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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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Sensing weakness, ACTION drivers move in for the kill
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gingermick 5:04 pm 25 Jan 11

One word:- monorail!!

georgesgenitals 3:56 pm 06 Jan 11

‘But they put up with so much’. Try telling that to a 17yo who works the counter at a McDonalds that’s open late on weekends, or a teacher who deals with special needs kids.

… or nurses, or cops, or checkout chicks, or call-centre staff, or aged carers, or butchers, or taxi drivers, or…

Jim Jones 3:55 pm 06 Jan 11

“it’s good to know you’re in favour of green staff consistently being given the prickly end of the pineapple while the old lags claim shift work loadings without doing shift work.”

Oh yeah, I’m completely in favour of the evil bus drivers who want to rape our women and murder our children and who put poison in the wells and worship satan.

p1 3:31 pm 06 Jan 11

Bussie said – Regaring weekend work for bus drivers, it is as many have noted entirely voluntary. The govt wants us to agree to compulsory weekend work with a) nothing extra in it for us and b) without telling us how it will be implemented.

(b) seems perfectly valid to me, I’d want to know how any change was going to take place as well.

(a) though, raises again the previously stated idea that the current hourly rate is calculated on the assumption that each workers week will (on average) include a certain number of evening and weekend hours. Seems to me that a mistake was made in the creation of this “composite rate”, because gave everyone the penalty rate without tying it directly to those penalty hours being performed. I get the feeling that the drivers union see this previously undertaken wage arrangement to be distant history, and that any change in the current status quo will require more money.

A comment of my own, I find it amazing that ACTION drivers are public servants at all, and not contractors like most other service industry tasks undertaken within departments, such as guards, cleaners, food workers, etc.

johnboy 3:27 pm 06 Jan 11

JJ, I was referring to Bussie’s persecution complex.

But hey, it’s good to know you’re in favour of green staff consistently being given the prickly end of the pineapple while the old lags claim shift work loadings without doing shift work.

Erg0 3:21 pm 06 Jan 11

In principle, it’s quite similar to the old practice of sending all new teachers out to country schools, and only allowing them to work in the cushy city schools once they’d spent sufficient time in less desirable locations. I believe it was about 10 years ago that this was ruled discriminatory in WA, and new teachers are now “encouraged” (i.e. paid extra) to take up these postings.

Sounds like there are a lot of issues with the application of Action’s current conditions of employment. Paying a shift allowance to people who aren’t required to work shifts is utterly ludicrous, for a start. Time for an overhaul of the entire system, I’d say.

Jim Jones 3:14 pm 06 Jan 11

“The reason everyone’s agin’ you lot is because you’re carrying on like a load of wankers and trying to hold the public to ransom in the process.”

Everyone?

Hell, even 30% of people voted against the loaded pushpoll with a predetermined outcome. Maybe you should stop confusing your own views with ‘what everyone thinks’.

johnboy 2:55 pm 06 Jan 11

Also while I’m here, Bussie, having done shift work myself I’ve never heard of anything as pernicious as your “seniority” system.

You should be ashamed of yourselves, but obviously you’re all beyond that.

No matter how long you’ve been in everyone should be willing to do the same work.

The reason everyone’s agin’ you lot is because you’re carrying on like a load of wankers and trying to hold the public to ransom in the process.

johnboy 2:52 pm 06 Jan 11

You can frame the questions any way you want to on your own website Jim.

Jim Jones 2:48 pm 06 Jan 11

“70% of Canberrans have extreme right winged views!”

Ah yeah, stats gleaned from a push poll are always so reliable aren’t they Johnboy?

Francois Dillinger 1:38 pm 06 Jan 11

Agree somewhat with Neanderthalsis. Cant conflate the entirely two separate issues.

I’m no expert on the market rate for a bus driver and I dont claim to be. That said though, there is really no reason why a rate acceptable to each party cant be determined. I sure as hell wouldnt want to drive a bus and although $60kpa sounds generous, I know half of canberra is on more in far easier office jobs in the APS.

Cut out the digs on the individual bus drivers – the APS Union is a far bigger leach on the public purse and is actually far more unionised than many other sectors. Can’t blame bus drivers for wanting a cut of the action (3% real wage growth with no productivity gains) that most of us here get (lets face it – most Rioters would be in the APS).

vg 1:19 pm 06 Jan 11

If you get paid an allowance to work shifts then you should be rostered to do so. If you don’t like it you can do one of 2 things (a) work days and don’t get the allowance, or (b) get another job.

I’d hardly call what ACTION does ‘shift work’. Shift work is 24/7. Start complaining when you’re driving a bus on a rostered shift at 0330.

‘But they put up with so much’. Try telling that to a 17yo who works the counter at a McDonalds that’s open late on weekends, or a teacher who deals with special needs kids.

PM 12:33 pm 06 Jan 11

@43

“Being able to pick better shifts with longer service is pretty much the only career progression the vast majority of drivers have to look forward to”

This is precisely why there’s a driver shortage. New people start, can only get the crap shifts, leave for a better job. And really, it’s hardly a career; it’s a job. Maybe thinking it’s a career is why the union is so distanced from reality on this pay issue.

@35
No sour grapes. You got off the couch to get a job. Good work.

neanderthalsis 12:03 pm 06 Jan 11

Just out of interest, how does this compare with other capitals? Iirc, Brisbane City Council drivers were on around the $22 an hour plus weekend/early & late penalty rates a year or two ago, Sydney drivers were striking over a 6% increase early last year. Maybe Action drivers can go work for Deanes and find out how employment in the real world works.

Inflated public service salaries and the continual dumbing down of classifications are another matter entirely.

Bussie 11:56 am 06 Jan 11

Regaring weekend work for bus drivers, it is as many have noted entirely voluntary. The govt wants us to agree to compulsory weekend work with a) nothing extra in it for us and b) without telling us how it will be implemented. So if Stanhope could tell us exactly what system he’s suggesting for compulsory weekend work and maybe we’d get beyond the posturing stage and actually negotiate.

Very Busy 10:28 am 06 Jan 11

@38, Ian said:

“One of the problems has been that a % of drivers have decided they only want to work 9-5 5 days a week – so effectively are being paid penalty rates without having to work the penalty hours”

There are no shifts that start at or after 9am with a finish at or before 5pm. You don’t know what you are talking about!!!!

Bussie 10:25 am 06 Jan 11

JustThinking, sorry I’d rather not describe my day as I don’t want to be identified. The Canberra Times and Riot ACT can tell all the lies about us that they want but if we say what we think we can get nailed under the Public Service ACT.

Bussie 10:20 am 06 Jan 11

Newbie wrote at #30:
” It’s the pig headed men who have been there for donkeys years who won’t wake up to what the rest of the working world is doing. These are the same men who have maintained the seniority system to ensure working mothers can’t get a shift that allows them to manage their families. It’s time these dinosaurs were dragged into the 1980?s and beyond. Hats off to the Government for at least giving it a go.”

There is already a system in place for drivers to apply for a special shift allocation before the shifts are picked on seniority.

Anyone who becomes a bus driver thinking they’ll be working 9-5 straight away is a fool and I don’t see why they should be accomodated at the expense of those drivers who have waited 12-15 years to get a fulltime day shift. Being able to pick better shifts with longer service is pretty much the only career progression the vast majority of drivers have to look forward to.

Actually the varied shifts suit lots of drivers. There are several who work 1730ish-midnight looking after the kids during the day while their partners work 9-5. There’s also a couple who are both drivers with one doing fulltime nightshift and the other parttime mornings.

Bussie 10:09 am 06 Jan 11

#39 what does your typical ASO4 do? Seeing as that is basically the entry level in the public service I suspect nothing of great importance.

JustThinking 9:58 pm 05 Jan 11

Bussie,
What would a normal day be for you?
Start/breaks/finish etc.

I’m not for or against just curious about the hours etc.
AND work conditons..
I’ve caught a few buses and although most trips were OK one or two had some issues with ‘excited’ passengers.

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