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Sensing weakness, ACTION drivers move in for the kill

By johnboy - 4 January 2011 60

The Canberra Times has the dispiriting news that even though the ACT Government has capitulated in its efforts to get some labour flexibility into the bus driving workforce a new claim has arisen:

The Government says it is determined to achieve a seven-day roster to go with a seven-day bus service but the Transport Workers Union, representing the 600 drivers, wants members undertaking a weekend shift to be paid a 15 per cent loading for their entire five-day working week.

Weekend shifts for ACTION drivers are currently on a voluntary basis leaving some services short if the bus operator’s management fails to interest enough drivers to fill the Saturday and Sunday rosters.

ACTION bus drivers

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60 Responses to
Sensing weakness, ACTION drivers move in for the kill
Chop71 1:33 pm 04 Jan 11

Light rail would fix the problem, move more people with less drivers.

georgesgenitals 1:29 pm 04 Jan 11

Oh, and Canberra is the most whiny, whingey greeny lefty place in the universe.

georgesgenitals 1:28 pm 04 Jan 11

“Let’s cut the political spin. The facts are:
(A) Action Driver’s $30 per hour sounds good, but it needs to be understood that this is a composite rate, which means that there are NO additional penalty rates working outside standard 9-5 type hours – i.e. no additional penalties for weekend work, no penalties for working to midnight etc and NO pay at all for most public holidays!
(B) In addition, Drivers who work on weekends do so on a voluntary basis and NOT get paid any Superannuation!
(C) When Action previously operated a full 7 day a week service, it paid it’s Drivers an additional allowance for what they called “6 and 7 day rosters”. When they eliminated, these rosters, they ceased paying the allowance. This allowance was never factored into in the “composite rate”, because weekend work was to be voluntary. What the real argument is about is Action wanting to reintroduce compulsory weekend rosters, but without reintroducing the allowance.
(D)40% of Drivers are part-timer and are only guaranteed 20 hours a week work. Many of them need to “volunteer” for weekend work. Compulsory weekend rosters would see weekend work built into the shift structure, meaning that part-timers would not be able to top up their hours.

Johnboy’s extreme right winged views and poll demonstrates an extreme lack of understanding of the issues.”

Translation: Work 40 hours per week and make more than the national average full time working income. For driving a bus.

vg 1:24 pm 04 Jan 11

These strike me as strange

Weekend work is voluntary

“NO pay at all for most public holidays!”

So people volunteer to work on weekends for no extra benefits and don’t get paid ‘at all’ on public holidays.

Obviously being incredibly stupid is part of their collective agreement, when you work public holidays for free.

Here’s what you’ll end up with if its a true composite. Lets say 22% is added to your base salary. That 22% encompasses shift work and weekends. If you refuse to abide by the flexible conditions under the 22% you no longer get the 22%. Then everyone’s happy

Deref 1:23 pm 04 Jan 11

@Thumper – and the conflict there is…?

Thumper 1:01 pm 04 Jan 11

Yes, 70% of Canberrans have extreme right winged views!

And that was made painfully obvious with the landslide victories in Canberra and Fraser at the last election by…

Oh, they were ALP members…

Deref 12:25 pm 04 Jan 11

What was the nature of the previous agreement? Did it include a flat (but ostensibly higher) single rate for both weekday and weekend work, spreading both the work and the penalties across the whole week? If so, why are they now asking for higher rates?

If not, they should be paid penalty rates for weekend work.

johnboy 12:23 pm 04 Jan 11

Yes, 70% of Canberrans have extreme right winged views!

Or maybe asking for a weekend rate for a whole week, if any weekend work is done, is simply so outrageous an ambit claim that an otherwise sympathetic public are not well pleased?

rodneyrooster 12:04 pm 04 Jan 11

Let’s cut the political spin. The facts are:
(A) Action Driver’s $30 per hour sounds good, but it needs to be understood that this is a composite rate, which means that there are NO additional penalty rates working outside standard 9-5 type hours – i.e. no additional penalties for weekend work, no penalties for working to midnight etc and NO pay at all for most public holidays!
(B) In addition, Drivers who work on weekends do so on a voluntary basis and NOT get paid any Superannuation!
(C) When Action previously operated a full 7 day a week service, it paid it’s Drivers an additional allowance for what they called “6 and 7 day rosters”. When they eliminated, these rosters, they ceased paying the allowance. This allowance was never factored into in the “composite rate”, because weekend work was to be voluntary. What the real argument is about is Action wanting to reintroduce compulsory weekend rosters, but without reintroducing the allowance.
(D)40% of Drivers are part-timer and are only guaranteed 20 hours a week work. Many of them need to “volunteer” for weekend work. Compulsory weekend rosters would see weekend work built into the shift structure, meaning that part-timers would not be able to top up their hours.

Johnboy’s extreme right winged views and poll demonstrates an extreme lack of understanding of the issues.

feeonar 10:51 am 04 Jan 11

What is that saying about having cake and eating it???

Didnt the government, the drivers and the unions all have a big debate on salary and conditions not 6 months ago that resulted in a strike? Surely this was the time to include the issue of additional money for weekend work.

I have a suggestion – contract all drivers as FULL TIME salary paid permanent employees, give them all 7 day rotating rosters and set a rate of salary that is fair and equitable in comparison to other ACT public service roles.

This 7 day roster is certainly not unusual practice in a lot of commercial industries, gives the employee drivers more confidence in their hours and regularity in salary, and the benefit of being able to work their lives around a regular set schedule.

The benefit of full time bus drivers for the system is that buses could run later / earlier. AND give a better reliability to the financial stance of Action, hopefully resulting in the ability to purchase more buses. (I know, pipe dreamer)

Have to say though, $30 per hour I think is quite a good hourly rate, and if I was a driver I wouldnt be complaining for fear they reduce my regular hourly rate to give the ‘double time’ provision of the weekend work that is done ‘every other’ weekend.

Jim Jones 10:28 am 04 Jan 11

Another day, another pushpoll.

miz 10:14 am 04 Jan 11

It is reasonable for employees to be paid more on weekends. Currently, ACTION drivers do NOT get paid a higher hourly rate (or any other pay loading) for working on weekends.

The lack of overtime on weekends is part of the reason why ACTION cannot fill the weekend shifts and have to rely on ‘volunteers’. (The other reason is that the weekend routes are unpopular, with impositions such as no time for toilet breaks.)

As many drivers choose not to work weekends for the above (reasonable) reasons, the Govt is now trying to force them into a position where they must work weekends for no extra pay. I suspect that drivers are unable to get a higher hourly rate due to a previous ‘pay deal’, and are now trying to obtain some other form of recompense if the new arrangements force them to work weekends.

Seems to me the ‘unreasonable demands’ are on both sides – Govt and union. JB, perhaps you could reword your poll options? Seems to me the Govt are being thuggish by making unreasonable demands without fair compensation.

far_northact 9:19 am 04 Jan 11

They should be paid loading, for the shifts actually worked during a weekend…just like other employees.
Unions are always making unreasonable demands – thats why most people agree they are thuggish etc
I also think it’s important to not blame the workers, for the governments overall failure to deliver efficent bus services.

no idea 9:09 am 04 Jan 11

it’s fair enough to be paid a loading for working on the week ends , but it’s a bit rude to expect to be paid extra on normal working days.

shanest 8:49 am 04 Jan 11

How’s about ‘drivers should be allowed to exercise their diminished power in the face of unreasonable demands’?

‘flexibility”thuggish collectivism”reward’ – do I smell a neoliberal? Or maybe just a member of the ALP.

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