August 13, 2019

Owner drivers: Maintaining the fight for a safer and fairer transport industry

Since 1984 the TWU has been in the fight for the rights afforded to Owner Drivers under the NSW General Carriers Contract Determination (GCCD). Now as the TWU prepares for the year 2020, the Union has won better rates of pay for Owner Drivers under the GCCD. 

The GCCD has enabled thousands of Owner Drivers who are running small businesses, to have what amounts to an award underpinning their work, which ensures for cost recovery and promotes safe systems in the workplace.

Owner Drivers need fair minimum on the amount they can earn, which allows them to do their job, maintain their vehicle and support their family without driving every hour of the day.

The fight has not stopped. With toll and fuel costs increasing and the cost of doing business continuing to rise, it was time to once again ensure that the rates paid under the GCCD enabled a better cost recovery for an Owner Driver.

There are those who have fought against this, including Road Freight NSW and their CEO, Simon O’Hara. Road Freight NSW are on record stating that rate rises for the GCCD are an “unnecessary burden”.

It’s been two years since a rate rise. In those two years the principal contractors, those represented by Mr O’Hara’s organisation, have enjoyed an increased profit margin on the back of hard work by the owner driver.

The TWU application to increase the rates for Owner Drivers under the GCCD was approved in July by the Industrial Relations Commission. 

This is the first increase since an expanded GCCD was made in 2017 and it builds in an increase of around seven percent on the average bundled up rate for all vehicle classifications by March of 2020.

Increases will apply over 3 stages over the next 9 months, starting with immediate effect on 1 August 2019. The GCCD has also been varied to include a new Rates Schedule which means that Owner Drivers can now easily see what their entitlements are.

The updated increases secured by the TWU provide for cost recovery, and take into account increases in CPI, changes to industry standards and increase in wages for employee drivers.

The TWU will continue the work for Owner Drivers. The TWU is now in the process of seeking a new rate for vehicles with carrying capacities under two tonnes. We are seeking to ensure job security and a safer fairer industry for all. On behalf of members the TWU is seeking to ensure that Owner Drivers are provided with job security and a fair income that enables them to cover their costs.

If any Owner Driver believes that they are not being paid correctly, they should contact the TWU for assistance.


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