Truck, I will elaborate as you asked:
A Metro North asst. conductor is similar in to what the LIRR calls a collector. On the LIRR, an asst. conductor is assigned to the job as is the engineer and conductor. A collector is assigned to the train. On the LIRR, the asst. conductor will be paid from the yard in the beginning, to the yard at the end. A collector varies. He may be paid to the yard or to a station. He may follow a job or follow certain trains and encounter different engineers and conductors in his/her workday. An asst. conductor will see the same engineer and conductor his entire day and work the same trains as them. You don't have a collector position on Metro North, because your asst. conductors or trainmen as some call them, are our collectors. The elimination of the asst. conductor on the LIRR is not to cut the workforce. It is to provide the same flexibility that we have with collectors, as you do with your trainmen.
Our asst. conductors have on their own, shown the LIRR that we can in many situations, not pay them to and from the yard. If they would be where they are supposed to be on every train, this idea would not come to pass. This is the same problem we had when we had two asst's on every train. We would crew check and only the conductor would be there, or maybe one other trainmen. So the company cut the crew size. The UTU attempted to stop this by arbitration. Their position was that each train service person had a specific job. For the previous century, all we ever heard from the BRC and later UTU was that the conductor was the trains boss and everyone had to do what he said. Except until the company cut the crew size. According to them a conductor couldn't order a collector to throw switches or an asst. to be a collector. The arbitrator responded that for the previous century, the union said the conductor can so what changed? They lost most but not all of that arbitration. They said if not enough asst. conductors were available, then have the collector do that job. Isn't that what the union told everyone? How can you be boss until its inconvenient, so why be different now?
I'm the same person writing every post. You may not like what I write, but its only me and no one else. I wasnt trying to be an internet tough guy. I was only saying what is happening or will happen. No suprises there. We also have a lot of Metro North influence in our operation. If you read my previous posts, you'll see that personally I believe train service jobs will change, but there will be train service. None of us write exactly the same way everytime we write. It depends on your mood at the time.
By the way, theres more changes to come. Such as rules, paperwork, etc. Soon, you'll see. We'll be Metro North spelled LIRR.