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Member Update 9th July 2012

9th July 2012

Dear Members,

Hello to you all and I hope you are enjoying your holiday. I hesitated in calling this letter an update since that would imply some news. Since the only news is the ‘same old same old’ perhaps I should have called this a ‘downgrade’, but then that’s another word Operators hear too frequently.

As of this week, we now have proof of our utter failure in resolving any of our first few issues.

Number 1) As you all know, the ‘pay per pupil’ method still reigns. Still no explanations, still no email answers, still no contract clauses provided, just plain old everyday departmental stalling in the hope that we will accept and move on and leave them alone to rack up all their forced overtime trying to fix their self created problems. (Phew) Either you ARE being paid at a lower rate for your vehicle or, you live in fear each day that someone has packed up and moved house in the holidays. Funny isn’t it? Instead of just relying on the gratuitous nature of public servants who hold our livelihoods in their little hands, now our income also revolves around that of strangers, and their residential decisions.

Number 2 ) Those who did manage to get some maps before last week’s decision to deny us these, may have noticed this “new, highly accurate, you beaut, ‘special Google’ system”, expects us to do a “Fred Flintstone” with our vehicles. Or, we could risk our licence and do U turns over double yellow lines, or drive up one way streets or mount the median strips. Perhaps the Department would prefer us to have the students wait with their parents across the road so as to line up with the map, and maybe politely ask the teachers to walk 400 mtrs to the front gate of the school, providing of course that there is not a Bus Stop or a No Stopping sign to prevent this. Oh, no wonder these maps were stopped. Too many of us might find out how ridiculous it all is.

Number 3) I don’t know about you all, but I am having trouble finding that promised Calculation sheet which was to accompany the Tax Invoice beginning this month. I have searched my email attachment and some have searched their mailed envelopes, but no, it doesn’t seem to have been sent. I wonder why this doesn’t surprise me. Those who have received these upon request in past months will notice that not only do the Department pay what THEY believe you should be paid, they don’t even bother to type in the Kms you HAVE claimed. The column titled “Estimated Kms” shows their Kms. whereas, the column titled “Claimed Kms” shows – you guessed it – THEIR Kms. I find this quite insulting, to have such disdain for what we accurately and painstakingly write on the claim form up to 46 times each month. For what????  I do wonder why it is so hard to have these sent.

So that’s it, the third and final of our first requests have not come to fruition. At this rate we will be into our next Tender before anything is resolved.

Seriously though, a letter was sent to the Minister today. Due to the difficulty in trying to write the complexities of our growing list and to keep the first letter to a minimum, it was written more as a request for a meeting using ‘hints’ rather than long explanations.

I have attached it for you to read and will keep you informed of any response.

Meantime, cheers to all. I think we deserve a drink.




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