THE TWU is celebrating a victory secured last December at the NSW Industrial Relations Commission (NSWIRC) against McColls Transport Pty Ltd, a national transport operator involved in the bulk transfer of liquids including milk, fuel and dangerous chemicals.
Drivers at McColls hold either a Heavy Combination Licence (HC Licence) or a Multi-Combination License (MC Licence).
An MC Licence enables drivers to drive a B-Double vehicle.
Historically, McColls paid all drivers who acquired MC Licences at the Grade 8 Level regardless of the vehicle they were driving on any given day.
However, in 2010 McColls made a unilateral decision to alter their rates of pay.
From this point on, drivers were only paid at the Grade 8 Level if they drove B-Double vehicles.
If a driver was not driving a B-Double vehicle on a particular day they were to be paid at the lower rate, regardless of whether or not they held an MC Licence.
This unilateral decision caused a dramatic change in many of our members' level of income.
The TWU took McColls to the NSWIRC and argued, among other things, that our members were entitled to be paid at a Grade 8 Level irrespective of whether they drove a B-Double vehicle or not so long as they held an MC Licence.
The union suggested that a uniform rate should be applied to the holder of an MC Licence regardless of the type of vehicle.
That is, the Grade 8 Level that applies to a driver who is driving a B-Double vehicle also applies to that driver when they are driving a different class of vehicle if they held an MC Licence.
In addition, the bulk of the work carried out by the drivers was of a Grade 8 Level and it was simply unfair for McColls to make a unilateral decision removing this entitlement when they were not driving a B-Double vehicle.
The NSWIRC handed down its decision on December 7 and found in favour of the TWU.
I want to congratulate our legal team and officials for doing such a sterling job and I also commend our TWU members at McColls for having the courage to stand together and fight for their rights.
To join the TWU or find out more, phone our Members' Service Centre on 1800 729 909.