Sunday , June 20 2021

Alberta driver examiners threaten to leave work if deprivation requirements are not met



Alberta examiners are threatening to leave work this week if the provincial government does not meet their demands before depriving their industry.

Transport Minister Brian Mason announced in October that the province was pulling out tests of the private sector driver's license, one of several proposals put forward after Humboldt Broncos' devastating bus accident in April that cost the lives of 16 people .

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The change will take effect on March 1, but months before that date, examiners are asking what they call "fair market value" for business or they will be leaving work.

In a letter obtained from Global News, submitted by the Certified Driver Examiners Association (CDEA) to Mason, dated December 17, 2018, the group representing the province's examiners said they were dissatisfied with the government's process.

"The Alberta government has not released many important details about implementing the proposed driver test regime for the CDEA or otherwise," the letter said.

LISTEN: Pete Llewellyn, executive director of the Certified Driver Examiner's Association, joins Danielle Smith to discuss the government process so far

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The organization calls on the government to make satisfactory financial deals, with all private drivers being affected by the change, reviewing salary proposals for the examiners who would be employed by the province and reviewing the compensation offered to the examiners who operate their own businesses.

The letter said that the CDEA wanted the requirements to be met on January 9, 2019 – on Wednesday. If that does not happen, they will stop testing on Thursday.

Watch from October 2018: Transportation Minister Brian Mason announced on Tuesday that the Alberta government is taking back the conduct of private sector driver road tests, beginning March 1, 2019 .





A previous letter was also sent to Mason following a meeting on November 28, 2018 on CDEA's concerns regarding compensation for the privately-employed examiners who would be working for the province in March.

Global News also obtained a letter sent to Premier Rachel Notley of the CDEA requesting a response by October 19, 2019, saying: "We expect compensation for our business. We are willing to negotiate with the government a "fair market value" based on comparable jurisprudence. "

"We have been unsuccessful in getting any response to this issue or to any of the issues we raised with Mr. Mason to this day," the letter said.

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According to Pete Llewellyn, executive director of CDEA, the province's examiners are paid by examination and earn an annual salary of between $ 75,000 and $ 125,000 per year. He said his salaries have to cover examiners' insurance, mileage, corporate taxes and trips to different test sites, which can sometimes be long distances.

He expects that, under the province, the examiners receive about 50% of that. He added that any downtime would impact 100 to 200 people a day in the slower winter season.

The Transport Ministry said in an e-mail to Global News that it received the letter being reviewed by the government's legal team.

"Alberta Department of Transportation officials analyzed the potential for disruption of CDEA members," the statement said. "I want to assure the public that if any work action occurs, any interruption in the service will be minimal.

"We are continuing the process of hiring examiners who will operate under the new model as of March 1st."

There are 146 examiners currently working in the province, Mason said. Sixty-six examiners were formally hired to work for the government as of March, with another 23 pending proposals. He said more than 60 percent of the CDEA members were offered job offers.

"After an examination of salaries that are paid to examiners nationwide, Albertans should also be aware that driver examiners here will be compensated at a higher rate than examiners from any other province," Mason said.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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