Truck driver Frank Black is planning to use his latest term as the Australian Trucking Association’s (ATA) owner-driver representative to secure fixed rates for owner-drivers.

Black recently won another two-year term as the owner-driver representative on the ATA’s council and he says reforming remuneration will remain his top priority until drivers receive what he says is a safe and sustainable rate.

The Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT) is currently involved in negotiations with industry representatives on driver remuneration and recently released a draft proposal that limited fixed rates to those in the general freight sector.

“It always has been my agenda and it will always be my agenda until we get this sorted out,” Black says.

“There are many things wrong in this industry that needs attention, but if you try and attack all of them at once you’re not going to get a long way in a hurry. I believe you get the major issue and you work at that major issue until it’s resolved, hence my involvement with safe rates.”

Truck driver remuneration

Black also wants the ATA to pledge its support for the RSRT. The association has in the past declined to take a position on the tribunal on the basis it goes against the ATA’s constitution.

Black says most people in the industry he speaks to support the RSRT and want changes to driver remuneration.

“The majority of the people, that’s what they want,” he says.

“The feedback I get from owner-drivers and drivers – but especially owner-drivers – and small fleet operators as well is that they agree with the tribunal, they’re supportive of the tribunal and they would like to see the tribunal really get into it and be allowed to do its job,” he says.

During his last term, Black pushed for greater owner-driver representation on the ATA council, which influences the ATA’s policies.

He put forward a proposal to have an owner-driver representative from each jurisdiction or sector, but he was told the council could not sustain that level of membership.

While Black says he does not have plans to bring up the matter again “in the near future”, he still believes more owner-driver representation is required.

“I’m still of the opinion that is what it should be. There should be representatives from every state or different sectors on that council,” Black says.

Extracted in full from Australasian Transport News.