TWU claims Industrial Relations Commission win
THE TWU has welcomed the NSW Industrial Relations Commission backing last month of an expanded model of the General Carriers Contract Determination (GCCD), saying it’s a boost for owner-drivers.
The TWU says the system will ensure owner-drivers gain full cost recovery for their work.
It says a decision on the GCCD guarantees fair rates which allow drivers to maintain their vehicles, keep their businesses going and pay themselves a wage.
The TWU says improvements to the system include the expansion of the determination to include corridors from Sydney to Wollongong and Sydney to Newcastle; inclusion of refrigerated trucks; a 2.5 per cent increase in rates across the board; and the ability to negotiate a guaranteed number of hours with employers.
The Commission’s decision followed years of negotiations between drivers, industry and regulators, which the TWU says involves modernisation of a system that has provided stability for more than three decades.
TWU NSW branch secretary Richard Olsen says the decision is an important backing by the entire industry for a system of fair rates and conditions for drivers.
“It will give owner-drivers the certainty they need about their future,” he says.
“Drivers stood together during negotiations on this and won important improvements.”
The TWU says the decision demonstrated how a sustainable industry can be achieved by the industry coming together.
It added that employer lobby group NatRoad was the only group that did not come on board, refusing to admit drivers had a right to fair working conditions.
“NatRoad have been playing this game a long time: denying ownerdrivers dignity through fair conditions and trying to lower wages and allowances for employee drivers through the award review.
“Today the rest of the industry stood together and backed a fair system for owner drivers,” Olsen says.
However, NatRoad CEO Warren Clark says recent experience has shown how impractical and destructive applying rates for owner-drivers can be.
“Interfering with the market and forcing set rates can potentially jeopardise the viability of the trucking industry,” Clark says.
NatRoad says the denial of the TWU’s sought-after expansion of rates to all of NSW was an important outcome for NatRoad members.
NatRoad CEO Warren Clark