Bus industry pay rise

People working in the bus industry will get a 2.5 per cent pay rise, following a wage review

Bus industry pay rise
Australian Public Transport Industrial Association (APTIA) national industrial relations manager Ian MacDonald says the 2.5 per cent pay rise for bus industry workers was as anticipated

Bus industry workers will receive a 2.5 per cent pay rise after a Fair Work Commission ruling this week.

The Passenger Vehicle Transportation Award (PTVA), which all bus drivers in Australia are paid under, will increase from July 1 this year, following this year's annual wage review ruling.

Australian Public Transport Industrial Association (APTIA) national industrial relations manager Ian MacDonald says this is in line with the outcome that was expected, but will cost employers more than they are gaining through value increases in their existing contracts.

"All employers who pay under the award will have to increase their wages by 2.5 per cent," he says.

"However in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney 99 per cent of operators pay well above the award and they are under no compulsion to give the increase because their employees are already paid well above it.

"The minimum wage percentage is a good measure for bus operators to get an understanding of how rates are going.

"But the Consumer Price Index only rose by 1.4 per cent this year and the Labour Price Index only increased by between 2.2 and 2.4 per cent.

"The Labour Price Index is the important one, because this is what bus contract values have increased by."

This gap between the Labour Price Index increase and the minimum wage increase – a difference of 0.3 per cent - will cut into the profits of operators.

"Part of it will come out of their margins," MacDonald says.

"Operators are certainly no getting 2.5 per cent increase via their existing contracts.

" Two point five per cent is a good measure of what to give, but to give that will cost you."

Fair Work Commission spokesperson Justice Ross says this year's increase is lower than last year's due to low inflation and aggregate wage growth, along with a rise in unemployment.

"The decision directly affects more than 1.86 million employees who are reliant on award rates of pay," Ross says.

Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) had asked the Fair Work Commission for a 4.2 per cent increase in the federal minimum wage, but this was not seen as appropriate by decision makers at the commission.

Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) urged the panel to increase the minimum wage by no more than 0.9 per cent, while the Australian Industry Group advocated a 1.6 per cent rise across the board.

The Fair Work Commission’s minimum wage panel increased all award rates by 3 per cent last year.

From July 1 this year, the bus industry employees on a grade one contract will be paid $18.65 an hour under the revised Passenger Vehicle Transportation Award.

At the other end of the scale, those on a grade 6 contract will be paid $22.47.

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