The Ride Share Drivers Association of Australia became a fully incorporated Association on the 1st April 2016 after several concerned drivers met to discuss the unfair treatment being handed out by Uber and after the substantial reduction of rates paid to “driver partners” without any consultation back in February 0f 2016.

Several meetings took place between Uber and members of the first committee, where many things were promised by Uber and to this day none has been fulfilled or been forthcoming. Their response was “we prefer to deal with drivers one on one” in other words we can bully a single driver much easier than we can deal with an organized representative body. This has been their modus operandi worldwide.

A submission was prepared and presented to the OPT Review into the Personalized Transport industry, as well as one on one meetings with the Chair Jim Varghese AM. The RSDAA was represented at the public hearings during April of 2016 as well.

During July of 2016 a committee member of the RSDAA gave evidence at the Point to Point Committee hearings in Sydney with the report being published in October of 2016 where recommendations were made in relation to Fatigue Management, recommendations that are about to become law in NSW. Not by any actions undertaken by a group claiming it as being one of their successes in the last couple of weeks.

RSDAA was also approached by the admin of several social media pages to see if we would agree to look after those pages ongoing. Contrary to many claims made by some that we “hijacked” the pages. We were asked, accepted and have continued to admin many pages with the side banner RSDAA, this has proven to be an effective tool in getting information out there for drivers. Unfortunately, there are still some who take great delight in trying to make out that we are doing something that is not in the best interests of drivers but in turn they have done nothing themselves apart from being keyboard warriors.

Because of our submission to the Varghese Review we were invited to sit as a member of the Personalized Transport Industry Review Group (PTIRG) along with several representatives from other sectors of the personalized transport industry. Despite many meetings where suggestions were put forward that would have benefitted the industry the public servants had a preconceived agenda as to what would be implemented. We were presented with draft legislation early this year and then asked to put submissions to Public Works and Utilities Committee (PWUC) of which there were over 300 submissions put to the committee. Once again though nothing from the naysayers (keyboard warriors). One important factor to note here is that the submission by the RSDAA was strongly supported by the TWU along with several other bodies represented on PTIRG.

After the submissions were received by PWUC the RSDAA was invited along with 7 other groups to give evidence before the PWUC. This hearing took place in April of 2017 and our evidence was supported by several groups once again. In its report to Parliament PWUC quoted many times from our submission as issues worth consideration.

As we are all aware these new regulations are now in force and not one recommendation put forward to any of these meetings was taken on board. As stated earlier the public servants had an agenda in place prior to any of these meetings taking place and their “public consultation” was nothing more than a total farce.

At the same time our President undertook the preparation of a submission to the Point to Point Hearings in NSW putting forward similar proposals for the implementation of the new rules down there.

During the time the RSDAA has been in existence we have been interviewed numerous times for TV and radio presenting our case for fair and sustainable contracts and rates for drivers. An interesting fact also is that whenever there is a call for comment it is the RSDAA that the media come looking to for comment. Not a faceless person hiding behind a false name and a web page, as a comparison look to our webpage for email, contact phone number and photos of our committee members.

Earlier this year after meetings with the directors of Newscar, the RSDAA signed a Memorandum of Understanding, providing another source of income for ride share drivers. Yes, it has taken a while to see this venture come to fruition, but with close consultation between Newscar and the RSDAA this app is being finetuned as a global platform, which is now in the final stages of testing. The directors have just returned from overseas where the app has been successfully shown to some of the world’s largest media organizations.

In the last couple of months, the RSDAA has successfully guided several drivers through Fair Work Australia with unfair dismissal cases with positive outcomes. Due to confidentiality agreements details cannot be disclosed here under threat of civil action, something we do not need.

As many would be aware Uber have fought long and hard to prevent driver’s groups being formed as it is their way of getting their own way with individual drivers. The RSDAA have now operated for 18 months and have been very actively involved with Government trying to get better conditions for drivers as have groups in many other countries. We are currently in early discussions with several overseas groups looking to combine our groups to fight for the common good for fair rates and reasonable contracts.

Keep in mind that in Australia the RSDAA is a fully incorporated Association looking after the interests of ride share drivers. Due to the protestations of a few who are offended by the “fact” that we claim to represent “all drivers” I will put it out there again. The RSDAA has never claimed to represent all drivers and never will as the organization is for people who see benefit in being a part of a growing group that endeavors to look after their interests.

As we approach a state election in Queensland we will be making further attempts to contact the relevant minister for his intentions regarding the ride share industry, I sent a request for a meeting some weeks ago with no reply. I then contacted the Premiers Office to receive a reply that the minister had not received any communication from us, so I forwarded copies of the request to the Premiers Office.

A few meetings have taken place with the Opposition Minister in the past few months and I will be sending a request to him to confirm his party’s stance on the ride share industry. Their responses will be posted onto our website in due course.

Stay tuned ladies and gentlemen.