Better traffic conditions for bus drivers
The government is supporting the transport sector’s efforts to stabilize the public transport workforce with funding from Budget 2022 to help normalize base salaries, Transport Minister Michael Wood announced.
“Our government is committed to making it more affordable, easier and more attractive to use public transport for Kiwis, so it’s crucial we have the drivers in place to drive the system forward,” said Michael Wood.
“Improving driver conditions will facilitate workforce recruitment and retention, enabling frequent and reliable bus services.
“The minimum conditions have been developed through discussions between operators, public transport authorities and trade unions on how best to improve conditions in the industry and stabilize the workforce.”
The $61 million allocated in Budget 22 will help the sector normalize minimum base wage rates towards a target rate, as agreed by public transport authorities. The intention is to move towards base rates of $30 per hour for urban services and $28 per hour for regional services. Public transport authorities and operators will be able to access part of the funding if they contribute to salary increases and will continue to apply indexed salary rates in the future.
“This will help the industry move to standard terms and conditions for bus drivers, which currently vary widely across the country,” said Michael Wood.
In recognition of the different wages and conditions currently in the system, public transport authorities will also have the option of providing funding to operators, based on market share, to offer a penalty rate for working after 9 p.m. from 1, 2x, or $30 split shift allowance. . This will ensure a level of equality between operators and regions.
“Improved conditions of use for drivers will be supported by the Sustainable Public Transport Framework, announced in August, which prioritizes fair and equitable treatment of employees, mode shift and improved environmental and health outcomes. “said Michael Wood.
“We recognize the vital role that public transport plays in our daily lives and our economic and environmental future.
“We are committed to supporting public transport and I am delighted to see the great collaboration of the sector which has been instrumental in improving the general conditions across the country. We will continue to work with the sector to find meaningful solutions to support public transport,” said Michael Wood.
Waka Kotahi will work with public transport authorities and bus operators to adapt the implementation of the standard to best meet their operational needs.