British Columbia sets rate structure for truck drivers at Port Metro Vancouver

By Charlie Morasch, Land Line contributing writer | 12/17/2014

After nearly a year of arguments about why the port is clogged and slow for shippers, receivers and drivers alike, the British Columbia government has set new hourly rates for container truck drivers at Port Metro Vancouver.

The BC Transportation Ministry says the new rates are an effort to fix the issue of rate undercutting between trucking companies at Port Metro Vancouver, which has seen labor disputes and calls for reform to the three levels of government that oversee it.

“It is a complicated situation, and it has been hard to find a solution that pleases everyone,” the province’s Transportation Ministry said in a news release. “The new rates and rules are fair. They will provide fair compensation for truckers and their families, and they will help ensure Canada’s busiest and most-important port is reliable, stable and competitive for the long term.”

The rates will apply to all truckers that serve the port on and off dock, and will include a whistleblower complaint line and a 2 percent fuel surcharge. In addition, all trucking companies will undergo increased audits.

Hourly employees would get $25.13 hourly when hired and $26.28 after one year of cumulative service. Independent truck operators would receive $50.13 hourly. Both wages will be retroactive to April 3.

In addition to the hourly rates, BC’s Transportation Ministry also announced extended hours and wait fees to be paid to truckers who must wait at the port for loads. The new system also will include mediation help for truck drivers and employers. The extended hours, fees for truckers forced to wait at the port for their loads, and mediation help for truckers and employers are part of the new scheme, which the government says will take effect soon.

“All truckers will be paid, at a minimum, for four hours work for callout,” the news release said. “Independent operators paid by trip will be paid at least $200 and $160 for employees paid by trip.”

Port Metro Vancouver continues to work on license reform for truck drivers, which is scheduled to take effect by Feb. 1, 2015, and a new reservation system to be unveiled in “early 2015,” the news release said.

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