TIP truck owner-drivers have won a potential windfall of more than $15 an hour on government projects under new minimum rates to be introduced by the Andrews Government.
Treasurer Tim Pallas will today announce that mandatory industry pay rates will be adopted on all state government construction work where contracts are yet to be awarded.
The average rate for a tip truck owner-driver on these projects is currently believed to be $65 an hour. The new standards, approved by the Transport Industry Council, will see the rate climb well above $80.
Transport Workers’ Union Victoria and Tasmania branch secretary John Berger said the new rates would help prevent unsafe driving.
“Currently, low load rates, dodgy hire companies, competition for work and a lack of regulation mean undercutting is rife and existing conditions reduce each time a contract is renewed,” Mr Berger said.
“Being paid per load, rather than hours worked, rewards drivers who speed, run red lights, skip mandated fatigue breaks and take drugs to stay awake. The drivers who do the right thing by other road users are the ones on the breadline.”
Drivers will still have access to flexible contracts, with tip truck owner-drivers able to choose between hourly or contract rates.
Over the past 18 months there are believed to have been at least six fatalities on Victorian road involving tippers and dozens of accidents, according to the TWU.
“Better pay will reduce the incentive to drive long hours just to make ends meet, improving safety for everyone on our roads,” Treasurer Tim Pallas said.
“We’re ensuring tip truck owner-drivers share in the prosperity our pipeline of construction projects is creating across Victoria.”
Roads Minister Luke Donnellan said: “We know that we need to attract more people into the industry and improve standards, that’s why we’re investing in a review into driver training and standards and working with industry on training programs.”