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Good Stuff

From: Rhonda
Sent: Thursday, 25 October 2012 1:43 PM
Subject: Email 4 Good Stuff

Our last conversation accidentally provided some good news so will the following be something I can share with members or do they still need final concurrence? I have also asked about some that you may still need to review.

Industrial Action

1) No Half Day Rates using notional Kilometres, or,

2) Half Day Rates will not drop below the guaranteed minimum, or even better,

3) Industrial Action is considered a Temporary Absence and full rates apply.


Driver Approvals

1) The non requirement of the RTA Driver Record? And perhaps

2) The availability of using the “Urgent Vacancy” legislation clause in the case of an already approved driver being used under a different operator while their re approval is being done?

I  have attached a form designed by an operator as a suggestion on how this could work. It was presented at the first DEC meeting for discussion on its merits. The feedback from all there seemed fairly positive and the unusual situation the current legislation creates was acknowledged by Peter Riordan (acting on behalf of Greg Prior), though at the time we were all of the understanding it would correct itself in November so perhaps this is why it was never deliberated further.

Note: This may seem like a petty thing to be annoyed about but the havoc this causes is stressful and could also be harmful. While some operators would have no choice but to “cheat” by using at minimum an already cleared driver under another operator, others I’m certain would use someone not cleared at all because of the 3 week wait. If this intermediate solution was available these types of operators would seek to use it instead. (At least until the “New Check” starts in February)

More on this.

I know I have probably said this many times but this issue is a real bone of contention with operators. In the past they have been given ultimatums to use an approved driver under their name or hand back the run. Given that choice they would undeniably “cheat”. Others, when they have unknowingly used an unapproved driver (because the STMS did not retain the original information) had their runs instantly TAKEN from them. Infuriating them further was the knowledge that their run was given to an operator in the same position (in need of an approved driver) but the AST obliged the new operator with an approval in a day. The fact that this offer was not extended to the original operator was questionable.

3) If there can be a resolution as to why 2 driver re approvals (both already approved) can see one re approved in a day and the other can take up to 3 weeks. If it can be done for one operator why can’t it be done for the other?

4) When asking for a hurried re approval, when cleared, a letter is sent by snail mail usually arriving 1 to 2 weeks AFTER the approval was granted. Is a simple email or phone call too much to ask when someone is desperately waiting?

Note: There was never any communication on the change to this legislation in the first place leaving operators exposed and vulnerable to a “Breach of Contract” threat. Which brings me to –


1) Can I share the news of the soon to be sent communication about the new Rate Schedule and the introduction of the new Assistant Director?

Note: This may not seem important to the DEC but trust me, if there was regular communication between the AST and the Operators it would help so much. (Better to give you reasons verbally.)

The Included Allowance

Since operators are unaware that this allowance was the reason for their subsequent drop in pay can I explain the initial higher allowance and how the decision was made to reduce it? Would this be the way it should be mentioned?

AST Restructure

Is it best not to say anything about “obstacles” being re positioned and instead leave for the intended letter to Operators? Can I at least tell them that the existing culture of many years has been recognized and will soon improve?


I would really love to deliver some good news on this one but not sure yet exactly how it is written. Most of the wording in the draft business rules have always been understood this way under clause 7.1 (consolidating or cancelling runs), but the added wording which offers the run back to the operator at the lower (or higher) rate is swapping categories “mid stream” and implies Category Sliding under a different guise. Perhaps more debating is needed on the merits of the AST performing adequate collaboration with schools using its history and future capacity likelihood. Drivers become irate when being paid a lower category while they witness every day, the ineptness of inexperienced run allocators putting on multiple new runs containing single students. The question they ask is “why aren’t they filling up the cars?” Anyway, this is perhaps better left untouched until later, but can I mention it is still being worked on?

So David, did you appreciate my short “point form” emails I promised? LOL. Somehow I still managed to use the “let it all flow” method. I suppose if you are now reading this last line you must be glad to finally get to the end. Please let me know of any other “goodies” I can share on Saturday.



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