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Garbage trucks on London Circuit

By johnboy 17 October 2013 34

london circuit

Looks like a blockade of the Legislative Assembly and garbage not being picked up as it should.

Anyone know more?

As it comes to hand we’ll let you know.

(Thanks to Harold for the picture)

UPDATE: TAMS have confirmed it was indeed a garbage strike. They promise the garbage will be collected and hope the garbos will play nice in future.


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Garbage trucks on London Circuit
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damien haas 2:02 pm 20 Oct 13

I think its funny that ‘by 2010’ has been painted over on the ‘No Waste’ stickers on those trucks.

LSWCHP 1:51 pm 20 Oct 13

$100K for driving a garbage truck? Heavy machinery operator and all, this seems like an astounding amount of money, given the routine nature of the work. I haven’t looked at APS pay rates for a while, but isn’t that around the equivalent of an EL1 or a bit better in most departments?

JimCharles 10:50 am 20 Oct 13

gp said :

$100000 is a fair chunk more than your top-of-the-wage-scale teacher receives, and the difference is more than $200 a week. $200 a week is a lot of money top lose each week, but I feel they may cope…. or retrain to be teachers or nurses.

This is the issue a lot of countries have found when finally getting around to analysing cyclical maintenance contracts based on illogical reasoning of dubious origin. Not just bins, but grounds maintenance. road sweeping. recycling collections. Overtime is supposed to be for the unexpected, not a regular entitlement. Private companies cannot base their predictions around needing to pay compulsory overtime, that’s not why they’re in business.
If an authority wants to outsource arrangements, private companies are wary of taking over poorly drawn up contracts and can only offer a saving if terms and conditions are more reasonable and manageable.
Why is anybody on a 4 day a week and then requires 1 day of overtime to complete their work. Doesn’t that prove that the workforce is wrongly setup and wrongly managed? Maybe it was needed as a sweetener in days gone by, but nobody can say that this is the future.
When i dealt with these contracts (not in this country) the amount of subterfuge uncovered was beyond belief. Some powerful and unionised garbage lorry drivers were earning more than their Director by rostering themselves off during the week, then working Friday nights and 10 hours per day on Sat and Sun. The equivalent of $200,000 a year.
By the rules, they were entitled to this payment and nobody should have a problem with hard work and good pay.
The real issue was, they were preventing service improvement by blocking recruitment of more workers to ensure that all work could be completed during a standard 5 day week. Damn the public, damn the public purse. damn the service.
Strikes were only averted when the employer started to leak information and the public were outraged, and they took the side of employed local agency workers who were crying out for a fair go at a job and the wages to pay their bills and keep the kids in school. There’s got to be balance.
It’s always sad when somebody needs to take a pay cut, but for these workers isn’t there the chance to outsource themselves and contract as self-employed workers? They could end up on well over £100,000 a year if the years of experience, skills and job qualifications are required.

JC 9:52 am 20 Oct 13

Willoring said :

Our criticism should be reserved for our iincompetent ACT Governemnt who agreed to the existing contract in the first place.

What the? The government would have negotiated a contract with Cleanaway that asked them to provide the service for a given rate. The mechanics of what each employees earns etc would not have been even visible to the Government, it would have been totally between Cleanaway and it’s employee’s. I would also have a guess that the current work practices of 4 days normal pay, 1 day overtime is something that would have evolved over time rather than at the start of the contract.

The fact the employees now want the same terms and conditions when moving to Sita really have nothing what so ever to do with the government either. Again they would have negotiated a new contract, they may have provided a clause for Sita to take on some of the employee’s of Cleanaway but no government contract would be negotiating down to individual pay and terms of conditions of the employees of a private company.

JC 9:45 am 20 Oct 13

Felix the Cat said :

Are they drivers (employed by Cleanaway or Sita) or are they contactors (they own/paying off truck)? $100K is decent money if they are on wages, but not a lot if they are a contractor and have to pay for a truck and it’s running costs out of it. $200 is probably their daily fuel bill. Then there would be rego (nearly $3.5K p/a) and insurance, tyres, servicing rtc etc. That’s before any money for actual wages is drawn.

They are employee’s, so wages only. The whole crux is they want is exactly the same terms and conditions at Sita that they get at Cleanaway.

yellowredme 7:26 am 20 Oct 13

You may like to consider heavy machinery drivers need to be well trained and fairly experienced to drive as they do when collecting garbage to ensure the safety of the public and themselves. I am all for paying them well, they have to be very careful in their job and work sometimes terrible hours. See what happened to one SITA driver sent out without adequate training around four years ago (keep in mind you get what you pay for in contract work and from workers):

http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2012-04-24/inquest-canberra-workplace-death/3968286

http://m.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/lack-of-training-a-factor-in-death-20120423-1xhll.htmlttp://m.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/lack-of-training-a-factor-in-death-20120423-1xhll.html

gp 7:10 pm 19 Oct 13

$100000 is a fair chunk more than your top-of-the-wage-scale teacher receives, and the difference is more than $200 a week. $200 a week is a lot of money top lose each week, but I feel they may cope…. or retrain to be teachers or nurses.

Felix the Cat 5:18 pm 19 Oct 13

Willoring said :

I know a garbage truck driver. He confirms what Damian Hass has said, that is, the existing contract is a four day week plus overtime on the fifth day, the new contract is for a five day normal working week, no overtime. Hence, the loss of pay.
He confirms that garbage truck drivers under the current contract earn approaching $100,000 a year. He confirms that the working arrangements are such that on a Friday, he parks his truck out front of his house in the afternoon and mows the lawn.
He also states that the person in TAMS who negotiated the new contract has gone off on stress leave. He understands that the government is trying to extricate itself from this mess by eventually agreeing to the drivers’ demands with rate payers to pay an additional levy. We shall see if he is right.
I have some sympathy for these drivers losing their overtime under the new contract, but they will still be well paid for the job they do and I expect they will still manage to pay their grocery bills. Our criticism should be reserved for our iincompetent ACT Governemnt who agreed to the existing contract in the first place. Our sympathy should be with the officer who has done the right thing by taxpayers and is now the subject of intense pressure. We should watch Minister Rattenbury like a hawk, and make sure he doesn’t try and palm off on us long-suffering ratepayers the consequences of not standing up to the drivers, of not supporting the new contractor and of not enforcing the new contract.

Are they drivers (employed by Cleanaway or Sita) or are they contactors (they own/paying off truck)? $100K is decent money if they are on wages, but not a lot if they are a contractor and have to pay for a truck and it’s running costs out of it. $200 is probably their daily fuel bill. Then there would be rego (nearly $3.5K p/a) and insurance, tyres, servicing rtc etc. That’s before any money for actual wages is drawn.

Willoring 3:17 pm 19 Oct 13

I know a garbage truck driver. He confirms what Damian Hass has said, that is, the existing contract is a four day week plus overtime on the fifth day, the new contract is for a five day normal working week, no overtime. Hence, the loss of pay.
He confirms that garbage truck drivers under the current contract earn approaching $100,000 a year. He confirms that the working arrangements are such that on a Friday, he parks his truck out front of his house in the afternoon and mows the lawn.
He also states that the person in TAMS who negotiated the new contract has gone off on stress leave. He understands that the government is trying to extricate itself from this mess by eventually agreeing to the drivers’ demands with rate payers to pay an additional levy. We shall see if he is right.
I have some sympathy for these drivers losing their overtime under the new contract, but they will still be well paid for the job they do and I expect they will still manage to pay their grocery bills. Our criticism should be reserved for our iincompetent ACT Governemnt who agreed to the existing contract in the first place. Our sympathy should be with the officer who has done the right thing by taxpayers and is now the subject of intense pressure. We should watch Minister Rattenbury like a hawk, and make sure he doesn’t try and palm off on us long-suffering ratepayers the consequences of not standing up to the drivers, of not supporting the new contractor and of not enforcing the new contract.

magiccar9 11:05 pm 18 Oct 13

Felix the Cat said :

magiccar9 said :

Time to add garbos to the list of monotonous complainers. They’re starting to get as bad as the teachers and nurses.

So you’d be happy to take a $200p/w pay cut? What’s your boss’ phone number? I’ll give them a call and let them know.

Considering the figures thrown around in the last articles regarding the prior garbo strikes, they seem to be on a pretty decent wicket. $200 a week will still leave them a lot higher paid than many of us. Simple solution, take the pay cut and keep your job or quit if you aren’t happy.

dph 12:32 pm 18 Oct 13

magiccar9 said :

Time to add garbos to the list of monotonous complainers. They’re starting to get as bad as the teachers and nurses.

Except nurses really don’t get paid enough.

Felix the Cat 11:38 am 18 Oct 13

magiccar9 said :

Time to add garbos to the list of monotonous complainers. They’re starting to get as bad as the teachers and nurses.

So you’d be happy to take a $200p/w pay cut? What’s your boss’ phone number? I’ll give them a call and let them know.

HiddenDragon 11:11 am 18 Oct 13

damien haas said :

Oversimply the current arrangement has a driver on a 4 day week plus 1 day of overtime. the new contract provider wants drivers on 5 day weeks with no extra day of overtime. Thus costing the workers the overtime for that 5th day if they choose to work for the new contract provider.

Whatever the reasons (official and unofficial) for the 4 days regular pay and one day of overtime deal, it presumably reflected custom and practice, and the balance of bargaining power, at the time it was struck – and it seems, now, that the latter has shifted. Interesting, nonetheless, to compare this to the meltdowns which occur when it is suggested that other publicly-funded workers might now “only” get a CPI based increase (not a cut of a couple of hundred bucks per week) to the outcomes which they obtained in more favourable times.

By way of contrast, consolation and, dare I say it, amusement (with a healthy dash of schadenfreude), there’s this:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-18/no-payrises-for-abbott-senior-staffers/5030372

wildturkeycanoe 10:14 am 18 Oct 13

JC said :

wildturkeycanoe said :

That $200 for some of these folks could be their entire grocery bill. What can they do, go and work across the border and pick up bins in Qbyn? Put yourself in their shoes and see if a $200/week pay cut is insignificant. Perhaps some of these people may NOT have a roof over their heads in 3 months time, are you going to help them out, as a resident of our land of bounty for everyone?

So what is your solution then? Anyone who works for a contract company if the old company gets the boot then the new company must employ all the old workers on exactly the same terms and conditions as their old company? Sounds like it.

Now pray tell how will that work in the real world? Because sure as s*** you do that then everyone else who was already in the ‘new’ company will want exactly the same thing. It would be a never ending series of claims and condition matching and will not work.

From what I can see what Sita have done is more than fair, they have offered the drivers continued employment on the same terms and conditions as the rest of their existing employee’s. Don’t see how it can be done any differently or fairer.

I see your point, life isn’t fair. Sometimes it sucks and sometimes [quite rarely] it doesn’t. Wage parity is probably the issue here, as one contracting firm has less overheads while the other has hefty salaries at the top end, both doing the same job but the guys doing the work getting vastly different remuneration. With most everything else going up, it is so sad to see some things take such a great percentage of going downwards. I feel for them because I took a $300 cut in wages per week about 8 months ago and it not only hurts the budget, but changes a lot in your family’s life. Sacrifices must be made, at detriment to kids’ sports, your social life [if you have one], holidays and so much more.
Many here use the phrase “third world problems”. I take offense to that kind of attitude, when a family’s house may have to be sold, they struggle to put food on the table on a weekly basis and are on payment plans to catch up on essential utilities like electricity, rates and water. Charity starts at home and I’m not saying people in third world countries are any less important than those in wealthy nations doing it tough, but the struggles for families in Canberra are just as real.

Let’s put this another way folks, if you just had a $200/week pay cut, what would have to be sacrificed first? What hurt would you suffer? I’d be interested to hear what kinds of things common Canberrans would have to live without.

JC 8:49 am 18 Oct 13

wildturkeycanoe said :

That $200 for some of these folks could be their entire grocery bill. What can they do, go and work across the border and pick up bins in Qbyn? Put yourself in their shoes and see if a $200/week pay cut is insignificant. Perhaps some of these people may NOT have a roof over their heads in 3 months time, are you going to help them out, as a resident of our land of bounty for everyone?

So what is your solution then? Anyone who works for a contract company if the old company gets the boot then the new company must employ all the old workers on exactly the same terms and conditions as their old company? Sounds like it.

Now pray tell how will that work in the real world? Because sure as s*** you do that then everyone else who was already in the ‘new’ company will want exactly the same thing. It would be a never ending series of claims and condition matching and will not work.

From what I can see what Sita have done is more than fair, they have offered the drivers continued employment on the same terms and conditions as the rest of their existing employee’s. Don’t see how it can be done any differently or fairer.

JC 8:44 am 18 Oct 13

wildturkeycanoe said :

That $200 for some of these folks could be their entire grocery bill. What can they do, go and work across the border and pick up bins in Qbyn? Put yourself in their shoes and see if a $200/week pay cut is insignificant. Perhaps some of these people may NOT have a roof over their heads in 3 months time, are you going to help them out, as a resident of our land of bounty for everyone?

Must admit I haven’t been in their shoes, but 18 months ago my wife was. The company she worked for lost a contract, new company didn’t want any of the old staff so she lost her job and had to find another. Not nice, but reality of the contract world, don’t see why these guys should be any different.

PS look at the post from Damien above, kinda puts a different perspective on things. Must admit I knew it was an overtime issue, but didn’t realise their whole 5th day of work in a week was on overtime. Now no worker should be reliant on a constant stream of overtime, nor do I see why the new company should employ them on their old terms and conditions.

wildturkeycanoe 6:57 am 18 Oct 13

JC said :

johnboy said :

Provision for them to move at $200 a week less pay IIRC, hence the winning bid!

They still have a job at the end of the day, something that the incoming company has seen to, which is over and above what they are expected to do.

Now what I am saying may sound a tad hash and a tad uncaring, but in reality what is the answer? Different companies have different rates of pay and different working conditions. Indeed even in the public service world different departments can have significant pay differences for the same work, so not related to private sector either.

PS must have been a short strike cause the bin got emptied today. Unlike last week where they came the next day for what ever reason.

That $200 for some of these folks could be their entire grocery bill. What can they do, go and work across the border and pick up bins in Qbyn? Put yourself in their shoes and see if a $200/week pay cut is insignificant. Perhaps some of these people may NOT have a roof over their heads in 3 months time, are you going to help them out, as a resident of our land of bounty for everyone?

magiccar9 6:19 am 18 Oct 13

Time to add garbos to the list of monotonous complainers. They’re starting to get as bad as the teachers and nurses.

c_c™ 2:02 am 18 Oct 13

johnboy said :

Provision for them to move at $200 a week less pay IIRC, hence the winning bid!

I think there was some environmental politicking going on too. I noticed Cleanaway had started rolling out their new Dennis Eagle + Raptor III vehicles which are Euro IV compliant, meanwhile Sita, who won the contract, got the Mayor shouting from the roof tops that they’re bringing in 32 new garbage trucks that run on soy diesel! (Well, a 20% blend of it at least) Maybe Mayor Rattenbury should appeal to the drivers’ social conscience, sure you’ll earn less, but you’ll be saving the planet.

dph 12:03 am 18 Oct 13

Surely there are more sensible & intelligent ways of standing up for your rights?

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