TWU MEDIA RELEASE, 15 March 2017
Owner drivers got a boost today as the NSW Industrial Relations Commission backed and expanded a system which ensures them full cost recovery for their work.
A decision on the General Carriers Contract Determination guarantees fair rates which allow drivers to maintain their vehicles, keep their businesses going and pay themselves a wage.
The Commission’s decision followed years of negotiations between drivers, industry and regulators and involves modernisation of a system which has provided stability for over three decades.
Improvements to the system include:
- Expansion of the determination to include corridors from Sydney to Wollongong and Sydney to Newcastle
- Inclusion of refrigerated trucks
- A 2.5% increase in rates across the board
- Ability to negotiate guaranteed number of hours with employers
“This 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. Drivers stood together during negotiations on this and won important improvements,” said Richard Olsen TWU NSW Branch Secretary.
The decision today demonstrated how a sustainable industry can be achieved by the industry coming together. Employer lobby group NatRoad was the only group which did not come on board, refusing to admit that drivers had a right to fair working conditions.
“NatRoad have been playing this game a long time: denying owner drivers 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 added.