The Australian Road Transport Industrial Organisation (ARTIO)
ARTIO was established in 1984 as a result of the Australian Road Transport Federation (ARTF) determining that it needed a national industrial body to represent the industry and its members in matters before the Australian Conciliation and Arbitration Commission (now the Fair Work Commission (FWC)). It became a registered organisation and legal entity on 22 March 1984.
ARTIO has 6 branches, one in each State, except South Australia, and the National Freight Forwarders’ Branch, which is not a functioning branch.
ARTIO and each of its branches have their own sets of rules, with the supreme governing body being the National Council which consists of national office bearers and representatives from each branch. Elections for those positions are conducted by the Australian Electoral Commission every four years.
The various state associations were concerned that a newly created national body could subsume many of their functions thereby threatening their future. The protection of the various state associations was a critical element in the establishment of ARTIO. Hence, this why the various ARTIO Branches are integrated into the operation of those associations.
The 1980s were a particularly hectic time for industrial relations. The system was based around representation and the awards, regulating terms and conditions of employment, were essentially controlled by the registered organisations in each industry. In the road transport industry they were ARTIO and the Transport Workers’ Union of Australia (TWU). In those days, industrial matters/issues were processed on a collective basis through the Commission. Some of the matters ARTIO contributed to were:
- National Wage Cases held annually
- Major industrial issues arising in the road transport industry, including
- Working hours and the introduction of the 38 hour week and RDOs
- The making of the Interstate Drivers’ Award (now the long distance award)
- The introduction of shift work provisions
- The introduction of part-time employment
- The introduction of change/redundancy provisions into the transport awards
- The second tier structural efficiency principle (a forerunner to the current EBA system)
As mentioned above, superannuation for workers was an industrial matter and squarely on the agenda in the 1980s. Although ARTIO initially opposed the establishment of an industry super fund for transport workers, now TWUSUPER, it has been a strong contributor to its subsequent growth – it is now a $5B fund. This has occurred through the Executive Directors/CEOs of the State Associations being strong advocates of industry super and strong contributors at the Board level.
Over 30 years on, ARTIO is still the only registered employer organisation concerned solely with the representation of employers/prime contractors in the road transport industry. During that period, ARTIO, in conjunction with its Branches, has represented thousands of members in major industrial cases, industrial disputes and unfair dismissals both at federal and state levels.
More recently, ARTIO was instrumental in assisting the FWC with its task of modernising the Award system in 2008/09 leading to the current modern award structure. In the transport industry almost 100 awards were pared back to 4.
The current members of the ARTIO National Council were elected in late 2014/early 2015 and are:
- Laurie D’Apice (NSW) President
- Cameron Dunn (Vic) Vice President
- Dennis Sutton, (WA) Vice President
- Michelle Harwood (Tas) Committee Member
- Gary Mahon (Qld) Committee Member
- Peter Anderson, Secretary/Treasurer
The next election will be due in late 2018.
ARTIO, through its State Branches, continues to represent its members before the various Tribunals, including the Fair Work Commission. If you have any industrial or workplace relations questions or issues, please do not hesitate to contact the ARTIO’s National Industrial Advisor, Paul Ryan, on 03 9646 8590 or via firstname.lastname@example.org.