NSW ARTIO holds inaugural conference

NSW ARTIO plans to use next month's conference to discuss industrial relations reforms affecting transport operators

By Brad Gardner | September 21, 2010

The NSW branch of the Australian Road Transport Industrial Organisation will use its inaugural annual conference to discuss workplace reforms to the trucking industry.

The branch’s secretary and treasurer Hugh McMaster says the October 26 event at the Sebel Hotel in Parramatta will host leading experts to provide industrial relations advice to NSW operators.

"The introduction of modern awards, the prospect of further reforms to superannuation as well as significant developments in case law set the scene for an ever-changing workplace relations environment," McMaster says.

He says most topics to be covered are nationally important such as superannuation and industrial award changes, but NSW-based businesses will find the topics relevant.

"This is because recent changes to policy and legislation, as well as recent developments in case law are almost certain to have a greater impact on NSW than other states or territories," McMaster says.

A key reform affecting NSW operators was the recent award modernisation process, which consolidated around 120 transport awards into three national awards.

Because NSW drivers are paid more than their interstate counterparts, NSW businesses had to introduce transitional rates from July 1 this year to bring wages into line with other jurisdictions.

Wages in NSW will decline by 20 percent each year over five years until they match other states. The transition is designed to give those affected time to adjust.

"Changes to minimum wage entitlements are effective from the first full pay period on or after 1 July each year up until 1 July 2014. Therefore, transitional wage rates need to be re-calculated each year," the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland says.

The Transport Workers Union tried to have NSW provisions extended nationwide, claiming the proposed awards would have a negative effect on pay, annual leave, overtime and redundancy.

Those interested in attending the event have been asked to contact the NSW ARTIO on 02 9579 2333 or on 0412 880 861.

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