Pay rise fi­nally in for Sun­bus driv­ers

The Cairns Post - - NEWS - DANIEL BATE­MAN daniel.bate­man@news.com.au

SUN­BUS driv­ers in Cairns will no longer be the worst paid in Queens­land un­der wage par­ity con­di­tions to be im­ple­mented by the State Gov­ern­ment.

Deputy Pre­mier and Trans­port Min­is­ter Jackie Trad an­nounced at the La­bor Con­fer­ence in Townsville, that a stan­dard rate for bus driv­ers across Queens­land would be in­tro­duced, start­ing in Cairns.

The new wages, which are yet to be an­nounced, will be fi­nalised through the gov­ern­ment’s Cab­i­net Bud­get Re­view Com­mit­tee.

Wage dis­par­ity has been a stick­ing point for Cairns’ Sun­bus driv­ers for years, who have been paid as much as $4500 per year less that driv­ers in Townsville and south­east Queens­land.

Reg­u­lar in­dus­trial ac­tion by the driv­ers, in­clud­ing stop­ping work and re­fus­ing to col­lect fares, has lost the com­pany up to $7000 a day.

Trans­port Work­ers Union Queens­land branch sec­re­tary Peter Bi­agini said bus driv­ers across the state were re­joic­ing at the Deputy Pre­mier’s an­nounce­ment.

“The pres­sure that driv­ers and union mem­bers have put on Tran­sLink, is why we are see­ing this re­sult to­day,” he said.

“An equal rate for driv­ers will see bus driv­ers have dig­nity at work and pride in their job.

“All driv­ers across Queens­land do the same fan­tas­tic work and an equal rate will re­flect that.

“The gov­ern­ment has lis­tened to the con­cerns of work­ing peo­ple and has stoop up for bus driv­ers in Queens­land.”

A TWU spokesman said union would forgo any planned in­dus­trial ac­tion in Cairns.

Min­is­ter Trad said the gov­ern­ment was com­mit­ted to fair­ness in the work­place for all Queens­lan­ders.

“Bus driv­ers work hard to pro­vide an in­valu­able ser­vice to the Queens­land econ­omy and com­mu­nity and de­serve to be fairly re­mu­ner­ated for their labour,” she said

“I can an­nounce that we will start de­liv­er­ing fairer rates of pay for bus driv­ers across the state by en­sur­ing that our low­ers paid bus driv­ers in Cairns and on the Sun­shine Coast get a bet­ter deal.”

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