to the next Total work hours over one week and the entire period (which may also be limited by driving time regulations) Rostering for longer periods adds additional levels of complexity to the rostering process. Below is an example of what part of the roster may look like in our Line example. Note the similar workweeks to the weekly roster, but days off patterns are adjusted to ensure legality. 6-37

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Chapter 6. Rostering Level . Advanced Rostering 4-Week Roster Roster Week Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat 704 101 102 102 604 1 Off Off 8:30 8:04 8:00 8:00 8:30 105 101 101 101 603 2 Off Off 8:00 8:04 8:04 8:04 8:00 1001 103 103 107 105 107 3 Off Off 8:00 8:00 10:17 8:00 10:17 104 104 104 104 104 4 Off Off 8:00 8:00 8:00 8:00 8:00 701 106 106 106 601 1 Off Off 8:00 8:00 8:00 8:00 8:00 702 102 106 106 602 2 Off Off 1002 8:00 8:00 8:00 8:00 8:00 703 102 102 105 605 3 Off Off 8:00 8:00 8:00 8:00 9:51 107 107 103 103 103 4 Off Off 10:17 10:17 8:00 8:00 8:00 A More Automated Spreadsheet We have discussed in previous chapters the need to utilize automated spreadsheet functional- ity to enhance spreadsheet-based scheduling. This applies strongly to rostering under either the cafeteria- or scheduler-developed approaches. We will reiterate a few key points: Limit the amount of typed data to those things that must be typed. Anything that can be a formula, should be a formula--without exception . This will reduce errors, minimize data input time, and significantly enhance the process. Typed values in a spreadsheet are one of the greatest sources of errors in the spreadsheet-based scheduling process and are often unnecessary, i.e., they could have been calculated values. Use error trapping techniques. Simple checks can be developed to automatically iden- 6-38

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Level . Advanced Rostering Chapter 6. Rostering tify errors or alert the scheduler to issues. Use formatting to enhance the output and "viewability." Spreadsheets can be format- ted to produce elegant reports for distribution, or to assist the scheduler in viewing solutions. Use conditional formatting to further enhance the presentation, for error identification, or to highlight certain outcomes. Let's look again at the basic -operator roster developed in the previous section. But this time we will only allow typed input into two areas--the daily runs and the basic roster information (which runs form a roster). These areas are shaded in dark gray below. ROSTER INPUT TABLE ROSTER INPUT TABLE Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat 704 101 102 102 604 103 103 107 105 107 104 104 104 104 104 701 106 106 106 601 702 102 106 106 602 703 102 102 105 605 107 107 103 103 103 108 108 108 108 108 105 101 101 101 603 705 105 101 105 107 Sum 3,515 836 836 836 836 836 3,015 Check x x x x x x x RUNS TO BE ROSTERED Weekday Runs Saturday Runs Sunday Runs 101 8:04 601 8:00 701 8:00 102 8:00 602 8:00 702 8:00 103 8:00 603 8:00 703 8:00 104 8:00 604 8:30 704 8:30 105 8:00 605 9:51 705 9:51 106 8:00 3,015 42:21 3,515 42:21 107 10:17 108 9:24 836 67:45 6-39

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Chapter 6. Rostering Level . Advanced Rostering These basic inputs are then used to generate the roster output, which looks very much like that presented in the previous section but without the totals (for simplicity sake, since the totals are easily calculated by basic formulas anyway). ROSTER OUTPUT ROSTER OUTPUT Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Total Hours 704 101 Off Off 102 102 604 8:30 8:04 8:00 8:00 8:30 41:04 Off 103 103 107 105 107 Off 8:00 8:00 10:17 8:00 10:17 44:34 Off 104 104 104 104 104 Off 8:00 8:00 8:00 8:00 8:00 40:00 701 106 106 106 Off Off 601 8:00 8:00 8:00 8:00 8:00 40:00 702 Off Off 102 106 106 602 8:00 8:00 8:00 8:00 8:00 40:00 703 102 102 Off Off 105 605 8:00 8:00 8:00 8:00 9:51 41:51 Off 107 107 103 103 103 Off 10:17 10:17 8:00 8:00 8:00 44:34 Off 108 108 108 108 108 108 9:24 9:24 9:24 9:24 9:24 47:00 Off Off 105 101 101 101 603 8:00 8:04 8:04 8:04 8:00 40:12 705 105 101 105 107 Off Off 9:51 8:00 8:04 8:00 10:17 44:12 Sum 42:21 67:45 67:45 67:45 67:45 67:45 42:21 423:27 Check x x x x x x x Every cell in the above table is calculated through the use of lookup functions. The only typed value then becomes the daily inputs above, which can be manipulated and adjusted, and the results are seen immediately. 6-40

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Level . Advanced Rostering Chapter 6. Rostering Formulas are shown below. Only a subset of the output table is shown for readability purposes. Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu =IF(B7=0,"Off",B7) =IF(C7=0,"Off",C7) =IF(D7=0,"Off",D7) =IF(E7=0,"Off",E7) =IF(F7=0,"Off",F7) =VLOOKUP(B7,$S$7:$T$15,2) =VLOOKUP(C7,$M$7:$N$15,2) =VLOOKUP(D7,$M$7:$N$15,2) =VLOOKUP(E7,$M$7:$N$15,2) =VLOOKUP(F7,$M$7:$N$15,2) =IF(B8=0,"Off",B8) =IF(C8=0,"Off",C8) =IF(D8=0,"Off",D8) =IF(E8=0,"Off",E8) =IF(F8=0,"Off",F8) =VLOOKUP(B8,$S$7:$T$15,2) =VLOOKUP(C8,$M$7:$N$15,2) =VLOOKUP(D8,$M$7:$N$15,2) =VLOOKUP(E8,$M$7:$N$15,2) =VLOOKUP(F8,$M$7:$N$15,2) =IF(B9=0,"Off",B9) =IF(C9=0,"Off",C9) =IF(D9=0,"Off",D9) =IF(E9=0,"Off",E9) =IF(F9=0,"Off",F9) =VLOOKUP(B9,$S$7:$T$15,2) =VLOOKUP(C9,$M$7:$N$15,2) =VLOOKUP(D9,$M$7:$N$15,2) =VLOOKUP(E9,$M$7:$N$15,2) =VLOOKUP(F9,$M$7:$N$15,2) =IF(B10=0,"Off",B10) =IF(C10=0,"Off",C10) =IF(D10=0,"Off",D10) =IF(E10=0,"Off",E10) =IF(F10=0,"Off",F10) =VLOOKUP(B10,$S$7:$T$15,2) =VLOOKUP(C10,$M$7:$N$15,2) =VLOOKUP(D10,$M$7:$N$15,2) =VLOOKUP(E10,$M$7:$N$15,2) =VLOOKUP(F10,$M$7:$N$15,2) =IF(B11=0,"Off",B11) =IF(C11=0,"Off",C11) =IF(D11=0,"Off",D11) =IF(E11=0,"Off",E11) =IF(F11=0,"Off",F11) =VLOOKUP(B11,$S$7:$T$15,2) =VLOOKUP(C11,$M$7:$N$15,2) =VLOOKUP(D11,$M$7:$N$15,2) =VLOOKUP(E11,$M$7:$N$15,2) =VLOOKUP(F11,$M$7:$N$15,2) =IF(B12=0,"Off",B12) =IF(C12=0,"Off",C12) =IF(D12=0,"Off",D12) =IF(E12=0,"Off",E12) =IF(F12=0,"Off",F12) =VLOOKUP(B12,$S$7:$T$15,2) =VLOOKUP(C12,$M$7:$N$15,2) =VLOOKUP(D12,$M$7:$N$15,2) =VLOOKUP(E12,$M$7:$N$15,2) =VLOOKUP(F12,$M$7:$N$15,2) =IF(B13=0,"Off",B13) =IF(C13=0,"Off",C13) =IF(D13=0,"Off",D13) =IF(E13=0,"Off",E13) =IF(F13=0,"Off",F13) =VLOOKUP(B13,$S$7:$T$15,2) =VLOOKUP(C13,$M$7:$N$15,2) =VLOOKUP(D13,$M$7:$N$15,2) =VLOOKUP(E13,$M$7:$N$15,2) =VLOOKUP(F13,$M$7:$N$15,2) =IF(B14=0,"Off",B14) =IF(C14=0,"Off",C14) =IF(D14=0,"Off",D14) =IF(E14=0,"Off",E14) =IF(F14=0,"Off",F14) =VLOOKUP(B14,$S$7:$T$15,2) =VLOOKUP(C14,$M$7:$N$15,2) =VLOOKUP(D14,$M$7:$N$15,2) =VLOOKUP(E14,$M$7:$N$15,2) =VLOOKUP(F14,$M$7:$N$15,2) =IF(B15=0,"Off",B15) =IF(C15=0,"Off",C15) =IF(D15=0,"Off",D15) =IF(E15=0,"Off",E15) =IF(F15=0,"Off",F15) =VLOOKUP(B15,$S$7:$T$15,2) =VLOOKUP(C15,$M$7:$N$15,2) =VLOOKUP(D15,$M$7:$N$15,2) =VLOOKUP(E15,$M$7:$N$15,2) =VLOOKUP(F15,$M$7:$N$15,2) =IF(B16=0,"Off",B16) =IF(C16=0,"Off",C16) =IF(D16=0,"Off",D16) =IF(E16=0,"Off",E16) =IF(F16=0,"Off",F16) =VLOOKUP(B16,$S$7:$T$15,2) =VLOOKUP(C16,$M$7:$N$15,2) =VLOOKUP(D16,$M$7:$N$15,2) =VLOOKUP(E16,$M$7:$N$15,2) =VLOOKUP(F16,$M$7:$N$15,2) =B27+B29+B31+B33+B35+B37+B3=C27+C29+C31+C33+C35+C37+C3=D27+D29+D31+D33+D35+D37+D=E27+E29+E31+E33+E35+E37+E39=F27+F29+F31+F33+F35+F37+F39 =IF(B47=$T$13,"x","ERR") =IF(C47=$N$16,"x","ERR") =IF(D47=$N$16,"x","ERR") =IF(E47=$N$16,"x","ERR") =IF(F47=$N$16,"x","ERR") A further enhancement to the sheet is the checking and visualization of data through the use of conditional formatting. In the example below the weekly totals are shown according to a preferred range--less than the preferred range in italic, more than the preferred range in bold. Again this is automated, where the cell formatting references the cells with the preferred range. 6-41

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Chapter 6. Rostering Level . Advanced Rostering ROSTER OUTPUT Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Total Hours 704 101 Off Off 102 102 604 8:30 7:04 8:00 8:00 8:30 40:04 Off 103 103 107 105 107 Off 8:00 8:00 10:17 8:00 10:17 44:34 Off 104 104 104 104 104 Off 8:00 8:00 8:00 8:00 8:00 40:00 701 106 106 106 Off Off 601 8:00 8:00 8:00 8:00 8:00 40:00 702 Off Off 102 106 106 602 8:00 8:00 8:00 8:00 8:00 40:00 703 102 102 Off Off 105 605 8:00 8:00 8:00 8:00 9:51 41:51 Off 107 107 103 103 103 Off 10:17 10:17 8:00 8:00 8:00 44:34 Off 108 108 108 108 108 108 9:24 9:24 9:24 9:24 9:24 47:00 Off Off 105 101 101 101 603 8:00 8:04 8:04 8:04 8:00 40:12 705 105 101 105 107 Off Off 9:51 8:00 8:04 8:00 10:17 44:12 Sum 42:21 66:45 67:45 67:45 67:45 67:45 42:21 422:27 Check x ERR x x x x x Preferred Range Max : Min : Finally the above table shows an error check, based on a simple formula (that checks to be sure the total hours assigned for a day match the total daily run hours). The formula result is high- lighted with a conditional format. In the example above, an incorrect time was entered manu- ally for Run on Monday, leading to an error message in the row marked "Check." This example provides an indication of some basic spreadsheet functionality that can be ap- plied to automate manual processes and reduce the risk of error. Current spreadsheets have 6-42

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Level . Advanced Rostering Chapter 6. Rostering significant features, including the ability to write specific code, that enable a range of effective approaches to assist the scheduling process. Computerized/Automated Rostering Rostering is another part of the scheduling process to benefit from computerized programs, in many of the typical ways. Rostering constantly involves making trade-offs between efficiency, quality, and operator preferences. Often these preferences counteract each other and so a bal- ance must be found. In particular, the ability to run numerous iterations with almost instant results (due to the rela- tively simple math involved) allows the scheduler good control over solutions. The basic scheduling tenets discussed previously still hold true--you should know what the answer will be before the computer provides it, you must question the outputs, and you should be prepared to run numerous iterations until a final solution is achieved. Day off patterns may or may not be developed automatically by the computer program. If so, great--but check and test it. If not, work through it yourself. The computer can then "fill in the empty boxes" of the blank pattern, subject to the hard and soft rules defined. Then the solution can be reviewed. And so it goes--refine the rules, run again, review again. . Hard rules. The types of hard rules will include factors such as: Minimum/maximum work hours in a period Rest break requirements Total days worked in a week or period Day off requirements (must they be consecutive, even for four-day weeks?) Other restrictions around run types, similar start/finish times, or routes operated . Constraints. As with runcutting there will be a series of constraints, or "soft" rules. These will tend to address the kinds of tradeoffs discussed throughout this section-- weekends off versus split days off, start/finish time harmonization versus preferred work times. . Cost Elements. And of course there will be required costing inputs, including: Labor pay rates Overtime and guarantee requirements Benefits 6-43

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Chapter 6. Rostering Level . Advanced Rostering Finding ways to encour- "extra" instead of on a run, or are detailed there when there are no more runs to pick. Typi- Tip cally new operators just out of training are placed on the extraboard. The board itself is used to age more senior opera- cover work that would otherwise be open due to absence of the regularly assigned operator or tors to sign up for the extraboard because the work was not picked. Covering for absences is the primary job of the extraboard. is often in the best interest of the property, since these drivers may Often extraboard operators are the newest operators with the least seniority. Operators who have a different assignment every begin work at the property between sign-ups usually start on the extraboard because they do day and work best when they have a not yet have a permanent assignment. Many properties allow operators to select the extra- working knowledge of the system. board with a fixed report time and days off along with other runs during sign-ups. This tends to attract more senior operators who might prefer better days off or a find a more desirable start time on the board. Many agencies rotate their extraboards. To understand this procedure, think of the extra- open run board as a collection of slots, each representing an operator. The slots move up the board A run which was not bid at the pre- to an earlier start time every day. The top slot "falls off " and lands at the bottom. In this way vious sign-up or has been vacated operators working the board have the opportunity to work assignments at all times of the day, during a sign-up due to retirements, starting with the latest at the bottom and working up to the earliest at the top. These slots are terminations, long term illnesses matched up with open work which is sorted by Transportation dispatchers at each garage from and such. the earliest to latest in starting time order. An agency may rotate the extraboard by one or more slots each day. The process of rotating piece balancing the board helps "spread the wealth around" in giving each operator the opportunity to work The process in which the scheduler the better (and often higher-paying) runs along with the less-desirable work. An added benefit strives to balance the number of is that each operator falling to the bottom gets essentially most of a day off. Consider the op- AM and PM pieces to increase the erator at the top of the board today who draws an open run starting at : AM and finishing possibility of creating split runs that around : PM. Tomorrow, he/she will be in the bottom slot and may have a : PM report are in accord with formal and infor- time. mal rules and to leave a balanced number of AM and PM trippers for The work assigned to the board is varied. There are open runs, where the assigned operator the extraboard to cover might be on the sick list or may have retired. There are show ups, which are assignments to report at a certain time and stand by in case someone "misses out" or phones in sick at the last minute. There are vacation hold-downs, which cover for operators who have picked the week to use one or more of their vacation weeks. There are trippers--and this is where the schedul- ers come into the picture in a big way. Schedulers have control over the number and types of trippers that will be operated by the extraboard. The number of trippers for the AM and PM peaks must be either balanced (piece balancing) or arranged so they complement the other work that the extraboard has to cover. It is always wise for the schedulers to be in touch with each operating garage and understand their staffing situations and what is feasible in the way 6-46

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Level . Advanced Rostering Chapter 6. Rostering show-up of trippers that get left for them to fill. While not a common practice, at some agencies the An assignment for an extraboard labor agreement or garage staff give schedulers a target for the percentage of work left open. operator to be at a specific location With regard to filling trippers, some agencies allow operators on regular runs to "bid" trip- to fill in for a miss out or to do other pers during the sign-up. An operator having an AM run finishing by, say, : PM may choose work. A certain amount of stand-by time is paid in the event that the to regularly work a PM tripper with the hours of : PM to : PM. The tripper is worked at operator does not receive a run. overtime, but the advantage to the agency of a regular operator steadily holding the work down is significant. Not all trippers are biddable. In this case the tripper was small enough in hours so it does not put the operator at risk of (a) driving for more hours than a state or federal stand-by time regulation would allow or (b) having too few hours off between assignments. The time that an operator spends at the garage at the agency's direction Other work includes those show-ups, both AM and PM (although enough extraboard operators awaiting assignment of a run or a may be available who can cover both), special service (baseball extras and the like), charters piece of work. Usually associated (usually limited these days in the public transit sector so as not to compete with private trans- with a show-up by an extraboard portation companies), doctor appointments, union business, and retraining. The list of reasons operator to provide a pool of opera- for absence is longer than this, to be sure, but it falls into two categories: known absences and tors that will be available to fill runs unexpected absences. vacated by unscheduled absences. To eliminate as many surprises as possible, agencies require an operator who is sick to call in as soon as possible and get on the sick list. If it is before the time the next day's extraboard is posted (usually around noon), his or her run is placed on the list of open runs to be filled. If the call comes after the next day's extraboard is posted, the run is given to one of the show-up people. Vacation weeks off must be picked, usually at the sign-up closest to the first of the year. Some systems set out special slots to be bid for vacation hold-downs and keep these separate from the extraboard, while others include vacations with other absences on the extraboard. At a number of systems, one week of vacation can be taken in individual days. These usually require at least a day of prior notification to the dispatcher and may only be granted up to a certain number of operators on a given day. With all of these efforts to "manage" absences, there are still unexpected no-shows, and for these the show-ups are slotted at times where they have been found through experience to be most helpful. If a show-up does not catch an assignment to fill in on a missing operator's run, then he/she is usually kept on stand-by for a predetermined amount of time. If still not as- signed, the show-up is given a later report time or a piece of a run during the latter part of the work day. Dispatchers often get very creative in the use of their show-up operators. It is not unusual for an extraboard operator's day to begin with a : AM show-up, then an assignment to work 6-47

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Chapter 6. Rostering Level . Advanced Rostering an AM tripper from : to : AM, followed by a return to the drivers room on stand-by until released at : AM. That operator will likely be told to return on show-up at : PM and may catch a second half of a run where its operator has asked for early time off for personal busi- ness, or may work a PM tripper, finishing the day around : PM. On some systems, there is a contractual maximum spread for the extraboard, just as there often is for regular runs. If our example property has a -hour spread maximum, then our operator would have to be given an assignment that would finish by : PM. Extraboard Sizing The two main issues with managing an extraboard are ( ) proper sizing and ( ) assigning the board each day correctly, efficiently, and without any appearance of favoritism. On systems with several garages, there is the added concern for consistency in how assigning is done relief run across the system. A run that is available as a result With regard to the first concern, how do we know just what the proper sizing is? Many systems of other operators' day off selec- simply go by a percentage that has worked in the past. In the scheduling survey, some agencies tions. Some rosters are made up of reported that their ideal extraboard size is %. That is, the number of operators on the extra- several different relief runs. board is % of the number of operators needed to cover all scheduled runs and relief runs at that particular garage. For example, if the total number of runs to be picked at that garage is , then the extraboard would have slots for picking. Is that the correct number? Without an evaluation of agency needs or how they may have changed over time, it is not possible to say. A healthy balance in terms of work distribution on the extraboard is the goal. In operational terms, a healthy balance would mean minimizing both make-up time and overtime. This indicates that the dispatchers are careful not to assign a piece at overtime that could be worked by a show-up operator. How would an extraboard evaluation be conducted? Each operator on the extraboard is guar- anteed hours for their work week. Garage dispatchers are responsible for making certain that those hours are productive and do not have an unusually high amount of make-up time. If make-up time is a regular occurrence, it is a sign there is not enough work for all of the members of the board and that the number of slots should be reduced at the next sign-up. However, if dispatchers are giving make-up time to some while giving significant overtime to other operators on the board, it may be a sign that the board is not being assigned properly-- some work assignments are being given to persons who already have enough hours. If there is no make-up time and overtime for the average extraboard operator is becoming excessive, then the extraboard probably needs to be expanded by one or more operators at the next sign- up. 6-48

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Level . Advanced Rostering Chapter 6. Rostering An obvious benefit of including part-time operators on the extraboard is that make-up time is not necessary, providing garage dispatchers with somewhat greater flexibility and possibly re- ducing agency cost. However, not all agencies that use part-time operators allow them to be included on the extraboard. There are great differences in contract provisions related to both the extraboard and the use of part-timers, making it difficult to provide useful information that would apply broadly. One factor that needs to be considered in an extraboard evaluation is that extraboard opera- tors are additional "bodies" that receive the benefits entitled to their position--benefits that come as a cost. The cost for having extra "bodies" must be weighed against the cost to the agency and the "psychic cost" of excessive overtime and stress on your regular assigned opera- tor staff. Of course, there are legitimate reasons for extraboard operators to gain overtime. A principal reason is working regular runs which have overtime embodied in them. A healthy rotating board will have a mix of regular open runs and Show-up assignments. Some agencies have rules that an operator who did not get work yesterday is always "first out" for any run that needs to be filled. This is their way of assuring that the work assigned gets balanced to the greatest extent. A typical approach to sizing the extraboard is to look at the needs of each garage and figure what the average number of extraboard operators should be. You could start with the following list, which is intended to cover weekday work: Average number of daily absences Vacation reliefs Open runs Miscellaneous Number of balanced AM and PM trippers Total Notes: This is the number which experience over the year or the particular season of the sign-up tells us is needed for a typi- cal weekday. This is based on the number of vacation slots that were made available during the week in question or an average for all of the weeks of the sign-up if the number varies by week. Some systems provide a steady number of vacation slots during every week in the year, while others vary the amount, generally making many more weeks available during the summer months, when most operators want to take vacation, than in the winter. Those systems typically cut both peak line service and school trippers during the summer and can afford to let more operators off. 6-49

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Chapter 6. Rostering Level . Advanced Rostering Open runs are the known runs which were not bid at the previous sign-up plus the average number of runs that usu- ally get vacated during a sign-up due to retirements, terminations, long-term illnesses and such. Typically, opera- tors may bid on this open work based on their seniority. Other operators may then bid on their work until the least popular work remains uncovered and must be filled daily until the next sign-up. Miscellaneous is a catch-all for missing operators. It could be the average number of operators who are off on union business or must be covered due to random drug testing or retraining. It can also cover the number of individual days that are made available for personal days, birthdays, or single days of vacation. Also, where the use of FMLA (the Family and Medical Leave Act of ) is significant, the average number of operators on this leave can be placed here. Wherever these numbers are known, they can be slotted in here. A number of agencies fill many or most of their trippers at overtime, and this would not apply. However, in balanc- ing system costs between overtime and the number of operators to hire (see discussion following), a certain number of trippers may be desirable to fill from the extraboard instead of being bid, and that number is slotted here. Letting the operator ranks While our solution works out to the operators we calculated earlier, the list could just as well Tip have produced an altogether different number. The key is to evaluate the use of the extraboard fall below the number regularly, so a realistic number is always used in sizing the board. needed can be tremendously expensive for an agency and should Full Staffing be cause for major management concern. The methodology for calculating extraboard needs is based on an assumption that there are enough trained and available drivers to cover every scheduled assignment and extraboard slot. If not, then dispatchers are constantly in crisis management, mostly resorting to calling in people on their day(s) off to work for missing colleagues. Under this scenario any prior planning of the extraboard is largely thrown out the window, and dispatchers must become diplomatic ambassadors attempting to "sell" the merits of particular assignments to get operators in. Of course, there is always a group of operators who enjoy the overtime and would normally rather work than be off. Almost consistently there is extra work available for this group, but it should not come at the expense of properly sizing and staffing the extraboard. Ongoing Analysis Steps To summarize the steps for proper extraboard management: Regularly analyze the number of operator slots assigned to the extraboard. Research and develop numbers to populate a list of absences similar to the one shown on the previous page. Figure out your operator shortages by garage, and make your recruitment plans accord- ingly. 1 The National Center for Transit Research has developed a tool to assist small and mid-sized transit agencies in managing the extra- board. See : http://www.nctr.usf.edu/pdf/77707.pdf. 6-50

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Level . Advanced Rostering Chapter 6. Rostering Regularly review the daily extraboard assignments and the weekly payroll figures. You are looking to see how well the assignments balanced make-up time and overtime. Repeat this process for all of your agency's garages, and look for any manpower imbal- ance between facilities. These can normally be addressed easily by moving the junior operators from the garage that has more operators than needed to the one that is un- derstaffed. During the few months that new operators are considered "probationary," most agencies are free to move them to any facility where they are needed, with the proviso that additional training on some different vehicle types may be required. Example of Assigning Extraboard To demonstrate how extraboard rotation and assignment work, we present a practical exam- ple. Following is a list of operators assigned to the extraboard. They are arranged in order of their seniority, and the day shown is theoretically the first weekday of a new sign-up; say, Monday, September . During the period when the sign-up is in effect, some operators will retire, some who are currently on short-term or long-term leave will return to work and be slot- ted onto the board in seniority order, and some of the positions left vacant will not be filled if there is a shortage of operators. Position Name Seniority Date Fillmore, M. / / Adams, J / / Harding, W / / Nixon, R / / Jackson, A / / Cleveland, G / / Arthur, C / / Monroe, J / / Taylor, Z / / Hayes, R. / / Garfield, J / / Hoover, H / / Coolidge, C / / Johnson, L / / Grant, U / / Ford, G / / Harrison, W / / Adams, JQ / / Jefferson, T / / Van Buren, M / / The other piece of information we need is a list of open work to which the extraboard opera- tors will be matched. On this particular day, the list is made up of the following: 6-51

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Chapter 6. Rostering Level . Advanced Rostering Work Assignments for Tuesday, September Report Time Show-up : AM Show-up : AM Show-up : AM Run : AM Vacation Hold-down : AM Show-up + Run : AM Run : AM Run : AM miss out Show-up + Tripper : AM The term applied when a scheduled Vacation Hold-down : AM operator does not report on time for Vacation Hold-down : AM his/her assignment. Run : AM Run : PM Show-up + Tripper : PM Run : PM Show-up : PM Run : PM Run : PM The first thing you notice is there are operators on the extraboard and only pieces of work to assign. That is a positive position to be in and is not the normal case, to be sure. But we can use it to illustrate principles better than the "usual" case where there is much more work to be filled than there are operators. The work falls into broad categories. Experience has indicated we need at least five Show- up positions with show-up times close to where they will be slotted. This gives us coverage throughout the AM pull-out period. We also know that not all Show-ups will be given work, so we can safely assign an open run and a tripper to two of the Show-ups. These are scheduled to pull out about an hour after the on duty time and, if additional people call in sick or miss out, there is sufficient opportunity to reassign them to another run and get someone else in to work the previously assigned run. 6-52

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Level . Advanced Rostering Chapter 6. Rostering Another category is Vacation Hold-downs. This garage apparently will allow three operators to be off for vacation each week, so these assignments are being covered by the board. Some agencies separate vacation coverage from the rest of the extraboard, but here it is just one more requirement for the board to hold down. The runs shown are ones that either did not get bid at the time of the last sign-up and have been left for the dispatcher to fill on a daily basis or have operators assigned who have called in to get on the Sick List. In the latter case, the dispatcher will have to fill the run until the opera- tor calls again and advises that he/she will be returning to work. Some categories of work are not listed. One or more operators may be assigned for the day for retraining following an accident, or may be listed for a court appearance, or may have asked off on union business. The dispatcher typically will add these in as the board assignment pro- gresses. Doing the Assignment Remember we said that the operator line-up on the board was for the first day of the new sign-up on a mythical Monday, September . The garage dispatcher on that date will prepare the board for assignment for Tuesday, September . The first duty is to rotate the board. This agency rotates one position per day. So, M. Fillmore drops from the number one position down to the bottom at . All other operators move up. The top operator is now J. Adams. The dispatcher then aligns the work in time out order (just as we displayed it above). He/she makes a last minute check of the sick list to see if there are any additions or deletions to it (typically operators have a deadline to get on or off the sick list which is about an hour before the next day's assignments are posted). Any changes would be reflected in the mix of runs to fill and the time order of the work to be assigned. Below is our finished extraboard, which includes the match-up of the open work and also some added work for individual operators as mentioned above. Position Name Assignment Report Time Adams, J Show-up : AM Harding, W Show-up : AM Nixon, R Show-up : AM Jackson, A Run : AM Cleveland, G Vacation Hold-down : AM Arthur, C Show-up + Run : AM 6-53

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Chapter 6. Rostering Level . Advanced Rostering Position Name Assignment Report Time Monroe, J Run : AM Taylor, Z Run : AM Hayes, R. Show-up + Tripper : AM Garfield, J Vacation Hold-down : AM Hoover, H Vacation Hold-down : AM Coolidge, C Run : AM Johnson, L Show-up : AM Grant, U Run : PM Ford, G Show-up + Tripper : PM Harrison, W Retraining--Report a- p Adams, JQ Run : PM Jefferson, T Show-up : PM Van Buren, M Run : PM Fillmore, M. Run : PM Note that one operator, W. Harrison, was assigned to retraining leaving only one operator with no assignment. L. Johnson was subsequently assigned an : AM Show-up, which is a nice- to-have protection slot for any afternoon work that might miss out. We would expect this to be a luxury not usually available to the dispatcher. In such cases, he/she would give an : Show-up to one of the earlier extraboard operators who might not have received any work. Why L. Johnson? Because he was the next operator in seniority that would match up with the : reporting time. Had the time been made later, an operator who was lower on the board would have caught the assignment. This is the simple look at assigning extraboards. A number of agencies have various rules gov- erning how the work is given out that are more complicated than shown here. One example rule is that any operator(s) who do not receive a day's work (a run or equivalent) today are automatically guaranteed it for tomorrow (or their next working day). In this case, operators will get out of strict seniority order for this and similar instances. The goal is to spread the work around and minimize the giveaway of unproductive make-up time to get each operator to his/ her hour weekly guarantee. 6-54

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Level . Advanced Rostering Chapter 6. Rostering Holidays Holidays can be a big issue when preparing the runcut for the pick. The labor agreement or past practice (or both) dictates how holidays are addressed. Most agency practices regarding holidays fall into one of the following three options: Operators are required to work the holiday if their run operates on the holiday Holiday work is posted and picked separately The agency determines an appropriate level of service (e.g., Saturday or Sunday) for the holiday, and all operators who have picked that day are required to work on the holiday More complex situations have evolved from these basic options. One agency had so many op- erational problems running Saturday schedules on certain holidays that it decided to operate weekday service (modified by pulling a few runs) and pay holiday premium. Another agency assigns all employees two letters from A to G (corresponding to Sunday through Saturday) at the time of initial hire and requires them to work a holiday if the day matches the employee's letter. Operators need to know the holiday consequences when they pick in order to avoid grievances later. At many agencies, these practices are so traditional they are not well documented, but schedulers should be aware lest their actions have unintended effects. The scheduler should also be aware of the range of options to aid in the assessment of whether the agency's current practice can be improved. 6-55

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Chapter 6. Rostering Level . Advanced Rostering LEVEL End of Rostering. 3 Rail Scheduling begins on the next page. 6-56